The 15 Most Delightfully Enjoyable Instances of an Actor Playing Him or Herself in a Movie
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The 15 Most Delightfully Enjoyable Instances of an Actor Playing Him or Herself in a Movie

By Dustin Rowles | Seriously Random Lists | June 12, 2013 | Comments ()


Seth Rogen and Jay Baruchel's This is the End opens today, and TK's review of the movie is absolutely spot on: Immensely enjoyable, but with everyone playing themselves, also a little self-indulgent. In fact, what I thought worked best were the smaller cameos, like Michael Cera, Emma Watson, and several others that I wouldn't want to spoil for you. It used to feel a lot more novel to see an actor playing himself in a movie, but if This is the End is successful (and it most likely will be), it could lead to an unfortunate, self-congratulating new trend. Actors playing themselves almost always work best when its a surprise, and when that role is limited, although exceptions can be made when full length movies revolve around versions of the real-life actors in question.

These are the 12 best instances in which an actor plays him or herself in a movie.

1. Bill Murray, Zombieland


2. Neil Patrick Harris, Harold and Kumar Go to White Castle

3. John Malcovich, Being John Malkovich


4. Bob Barr, Borat

5. Matt Damon and Ben Affleck in Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back

6. Michael Cera and Emma WatsonThis is the End



7. Chuck Norris, Dodgeball

8. Topher Grace, Ocean's 12

9. Billy Idol, The Wedding Singer

10. Bruce Campbell, My Name Is Bruce

11. Jean Claude Van Damme, JCVD

12. Dustin Diamond, Made

13. Will Smith, Jersey Girl

14. Steve Carell, Knocked Up

15. Megan Fox, The Dictator

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Comments Are Welcome, Bigots and Trolls Are Not

  • Adrien

    Steven Seagal in "My Giant".

  • Some Guy

    Bob Barker in Happy Gilmore.

  • disqus_mQPW6cixfl

    Yes! No. 11 is an inspired performance.

    But ...

    No. 16: Merv Griffin, "The Man With Two Brains"

  • zeke_the_pig

    JCVD was a goddamn masterpiece

  • Strand

    Al Pacino's played himself as a washed-up actor selling out in a Dunkin Donuts commercial... in Jack and Jill, a 'movie' in which he whored himself out to Adam Sandler. This is a more damning self-portrayal than debauched, drug-addled NPH in the Harold and Kumar movies.

  • Tom Shea

    There should be an auxiliary post for Ian McKellan in Extras.

  • Tinkerville

    Extras could have its own list with all the amazing guest stars. Orlando Bloom and Daniel Radcliffe were unexpectedly hilarious.

  • where's_wallace

    "Get me a bourbon, wouldya babe?"

  • Mrs. Julien

    The flowers. The flowers...

  • Three_nineteen

    Sir Ian, Sir Ian , Sir Ian, Sir Ian...YOU SHALL NOT PASS!...Sir Ian, Sir Ian, Sir Ian...

    Don't forget Kate Winslet and Patrick Stewart. In fact, I can't think of a bad celebrity cameo on Extras.

  • Mrs. Julien


  • Jean Morel

    Jean Claude Van Damme in Narco

  • apsutter

    What about the kid who plays Malfoy in "Get Him To The Greek?"

  • apsutter

    Fuckin' Chuck Norris

  • oilybohunk7

    Matthew McConaughey in Magic Mike. What's that you say? He wasn't playing himself? Fooled me!

  • NoPantsMcLane

    JCVD. The movie that should have gotten The Muscles from Brussels an Oscar nomination.

  • Bert_McGurt

    David Bowie (and Billy Zane, I guess) in Zoolander.

  • BWeaves

    William Shatner in "Free Enterprise."

  • $27019454

    So glad you included the oft-overlooked JCVD. Also, Billy Idol will kick your ass, man.

  • Blake

    8. Topher Grace, Ocean’s 12 ...

    Oceans 11 iss better Topher and it had Pacey, Shane West,

    Taylor KitschBarry Watson and Holly Marie Combs.

    Barry Watson and
    Taylor Kitsch aren't the same person?

  • melissa82

    And now I can't unsee it.

  • Blake

    Sorry does that header photo somehow imply Affleck is better than Damon?

  • NoPantsMcLane

    Kevin Smith does love Affleck a little too much so you are probably right.

  • You know what I would damn near pay to see? OK, you know those Saturday night live regular sketches that often were centered around a cast member playing an actual celebrity, and then the celebrity they were portraying would show up one day? Like, Jim Breuer/Joe Pesci, Cheri O'Teri/Judge Judy, Will Ferrell/Alex Trebek, Chris Kattan/Antonio Banderas, etc.?

    A roundup of that. Let's make this happen, America.

  • KC

    I read Tina Fey's Bossypants and they were called 'Sneaker Uppers' and supposedly everyone hated them

  • AudioSuede

    Except for Tina Fey/Sarah Palin. That was embarrassing.

  • Bedewcrock

    Janet Reno/Will Ferrell is my faaaaaavorite.

  • YAS, gurl...

  • AngelenoEwok

    Some days I STILL find myself wishing that Good Will Hunting 2: Hunting Season was a real movie.

  • Fredo

    I'd also add Gus Van Zant from that movie.

    "Jesus, Ben! I said I'm busy."

    And no love to Mark Hamill as Cock-Knocker?

  • BendinIntheWind

    I would humbly add Lou Ferrigno in "I Love You Man":

  • carrie

    Ed Norton in THE DICTATOR

  • Joe Grunenwald


  • Sherry

    I'm going to be muttering that under my breath all day...joyously.

  • Laura

    Fucking Chuck Norris!

  • PaddyDog

    That was worth it just to see Cyril O'Reily again.

  • Laura

    He was my favorite.

  • BigBlueKY

    Chuck Norris will use your head as a dodgeball.

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