Judd Apatow Talks Having Rapper Cameos In Most Of His Films

Judd Apatow talking with Pete Davidson in the making of The King Of Staten Island

Judd Apatow is known for overloading his movies with excellent comedians – a benefit of having been a part of the entertainment industry for multiple decades – but those not paying attention may have missed another interesting tendency in his casting process: his habit of working with rap artists. It's a pattern that has continued with his latest directorial effort, The King Of Staten Island, and Apatow had the chance to comment on it while doing the virtual promotional press rounds last month.

Appearing as a guest on Late Night with Seth Meyers, Judd Apatow was asked about the impressive list of talent that is featured in the Pete Davidson-led comedy, including the likes of Marisa Tomei, Steve Buscemi, Bill Burr, and more – but a tangent was inspired with the host's mention of Action Bronson. The filmmaker ran with the subject, and in so doing basically made the comedic suggestion that there are clues via key cameos in his his larger body of work that led to the making of The King Of Staten Island:

I love having cameos. Like RZA is in Funny People and Ghostface Killah is in Walk Hard and Method Manis in Trainwreck, so I’m just working through the whole Wu-Tang Clan. It’s my tribute to Staten Island over a career.

Perhaps it can now be a specific goal of Judd Apatow's to get every member of the Wu-Tang Clan to appear in a movie that he at least works on as a producer. Including Ol' Dirty Bastard obviously isn't doable, but it would be cool if fans could be on the lookout for GZA, Raekwon, Inspectah Deck, U-God, and Masta Killa cameos in Apatow's upcoming projects.

As for rapper representation in The King Of Staten Island specifically, the writer/director seemed overjoyed to have the opportunity to discuss the work done by Action Bronson in the new comedy, and added that he isn't the only musical talent that is featured:

People aren’t talking enough about how Action Bronson has a key role in the movie. You know we needed a strange neighborhood figure – I don’t want to give away what all happens in the sequence – and Action Bronson was the only one who was hysterically funny. Also Machine Gun Kelly is in the movie as well as a mean tattoo shop owner.

Action Bronson's role in The King Of Staten Island is brief, but he most definitely is a highlight. Appearing towards the end of the film, he gets some of the movie's biggest laughs as a man who has sustained a terrible injury and stumbles his way into the firehouse where Pete Davidson's character is alone.

If you haven't seen The King Of Staten Island yet, all that's really stopping you is the motivation, as the film was released on premium video-on-demand last month and is available for both rental and purchase with the click of a button.

Eric Eisenberg
Assistant Managing Editor

Eric Eisenberg is the Assistant Managing Editor at CinemaBlend. After graduating Boston University and earning a bachelor’s degree in journalism, he took a part-time job as a staff writer for CinemaBlend, and after six months was offered the opportunity to move to Los Angeles and take on a newly created West Coast Editor position. Over a decade later, he's continuing to advance his interests and expertise. In addition to conducting filmmaker interviews and contributing to the news and feature content of the site, Eric also oversees the Movie Reviews section, writes the the weekend box office report (published Sundays), and is the site's resident Stephen King expert. He has two King-related columns.