Stunt casting and celebrity cameos in movies can often be amusing, but usually more distracting. Films like Zoolander 2, Entourage and Absolutely Fabulous depend on nudge-wink appearances by celebs to compensate for an absence of laughs. Here are five sporting superstars who should have stuck to the game plan…
Destined to become an internet meme, Beckham’s cameo in mate Guy Ritchie’s King Arthur: Legend of the Sword is as cringeworthy as you’d imagine. As the custodian of Excalibur and resembling a scarred outcast from Game of Thrones, he could have avoided derision had Ritchie not given him any dialogue. Needless to say, when it comes to acting, Becks is a great soccer player and underwear model.
The disgraced boxer was a dubious addition to The Hangover to be sure, but was it really a surprise in an excessively blokey comedy? While his tiger might have been vital to the plot, Tyson (who has admitted he was high on cocaine most of the time) was given far too much screen time, not least being allowed to perform a rendition of Phil Collins’ In the Air Tonight.
The Tour De France winner was yet to be exposed as a drug cheat when he appeared in Dodgeball in 2004, so there’s a certain irony in the inspirational advice he gives Vince Vaughn, who wants to quit the team: “I’m sure this decision won’t haunt you for the rest of your life.” Armstrong’s subsequent disgrace certainly haunted a legion of Dodgeball fans, with many declaring they’d never watch the film again. Armstrong has yet to apologise to them and Vaughn’s character, Peter LaFleur.
Not just a cameo, the former fast bowler was given a LEADING ROLE in the culture-clash comedy UnIndian, and proved as predictably wooden as the stumps he used to take aim at. Described upon its release in 2015 as a “Bollywood-goes-bogan car-crash”, suffice to say Lee hasn’t acted since.
Matt Dillon best sums up the NFL quarterback’s presence in There’s Something About Mary when he asks: “What the hell is Brett Favre doing here?” Favre wasn’t actually the Farrelly brothers’ first choice, they wanted Patriots star player Drew Bledsoe. Either way, the awkward performance would likely have been the same.