13 movies with iconic celebrity cameos that you can stream on Netflix, Disney+ Hotstar and Amazon Prime Video

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A great cameo can do wonders for a narrative, even if its for a few seconds. This is not a new-fangled concept. Alfred Hitchcock made the practice iconic by appearing in all of his movies in some way or the other. As a viewer, it’s especially thrilling to spot an unexpected cameo in a movie, especially when it’s cheeky like Keanu Reeves’ extended cameo in the 2019 rom-com Always Be My Maybe, or Subhash Ghai and Rishi Kapoor in Farah Khan’s Om Shanti Om, a movie that was packed with celebrity sneak peeks. Here’s a curated list of movies that have celebrities making a special appearance, as themselves or as iconic characters.

Om Shanti Om (2007)

There were many memorable things about Farah Khan’s tribute to Bollywood, like Shah Rukh Khan flashing his six-pack abs in a song about disco, Deepika Padukone’s debut in the industry, and the iconic ‘Bhaago’ scene. But nothing is more enduring than ‘Deewangi’, the song that had over 30 Bollywood celebrities dance together, under the same roof. Stars like Priyanka Chopra, Vidya Balan, Saif Ali Khan, Salman Khan, Sanjay Dutt, Shilpa Shetty, Rani Mukerji, Lara Dutta, and Kajol made an appearance in the song.

Streaming on Netflix

Ae Dil Hai Mushkil (2016)

Karan Johar’s ode to unrequited love had, not one but, two unexpected celebrity cameos. The first one comes when Ayan (Ranbir Kapoor) and Alizeh (Anushka Sharma) take their respective dates to a club where the DJ is none other than Alia Bhatt. The second celebrity who makes a cameo in the movie (one of many in which Ranbir Kapoor discovers himself in a beautiful foreign locale), is Shah Rukh Khan. Khan’s character is a painter who also happened to be the ex-husband of Saba (Aishwarya Rai Bachchan). He is a self-confessed unrequited love enthusiast and gives Ayan a valuable lesson about its power and beauty.

Streaming on Amazon Prime Video

Always Be My Maybe (2019)

One of the best parts about this rom-com written by Ali Wong and Randall Park, who also star as the leads, is Keanu Reeves playing a heightened version of himself. One of the internet’s favourite celebrities, the actor is known for his stoic demeanour and (a little) unnerving spirituality. In the movie, Reeves plays an exaggerated version of the actor we know and love, with lines like, “The only stars that matter are the ones you look at when you dream,” when told that he is someone’s favourite star.

Streaming on Netflix

The Interview (2014)

Aside from being solely responsible for provoking the 2014 Sony hack and several threats of a terrorist attack on the United States of America, this Seth Rogen and James Franco starrer also had several celebrity cameos littered throughout the movie. James Franco plays the role of a talk show host who is known for extracting the juiciest secrets and celebrity gossip from the horse’s mouth on his live show. His guests include stars like Zac Efron, Eminem, and Rob Lowe. Talk show hosts like Seth Meyers and Bill Maher also make an appearance.

Streaming on Amazon Prime Video

Haider (2014)

In Vishal Bhardwaj’s adaptation of Shakespeare’s tragedy Hamlet, late actor Irrfan Khan makes a special appearance as Roohdar, a character based on the Ghost from the original play. The small, yet significant role made an indelible mark in fans’ memories, especially because of the character’s cinematic entry in the movie. With a low, thumping bass in the background, Roohdar appears onscreen as a hazy, out-of-focus figure against a snowy backdrop. Once the actor gets closer to the camera, he flips his shawl dramatically and scowls towards the audience, easily making this one of the most iconic entry scenes in Bollywood.  

Streaming on Netflix

PK (2014)

Another well-guarded cameo secret was Ranbir Kapoor’s special appearance in Aamir Khan’s second collaboration with director Raju Hirani. At the end of this satire-comedy, PK (Aamir Khan) decides to return to his home planet after ensuring that Jaggu (Anushka Sharma) is happy. But in the epilogue, we see that he comes back to the planet, this time accompanied by a few of his planet mates, including a very naked and very big-eared Ranbir Kapoor who is nervous and thrilled at the opportunity to explore Earth. It was a fun little surprise for the audience to make up for the bittersweet ending.

Streaming on Netflix

The Big Short (2015)

As one of the most comprehensive and thorough studies of America’s financial system, this movie focuses on the events that led up to the 2007 housing market crash that eventually snowballed into the 2008 global recession. The makers of the movie knew that they would be tasked with making heavy financial jargon accessible to the average viewer so they brought on several celebrities to do the job—including Margot Robbie, Selena Gomez, chef Anthony Bourdain, and economist Richard Thaler.

Streaming on Amazon Prime Video

Deadpool 2 (2018)

You’d be forgiven for not knowing that Brad Pitt was, in fact, in the second instalment of  Deadpool. The actor makes a blink-and-you-miss appearance as Vanisher, a superhero whose superpower is invisibility, and thus spends most of his screen time, well, invisible. Vanisher is the part of Deadpool’s ill-fated group of mutants who were tasked with breaking Russel out of a prison-transfer convoy. Unfortunately all members, except Domino, die in a brutal yet hilarious, sequence and we get to see a glimpse of what Vanisher really looked like for a second as he gets fatally electrocuted.

Streaming on Disney+ Hotstar

Ki and Ka (2016)

Director R Balki’s take on gender roles in society gave us a special cameo by Amitabh Bachchan and Jaya Bachchan, who appeared in the movie as themselves. The legendary couple invite Arjun Kapoor’s character over to their house after he becomes viral for being a househusband who encourages his wife to go out and work. The sequence plays a pivotal role in orchestrating the film’s climax and the eventual happily ever after for the main couple.

Streaming on Voot

Ocean’s 8 (2018)

This spin-off from Steven Soderbergh’s Ocean trilogy is perhaps best known for putting together the most star-studded ensemble cast in recent history. The eight members who come together to pull off a daring heist include Sandra Bullock, Cate Blanchette, Sarah Paulson, Anne Hathaway, Rihanna, Mindy Kaling, Awkwafina, and Helena Bonham Carter. Aside from these certified heavy-hitters, the movie included a host of celebrity cameos—Kim Kardashian, Kendall Jenner, Kylie Jenner, Heidi Klum, Serena Williams, Gigi Hadid, Zac Posen, Katie Holmes, Hailey Baldwin, Anna Wintour, and Maria Sharapova—mostly because the climactic heist takes place at the annual Met Gala. 

Streaming on Amazon Prime Video

Interstellar (2014)

Christopher Nolan’s epic space adventure had viewers hooked from the get-go. So it came as surprise to the heavily invested audience when a familiar, yet completely unexpected, face cropped up in the latter half of the movie. Matt Damon, who should be crowned the king of unexpected cameos, appears in the movie as Dr Mann, a NASA astronaut who leads a pioneering mission through a wormhole to another galaxy. Damon’s appearance in the movie was kept a secret during the movie’s promotion and marketing to add to the organic tension created by the narrative.

Streaming on Netflix

Luck By Chance (2009)

Zoya Akhtar’s directorial debut, starring Farhan Akhtar and Konkona Sen Sharma, was all about the journey of struggling actors in Bollywood. So it doesn’t come as a surprise that it has several celebrity cameos sprinkled all throughout the movie. Bollywood actors like John Abraham, Ranbir Kapoor, Abhishek Bachchan, Aamir Khan, Anurag Kashyap, Ajay Devgn, Rani Mukerji, Sanjay Dutt, Vivek Oberoi, and Akshaye Khanna make an appearance. Shah Rukh Khan plays himself in a pivotal scene towards the end of the movie. But it’s Hrithik Roshan’s extended cameo, as popular actor Zafar Khan, that stands out, mostly because of the underrated circus-themed song ‘Beware’.

Streaming on Netflix

Salaam Namaste (2005)

This film from the Noughties has everything you can ask from a classic rom-com—a meet-cute riddled with misunderstandings, supportive BFFs, cheesy romantic moments, and fluffy humour. It also has an action-filled climax filled with tears, love confessions and a celebrity cameo. In a climax heavily ‘inspired’ from the 1995 rom-com Nine Months, starring Hugh Grant and Julianne Moore, Abhishek Bachchan makes a special appearance as the bumbling and overly flustered obstetrician, played by Robin Williams in the original. 

Streaming on Amazon Prime Video

Also read:

12 star-studded Bollywood and Hollywood movies to stream on Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, and Disney+ Hotstar

10 of the best actor cameos in music videos

19 of the biggest Indian OTT releases on Netflix, Amazon Prime Video and Disney+ in 2021

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