Why Stan Lee Likes Doing Cameos So Much

Stan Lee as FedEx driver in Captain America: Civil War

When you sit down to watch a Marvel movie, whether it's directly from Marvel Studios or hails from another studio, there's a 90% chance that you'll be treated to a Stan Lee cameo at some point. Since the release of 2000's X-Men, Lee has popped up in most Marvel movies in some form or fashion, and 94 years of age, he isn't showing any signs of letting go of his Cameo King title. As for why he enjoys making these appearances, Lee attributes it to fulfilling that childhood desire to be an actor. Lee explained:

It's fun. For about 12 seconds, I feel like I'm an actor. Every kid wants to be an actor. When I was a kid, I thought, 'Oh, it'd be great to be like Errol Flynn. I want to be an actor.' So I do my cameo. For that brief period, I'm an actor.

Stan Lee has already left his mark on comic book media through his decades of work and leadership at Marvel Comics, but through his cameo work, new generations are being introduced to him as an Easter egg and older fans are seeing him in a new light. It's fortunate, then, that Lee enjoys cameoing so much, as he told The Los Angeles Daily News. Even before Marvel movies became primo Hollywood fare, Lee was appearing to projects like Mallrats and the Trial of the Incredible Hulk TV movie, as well as lent his voice to numerous Marvel animated shows. Now his cinematic fame has soared, and to Lee's delight, he's now an actor after all these years, albeit in a special way.

While Stan Lee has missed a few Marvel movies over the years, like several X-Men entries, for the most part we can count on him to show up for a few seconds in any feature film that hails from the House of Ideas, even if it's a movie starring characters he didn't have a hand in creating. His appearances have ranged from drinking a bottle of poisoned soda in The Incredible Hulk to being a FedEx driver in Captain America: Civil War. He most recently appeared in Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 as an informant for The Watchers, and it was there that it was confirmed that he's been playing the same character in all the MCU movies. He's also graced a few Marvel TV shows, too, like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. and Agent Carter.

You can see Stan Lee's next Marvel cameo in Spider-Man: Homecoming (though Lee wouldn't disclose any details about how he's involved in the story), which opens in theaters tonight. He'll also appear in Thor: Ragnarok on November 3 and in Avengers: Infinity War on May 4, 2018.

Adam Holmes
Senior Content Producer

Connoisseur of Marvel, DC, Star Wars, John Wick, MonsterVerse and Doctor Who lore. He's aware he looks like Harry Potter and Clark Kent.