Who doesn't love a good, old-fashioned movie star cameo? But unlike Matt Damon in Thor: Ragnarok or Bill Murray in Zombieland, sometimes actors show up in cameos for films they are already starring in. These are much rarer and pretty fun to see when they end up happening.
Like you didn't already have enough work to do on set, [insert star's name here]? You had to go and play more than one role? This is the realm of Mark Hamill in The Last Jedi, Ryan Reynolds in Deadpool 2, and Dick Van Dyke in Mary Poppins. Sometimes, when headlining a film, you just wanna see what it is like to play a character a little lower on the totem pole, and we do love seeing actors playing hidden roles!
- Photo: Buena Vista Distribution
Do we need to talk about Dick Van Dyke's non-Cockney Cockney accent from Mary Poppins? The actor himself has gone on record describing it as "atrocious," so what else is left for anyone to say about it? Weird vocal stylings aside, Van Dyke's Bert is an essential component of Mary Poppins's success. He sings; he dances; he plays a bunch of instruments; he waddles like a penguin... everyone loves Mary Poppins, for good reason, but that Bert really is one multitalented chimney sweep.
As if giving Van Dyke the daunting task of perfecting a Cockney accent wasn't enough, they also got him to don some 1960s-era prosthetic makeup to age him up multiple decades and play Mr. Dawes Sr. This crotchety bank manager is really old, and Van Dyke does a much better job of disappearing into the role than he does putting on Bert's accent. Dawes is so ancient, he ends up perishing by the film's end due to his intense laughter at a joke.
For all the success the Marvel Cinematic Universe had from the very beginning, it wasn't until Phase Three that Marvel Studios really decided to start letting things get weird and break up the proven formula from time to time. Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 turned the goofiness of the original up to 11. The Avengers actually lost against Thanos at the end of Avengers: Infinity War. Thor: Ragnarok was an off-kilter comedy. And Doctor Strange introduced filmgoers not only to Benedict Cumberbatch as the Sorcerer Supreme - but to the idea of multiple dimensions, as well.
And seeing as there are multiple dimensions in the film, why not have the talented Cumberbatch portray multiple roles while we're at it? In addition to playing jerk-doctor-turned-superhero Stephen Strange, the British actor also did the motion capture and voice work for Dormammu. The ruler of the Dark Dimension has a weird, ripply face and glowing, purple eyes, meaning he looks like he was ripped straight out of the comic books. And you would never know Cumberbatch played him because he sounds nothing like him at all.
- Photo: Warner Bros. Pictures
1991's Nothing but Trouble seems like an elaborate practical joke from Dan Aykroyd. To this day, it stands as the only film the SNL alum has ever directed, and it isn't hard to see why. Nothing but Trouble is a $40 million exercise in disgusting prosthetics, unlikeable characters, and unfunny jokes. It lost a ton of money at the box office, was completely lambasted by critics and viewers alike, and serves as little more than a trivia footnote 30 years after its release. It's unclear why Aykroyd wanted to play a cruel and unusual 106-year-old judge named Alvin "J.P." Valkenheiser, but he clearly did.
However, Valkenheiser wasn't the most horrible creature Aykroyd played in Nothing but Trouble. No, that illustrious honor must go to Bobo, one of Valkenheiser's deformed grandchildren. "Deformed" is a generous and loose term here, too, because a more apt descriptor would be "monstrous." There is no telling what kind of fever dream served as the genesis of Nothing but Trouble, but there was never a big-budget film like it before its release, and there never will be again.
Mark Hamill may have gone on to have a prolific voice-acting career, with shows like Batman: The Animated Series, Regular Show, and Avatar: The Last Airbender under his belt, but come on - Hamill will forever be known as Luke Skywalker. The Star Wars protagonist is one of the defining roles of the late 20th century, and when you play a character in six different movies, that is going to be the role you're remembered for. And while fans and Hamill himself may have had issues with Luke in The Last Jedi, this wasn't the only role the actor played in that film.
Hamill also played the exceedingly minor role of Dobbu Scay during Finn and Rose's time at Canto Bight. The little alien is best remembered for trying to insert casino chips into BB-8 like he's a rolling slot machine. When Scay does manage to put a chip into BB-8, causing nothing to happen, he gets just a smidge belligerent. The monocled munchkin proceeds to beat on BB-8, clearly wanting his money back, and burps right in the droid's face. Rude!