If you’ve seen Interstellar, you know exactly what cameo I’m talking about. [spoiler] is an awesome actor for sure (his name will not be revealed here – you’re welcome), but who are some other individuals that would have been just as great, if not better?
The main thing I’m going for here is the element of surprise. That’s what most cameo appearances are about anyway, so the goal here is to both be surprising and delightful. It’s an added plus, of course, if the person is actually good at acting.
Also, I’m not ranking the following people in any particular order. So don’t get worked up if somebody appears before another person.
Let’s get started!
It’s hard to imagine Tom Cruise accepting a cameo role when he’s still churning out quality movies like Oblivion and Edge of Tomorrow with female costars often delegated to the role of “helpless/clueless female” and no real male costar since Collateral (other than ensemble castings like the Mission: Impossible series), but if he can do Tropic Thunder, I’m sure he would be okay with taking a smaller role in a Christopher Nolan film for crying out loud.
Of course, the nature of the cameo was so surprising, he would probably end up stealing the show anyway. [spoiler] almost did it himself (for better or for worse – more on that later), so I don’t see why Cruise – one of the most charismatic dudes out there – wouldn’t be able to do it.
Also, Cruise needs to be the bad guy more often. As Collateral and even Magnolia showed, Tom Cruise is pretty good at being an evil scumbag. Even better, he could finally run on a planet that isn’t Earth, which I’m sure he wants to scratch off his bucket list.
Right now, he’s my number one candidate (yes, I did say none of these individuals are ranked in any way, but Cruise was the inspiration for this list). I guess I’m a big homer for Tom Cruise, but whatever.
Anyway, like I said, I’m looking for a sizeable surprise factor. Cruise is always the star of his movies, which makes him an unlikely contender for any cameo role/speculation. Even in Tropic Thunder, nobody knew it was him until they saw the credits roll.
I really think people’s heads would get blown up if Cruise was in Interstellar instead of [spoiler]. Or maybe a wormhole would appear.
Having said all that… a cameo isn’t really supposed to distract people from the movie and especially the movie’s actors. Matthew McConaughey has been on fire for three years now, at least, but Tom Cruise has been on fire for decades; he would overshadow everybody else in the film, which is going too far.
That’s why [spoiler] was such a great choice – established, famous, but not ridiculously so. He genuinely seems like a down-to-earth guy (as a person, not his crazy character). Tom Cruise is already floating out there in a galaxy of his own and that has as much to do with his cockiness/arrogance as it does his long resume.
Here’s another way to put it. When [spoiler] was revealed, people collectively said, “Holy shit.” If Tom Cruise was in that same position, I imagine people would be fairly polarized. Some people would be happy and some people would be grossed out. Then, there would be the profound disbelief, which stems from what I wrote above. Instead of just “Holy shit,” it would be more like “Holy guacamole dumped on a fresh burrito with a dash of cilantro!”
That’s just too distracting, especially for a movie like Interstellar.
Another point: can Tom Cruise dial it down? Going back to Tropic Thunder, the cameo was made for him, and it helped he was in disguise. He was just himself and it worked. If anything, that movie asked him to dial it up.
Yet, none of that might matter – his very presence is just that powerful and distracting. Maybe it wouldn’t work in Interstellar (but I sure as heck would’ve liked to see it happen).
Think about all the half-assed conspiracy theories that would pop up if Chris Pratt was in Interstellar. Consider Pratt’s role as Star-Lord in Guardians of the Galaxy (and the Marvel Universe by association), Christopher Nolan’s superhero history (the Batman movies duh), and the context of the cameo role, and you could start shit up by discussing a massive collaboration between Marvel and DC, leading to a 2025 movie called Avengers of the Universe Versus Batman and Superman: Give Us Your Money or something along those lines.
Plus, Pratt is just on the verge of turning into a true movie star, what with voicing the protagonist in The LEGO Movie, being Star-Lord, and starring in the upcoming Jurassic World.
He wouldn’t be a distraction (well… more on that a few paragraphs down) and he’s a good actor. Maybe he could even inject some humor into Interstellar, an evil film that mostly focuses on getting people to cry.
Which I definitely didn’t do.
Pratt isn’t kooky like Tom Cruise, and he’s pretty much universally liked, both because of his recent roles and his role on Parks and Recreation. I think it would be a good fit.
There are only two negatives here: overexposure and the fact that the character is a piece of shit.
Chris Pratt has been in a lot of big stuff lately, including pop culture news, so it wouldn’t be a massive surprise if he showed up in Interstellar. [spoiler] is a big name, but he hasn’t been in anything particularly important lately. I mean, it was one of those rare moments where everybody knows exactly who he is, but there’s just something inexplicably monumental – in a good way – about him showing up.
Perhaps the more important question is this, however: can Chris Pratt be a piece of shit? Does he even want to be a character like that? It’s actually more than a rhetorical question because I haven’t seen some of the more serious movies he’s been in, like Moneyball and Zero Dark Thirty.
You may not recognize the name, but you probably know his face. He was Stringer Bell on The Wire and is currently the title character on Luther, the excellent BBC One series. He has experience in sci-fi and space-related movies (Prometheus, Pacific Rim, and the Thor movies), like our previous candidates, although that’s not a requirement to be considered.
Elba brings some added diversity to the movie, although Interstellar is more diverse than some (most?) of Christopher Nolan’s films. Still, Michael Caine must feel pretty lonely being the only one with a non-American accent (if I remember correctly) – there’s nobody better than Elba for that particular problem.
And no, Benedict Cumberbatch is not going to be on this list. He’s both too famous and too popular right at this very moment.
Of course, the problem with Elba might be that he’s not famous enough. Having to start his section off with a disclaimer about whether or not you know his name is not a good sign for a big movie like Interstellar.
Oh well, Idris. At least we’ll always have your badass inspirational speech from Pacific Rim.
Speaking of diversity, let’s get another cool minority in here.
How about an actress? Is there someone out there who can supplement the work done by Anne Hathaway and Jessica Chastain?
I have no idea. I really don’t. Here are the criteria we’ve established so far through Cruise, Pratt, and Elba:
- The person must be famous, but not on an overwhelming level. Cruise is way too famous, Pratt is just right, and Elba isn’t quite there yet – at least in the US.
- The person must have gone through a dry spell recently. Cruise is always consistently strong, Pratt is at his career high right now, and Elba is a less extreme combination of Cruise and Pratt.
There are not a lot of female candidates if we go by those standards. People like Jennifer Lawrence and Scarlett Johansson are famous and have been in a lot of things. Someone like Amy Adams isn’t famous enough – a fact that only gets exacerbated because actresses generally don’t have the same oomph as their male counterparts (just making an observation).
Think about it – Amy Adams has been nominated for multiple Oscars (FIVE!!) and she’s recently been in some quality films like American Hustle and Her. Yet, she wouldn’t make that much of a splash in a celebrity cameo, unless you were making a short film for a college class and she owed you.
Because of that discrepancy, it’s almost inevitable that we reverse the criteria and pick an actress that is ideally fairly famous and recognizable right now. That brings us to the following candidates: Jennifer Lawrence, Scarlett Johansson, Emma Stone, maybe Shailene Woodley, Angelina Jolie…
Wait a second. That’s it! Angelina Jolie!
In 2010, Jolie starred in The Tourist and Salt. The next four years, she didn’t really act in any movies, other than voicing the character Tigress from the Kung Fu Panda “franchise.” She just did Maleficent, but whatever. My point is that she’s still a strong household name even though she has mostly been behind the camera for almost half a decade.
She would truly be an unexpected choice for Interstellar; there’s a very possible chance that her hypothetical cameo would be a bigger deal than even Tom Cruise (sorry buddy). Even better, she has the acting chops to convincingly portray an astronaut. She’s the right age for the role too, unlike other actresses with similar clout, like Meryl Streep (sorry buddy).
I am a genius. A goddamn genius.
The cameo character’s sinister motives are also perfect for an evil-looking lady like Jolie.
What are the possible negatives for an Angelina Jolie cameo? None that I can think of, except for the superficial ones that have to do with appearance and her physique. Would she have to bulk up for this, or would she just stay in the ambiguous astronaut suit (which [spoiler] doesn’t do)?
Honestly, I don’t really care. She would be great for the cameo.
These are the people I also considered, but didn’t meet the criteria for whatever reasons.
- Billy Crudup: Not famous enough; he would be an excellent choice for many other reasons.
- Tom Hardy: Fulfills the non-American accent, although I’m not sure he’s famous enough. At least he was in Inception and The Dark Knight Rises.
- Shia LaBeouf: Just fucking with you… or am I!?!?!?!!??!??!?!?!?!?!!?
- Leonardo DiCaprio: Very interesting choice. I think it could work, you know, as long as he squints a lot. Really though, he’s way too famous.
- Josh Brolin: A suggestion from my friend, Kevin. The intangibles are all there: acting chops, age, ability to be a villain. However, is Josh Brolin famous enough on a mainstream level?
- Emily Blunt: I would really, really, really love to see that happen. Not enough star power though – but she does have a British accent. On the other hand, she’s married to Jim from The Office. I don’t know how that’s relevant – just thought I should mention it. Grr…
- Anna Kendrick: Definitely a convincing astronaut. Unfortunately, not even close to enough star power. Plus, she’s way too young.
- Kate Beckinsale: Intriguing choice, although her career path seems determined to stay away from good movies.
- Sandra Bullock: Another Kevin suggestion. As a certain movie called Gravity showed, she has all the intangibles and she’s fairly recognizable thanks to a long and fairly steady career. Unfortunately, because Gravity exists, it would be distractingly hilarious to see her show up in another space film so soon.
- Gwyneth Paltrow: I just want to see her blow up.
So. What about you? Who would you consider for the role?