#NewsBytesExplainer: Breaking down the concept of cameos in films
What's better than waiting with bated breath to watch your favorite actor on screen? To be pleasantly surprised by another actor you had no idea was associated with the project! Cameos in films have always been loved by audiences, and repeatedly proved that it's not the length of the role, but its gravity and impact that stays with the movie-goer. Let's break them down.
Actors often appear briefly in songs, memory sequences
A cameo refers to a brief appearance by an actor/celebrity in a film. At times, multiple actors can grace a project with their presence in a song/flashback/memory/dream sequence. An extended cameo is also another device used by filmmakers, where an actor appears in multiple consecutive scenes (usually for 10-15 minutes) and has a pivotal role in the larger narrative and story.
Cameos attract more viewers, increase the film's outreach
Macmillan Dictionary Blog describes a cameo as "an appearance by a well-known person in a work of art. These brief performances are often given by celebrities, musicians, athletes, and politicians. It is not uncommon for performers to appear as their real-life selves, though embedded in the narrative." The usage of an actor/celebrity ensures more viewership and can catapult the film's popularity exponentially.
Directors and actors often appear in cameo roles in Hollywood
Legendary comic book writer Stan Lee was famous for appearing in several Marvel films such as The Incredible Hulk and Iron Man 3, etc. Iconic director Alfred Hitchcock, too, often had minor appearances in his movies such as The Lodger and Psycho, among others. David Bowie in Zoolander, Cate Blanchett in Hot Fuzz, and Matt Damon in Thor: Ragnarok are some other noteworthy instances.
Which one is your favorite Hindi film cameo?
Bollywood films are decked up with cameos in varying forms. For instance, Shah Rukh Khan's extended appearance in Brahmastra: Part One—Shiva became the movie's selling point, while Ranbir Kapoor's minutes-long take in Govinda Naam Mera infused energy into the whole film. Salman Khan in Kuch Kuch Hota Hai, Hrithik Roshan in Don 2, Amitabh Bachchan in all R Balki films, are other prominent examples.
'Om Shanti Om' has no dearth of cameos!
Farah Khan Kunder's Om Shanti Om enjoys a well-earned spot here because of its iconic party number Deewangee Deewangee, which featured the who's who of the industry. Tabu, Saif Ali Khan, Govinda, Urmila Matondkar, Sanjay Dutt, Malaika Arora, Dharmendra, Suniel Shetty, Juhi Chawla, and Kajol, among several others, made the song immortal with their presence. Several other actors appeared briefly in other scenes, too.