To spare the effect of surprise, because it is a simple cameo, or sometimes out of modesty, some talents refused to be credited in the credits for their roles. Here are eight examples.
Edward Norton in “Kingdom of Heaven” (2004)
Under the mask: Baldwin IV, the leper king from Kingdom of Heaven. It is an unrecognizable and extraordinary Edward Norton who lends his features to this fantastic character. The actor insisted that no one knew that he played this one, until his name was removed from the credits. It was however added when the film of Ridley Scott released on DVD in its long version.
Jason Statham in “Collateral” (2004)
In the opening moments of Michael Mann’s lavish film, Tom Cruise collides with another man in an airport crowd, supposedly giving him a briefcase. This character is embodied by neither more nor less than Jason Statham, who is satisfied with this flash appearance, since he will be absent from the rest of the film. One can easily think that it is about Frank Martin, hero of the Transporter (2002) and its continuations. Believing that this “role” was more of the mini cameo than anything else, the actor asked not to be credited in the credits.
Glenn Close in “Hook” (1991)
Impossible to guess when you watch the film for the first time, but it’s the famous Fatal Link star who is hiding under that beard. Glenn Close therefore plays the small role of a pirate suspected of treason by Captain Hook, and who is condemned to the terrible torture of the “booze box”.
Gary Oldman in “Hannibal” (2001)
In Hannibal, Gary Oldman, totally unrecognizable, plays Mason Verger. Rich billionaire pedophile, he was seduced by Hannibal Lecter and during an evening too drunk and accompanied by illicit substances, the latter pushed him to mutilate his own face … The actor considered, with very good reason , that it would be much more relevant if his name was not credited in the credits, to spare the effect of surprise. The effect was in any case successful: its composition is the most disturbing of the whole film.
Gene Hackman in “Frankenstein Junior” (1974)
Signed by a Mel Brooks in great shape, together with Gene Wilder, Frankenstein Junior is a delirious tribute to the films of James Whale. And it is an understatement to say that Gene Hackman, who had triumphed three years earlier in French Connection and left his brilliant composition in the drama The scarecrow – his favorite role besides – did not quite have the profile of the comic actor. In the guise of a blind hermit, he nevertheless reveals himself brilliant in a sequence of 4 min, which goes well beyond the simple cameo. Friend of Gene Wilder, Hackman refused to be credited in the credits. Eager to try his hand at acting, he also did this as a favor to Wilder.
Tom Cruise in “Thunder in the Tropics” (2008)
And here’s a great uncredited appearance in the credits of a film: that of Tom cruise in the guise of the hairy Les Grosman in Tonnerre sous les Tropiques. The gruff producer with murderous lines quickly won the favor of spectators at the time, thanks to his atypical look, his outspokenness but also his dance moves. Comedy is not the register in which Tom Cruise is most famous; and yet the sequence is cult. Ben Stiller was rather mixed at first but a backgroundless improvised choreography by Tom Cruise, complete with the character’s costume and make-up, finally convinced him and Les Grossmans was born. Tom Cruise’s instinct and creativity finally paid off as Les Grossmans became a cult figure with iconic lines, such as “Take a big step back and literraly f — ck your own face” back and you’re going to stick it in your fucking ass “, in French)
Matt Damon in “Interstellar” (2014)
Before leaving to explore the planet Mars for Ridley scott, Matt Damon stopped by Christopher Nolan in his film Interstellar, as Dr. Mann. Revealing in the last part of the film, his participation was however kept secret. Successful bet: nobody saw his character arrive, who turns out to be the bad guy in the film. He lured the Endurance crew with false data to be rescued. The planet he discovered turns out to be, contrary to what he makes believe, totally unlivable, and in addition he tries to kill Cooper (Matthew McConaughey)
Sean Connery in “Robin Hood, Prince of Thieves” (1991)
A mini appearance for a maxi cachet. In Robin Hood, Prince of Thieves, Sean Connery appears less than a handful of minutes at the very end of the film, in the guise of King Richard the lionheart, finally back from the Crusades. Barely two days of filming for his cameo sequence, for which he is not even credited. This did not prevent him from being paid $ 250,000. We refuse nothing or almost nothing to Sean Connery. However, he donated his stamp to a charity. And that’s still the class.