25 Movie Cameos by the Authors of the Original Books
Many of you probably know that our friend John Green has a movie coming out in a few weeks. But when The Fault in Our Stars hits theaters, don't expect to see John up there on the silver screen. Though he filmed a cameo ("Girl's Father"), it was ultimately cut. "I was hugely relieved when I got the call when they had cut the scene," he told Vulture. "I was terrible. Terrible."
Not all author cameos are destined for the cutting room floor, though. Keep your eyes peeled for these sneaky appearances the next time you’re enjoying a movie based on a book.
1. Kathryn Stockett // The Help
The author of The Help has a bouffanted cameo as part of a scene involving the Junior League. Her mother, sister, and some friends also appear.
2. Stephenie Meyer // Twilight
It’s a very subtle cameo. See if your eagle eyes can spot it.
3. Michael Morpurgo // War Horse
Morpurgo and his wife, Clare, both filmed a cameo for the movie. This isn’t the first time Morpurgo has popped up for a bit part in War Horse, though. He’s also made small appearances when the play adaptations of his books have been performed in London and New York.
4. Stephen King // Pet Sematary
The author cameos in many of his movies—Thinner, Rose Red, The Storm of the Century, The Stand, The Shining, The Langoliers and Sleepwalker, just to name a few. But I like the one in Pet Sematary, above.
5. Louis Sachar // Holes
The famous children’s and YA author plays a character named Mr. Collingwood in a flashback scene. See him at 0:33.
6. Sara Gruen // Water for Elephants.
In a scene that will make Edward Cullen fans green with envy, Robert Pattinson brushes by an “astonished woman” watching Rosie the elephant steal produce. That woman is Gruen. Many of her family members also appear in the scene.
7. S.E. Hinton // The Outsiders
Hinton—whose real name is Susan Eloise—appears as the nurse in Dally’s hospital room. Check out her extremely brief appearance at the beginning the clip above.
8. John Irving // The World According to Garp
Anyone familiar with Irving’s love of wrestling won’t be surprised that he chose to appear as a wrestling referee in the movie adaptation of The World According to Garp, a role that required a fair amount of scuttling around on the floor.
9. Peter Benchley // Jaws
The author who made millions of people question their summer vacation plans plays a reporter in a brief scene in the 1975 film adaptation, which Benchley co-wrote.
10. William Peter Blatty // The Exorcist
Early in the movie, before the pea soup really hits the fan, Reagan’s actress mother is working on a movie. Blatty plays the producer of the film in a short on-set scene, asking if one of the scenes is really necessary. It's a case of art imitating life, because Blatty had many similar disputes with The Exorcist director William Friedkin.
11. John le Carré // Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy
He plays a guest at the MI6 Christmas party. The author can be found standing next to a spy dressed like Lenin.
12. V.C. Andrews // Flowers in the Attic
Andrews died shortly after filming her very brief cameo, missing the movie’s 1987 premiere.
13. Fannie Flagg // Fried Green Tomatoes
Flagg plays the workshop leader of a women’s seminar that Evelyn attends (before she's empowered by Towanda, of course).
14. Sapphire // Precious
You can spot the mono-named author as a woman at a day care center near the end of the movie.
15. Hunter S. Thompson // Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas
Johnny Depp looks at "himself"—the real Hunter S. Thompson—at 0:25.
16. Kurt Vonnegut // Mother Night
At 1:17 in the clip above, Vonnegut appears as one of the many people passing Campbell on the sidewalk.
17. Jennifer Weiner // In Her Shoes
She plays "Smiling woman in Italian market."
18. Jean Shepherd // A Christmas Story
The writer has a memorable scene as the man who sends Ralphie and his brother to the end of the Santa line.
19. Emily Giffin // Something Borrowed
In a nod to her chick-lit career, Giffin appears in a scene where she's reading a book on a park bench. The novel just happens to be Something Blue, the sequel to Something Borrowed.
20. Jacqueline Susann // Valley of the Dolls
Despite hating the movie made from her best-selling book, Susann made a cameo as a reporter.
21. Jonathan S. Foer // Everything is Illuminated
There's scene where movie Jonathan (Elijah Wood) is visiting his grandfather's grave. In the background, a groundskeeper is blowing leaves. The man keeping the cemetery tidy is the real Jonathan S. Foer.
22. Amy Tan // The Joy Luck Club
She plays a guest at a house party.
23. Irvine Welsh // Trainspotting
Unlike most of these cameos, Welsh actually has an extended part. He plays Mikey Forrester, the dealer who supplies the opium suppositories that result in one of the most, uh, memorable bathroom scenes in the history of cinema.
24. Charles Bukowski // Barfly
When the camera lingers a beat or two too long on an older gentleman enjoying a beer, you'll know you've spotted Bukowski.
25. James Dickey // Sheriff Bullard in Deliverance
It seems that the author's presence on the set was distracting to the actors, so they asked director John Boorman to ask Dickey to leave. To soften the blow a little, Boorman offered Dickey the part of the sheriff. Though Dickey originally declined ("I ain't coming back; get yourself another boy"), he eventually returned to give this impressive performance.
A much shorter version of this post appeared in 2012.