Acting. It’s not an easy job, but sometimes it’s a little easier if you’re not really doing it. That’s why this week we’re honoring a list of some of the best actors who have made the bold decision to play themselves.
Well, “best” might not be the right word, but we’re counting down our favorite instances of actors poking fun at themselves. Why would we waste one of our valuable top 10s on such a meaningless subject? Because, it’s awesome seeing actors play themselves. It means that they’re real people who know how to keep it real every once in a while (though they get paid a lot more than we do for it). I mean, look at Entourage. You think we watched it for Turtle? No, we watched it to see who Vince would be rubbing elbows with this week. [Editor's note: There were lots of reasons we watched Entourage, but listing them here would be unseemly.]
Which leads us to the rules of this little roundup. First of all, we’re only naming actors this time around, not other celebrities. Secondly, they have to have played themselves in a movie. If we even started looking at TV shows, all the people with series named after them would make up the top five (we’re looking at you, Seinfeld and Louie), and that’s a no-brainer. No, we here at Stars & Popcorn like to waste a ridiculous amount of time each week bringing you lists that don’t really matter in the grand scheme of things. So, sit back and kiss your productivity good bye, because this week’s top 10 is coming in hot.
10. Martin Sheen (Hotshots: Part Deux)- Let’s start this off with one of the most brilliant cameos in cinema history. For those of you who haven’t seen Hotshots: Part Deux, it’s a spoof film that stars Charlie Sheen as a commando trying to save a few POWs. While on a boat during a voice over, Charlie passes his father in another boat doing one of the voice overs from Apocalypse Now. They hear each other, stand and say, in unison, “I loved you in Wall Street.” Sure, they never say Martin Sheen’s name, but that is probably one of the most brilliant cameos in cinematic history, and I can say that because it’s my job. Sure, it’s not essential to the plot, but that’s why it’s so great. It’s a pointless and absurd cameo, and we couldn’t love it any more if we tried.
9. Chuck Norris (Dodgeball: A True Underdog Story)- To this day, I’m still surprised at how well Dodgeball turned out, and while I’m not saying it’s because of Chuck Norris, it sure didn’t hurt to have him in the film. He plays the final judge in the big dodgeball tournament at the end of the film. I’m not going to spoil the ending (because knowing the end of the film would ruin the experience for you), but he is responsible for a crucial moment in the movie. He’s literally on screen for only a few minutes, but come on, it’s Chuck Norris. Personally, I don’t get the rabid enthusiasm for the guy (I’ve always been more of a Bruce Lee fan), but he’s still incredibly popular (thanks in part to the internet). Still, I’m not going to take this away from him. It was a pretty awesome cameo, so thank you Mr. Norris.