14 Rock Stars Who Made Cameos in Movies
Rock stars obviously feel relaxed behind the microphone, but occasionally, they'll step outside of their comfort zones and in front of a movie camera. Did you spot these musicians when they made cameos in your favorite films?
1. Aimee Mann // The Big Lebowski
Aimee Mann (along with Flea from Red Hot Chili Peppers—more on him later) appears as one of the German nihilists who helps fake Bunny's kidnapping in The Big Lebowski. In her sole scene, Mann orders lingonberry pancakes at a diner.
2. Gwen Stefani // The Aviator
No Doubt's lead singer Gwen Stefani made a cameo appearance as 1930s superstar Jean Harlow in Martin Scorsese's 2004 Howard Hughes biopic, The Aviator. The director brought her in to audition after he saw the singer on the cover of Teen Vogue. “Marty’s daughter loves No Doubt,” Stefani told MTV. "So when he saw my picture from the Teen Vogue cover, like on the side of a bus stop, he said to her, 'Who’s that girl? We should get her to try out!'" During the audition, Stefani recounted that "my stomach was on the floor. It’s totally humiliating to walk in and have to try out. They know who you are, but it’s a casting-call thing. ... [The casting people] told me, ‘Don’t dress like a rock star, you have to dress up nice. They couldn’t have been more helpful and wanting me to get it. These casting girls let me do it a million times, but I left there with sweat."
3. Anthony Kiedis // Point Break
Red Hot Chili Peppers' frontman Anthony Kiedis appeared as Tone, one of the surfers who bullies and fights Johnny Utah for surfing on his stretch of beach.
4. Michael Penn // Boogie Nights
In Boogie Nights, singer/songwriter and composer Michael Penn played Nick, the engineer who helped Dirk Diggler and Reed Rothchild record the song "The Touch." Penn also composed the movie's score. Boogie Nights director Paul Thomas Anderson directed the music video for Penn's "Try" during the film's post-production schedule.
5. Nancy Wilson // Fast Times at Ridgemont High
Heart's Nancy Wilson appeared as "Beautiful Girl in a Car" in Fast Times at Ridgemont High. At the time, Wilson was dating Cameron Crowe, who wrote the film's script. "He was like, 'Hey! Come visit the set!'" she told The Believer in 2007, adding,
I was really excited that I was going to be in a movie—even though I had to wake up at some ungodly hour to do the shoot. ... The character played by Judge Reinhold has just been fired from the burger place where he worked, and he’s sitting at the stoplight when I pull up. He thinks I’m making eyes at him, but I’m actually laughing at the ridiculous burger-joint hat he’s wearing. Then I peel out. That was my big-screen moment.
Wilson and Crowe collaborated musically on other movies, including Almost Famous; they married in 1986 and divorced in 2010.
6. Jon Bon Jovi // U-571
Rocker Jon Bon Jovi plays Lieutenant Pete Emmett, Navy chief engineer, in the World War II film U-571. His character drowns when flying debris knocks him overboard during a German U-boat attack. Bon Jovi said he responded to the script because "my parents had been in the Marine Corps" and, because of that, it was important "that I do it properly and pay attention to details, so that I could represent this accurately."
7. Kylie Minogue // Moulin Rouge!
After Ewan McGregor's character, Christian, drinks absinthe for the first time in Moulin Rouge!, he quickly starts to have hallucinations of the Green Fairy, played by Kylie Minogue. (Fun fact: Ozzy Osbourne provided the Green Fairy's demonic laugh.)
8. Jack White // Walk Hard: The Dewey Cox Story
White plays Elvis in the 2007 comedy Walk Hard: The Dewey Cox Story. He later explained to NME how the cameo happened: “John C. Reilly called me up and asked if I would do it. They were filming in a couple of days. I said, ‘Okay, but what year is it supposed to be?’ He said 1957, so that was Okay. I thought it was just going to be for cable or something but he said, ‘Oh no, this is one of the biggest films this company is going to to put out this year.' He sent the script over and it was really funny.”
9., 10., and 11. Phil Collins, David Crosby, and Jimmy Buffett // Hook
In 1991, Phil Collins made a small cameo appearance in Steven Spielberg's Hook. He played a British police inspector investigating the disappearance of Peter Banning's children. David Crosby and Jimmy Buffett (as well as Glenn Close) also appear as members of Captain Hook's band of pirates.
12. Dave Grohl // The Muppets
In The Muppets reboot, ex-Nirvana drummer and current Foo Fighters frontman Dave Grohl played "Animool," the replacement for Animal, in the fake band The Moopets.
13. Flea // Back To The Future Part II
Flea has appeared in Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas, the Psycho remake, and the aforementioned The Big Lebowski, the Red Hot Chili Peppers' bassist also appeared as Needles, Marty McFly's co-worker who got him fired in the future in Back To The Future Part II. He reprised a younger version of the role, but this time he challenges Marty McFly to a drag race at the end of Back To The Future Part III.
14. Alanis Morissette // Dogma
Writer/director Kevin Smith cast singer Alanis Morissette in the role of God in his 1999 film Dogma. Initially, she turned Smith down. "I had just gotten off the road, and I was tired, and I didn't think I'd be of any value to him," she told CNN. "I said no at first, but then as I kind of rejuvenated, I checked back in with him and he still hadn't cast the role of God. And I said I'd love to do it and I did."