CinemaBlend participates in affiliate programs with various companies. We may earn a commission when you click on or make purchases via links.
It is never a surprise to see an A-lister like Brad Pitt play the lead of the latest blockbuster. What is surprising, and sometimes even more memorable, is when he makes a guest appearance on a Friends episodes, or lends his voice to a smaller role in an animated film like Happy Feet Two, or finally takes a part in one of the Marvel movies (such as, for instance, Deadpool 2) that only lets him show his face for mere seconds.
Those are only a few examples of the times the Academy Award-winning star of such hits as Fight Club and Once Upon a Time in Hollywood spent a moment out of the spotlight and on the sidelines in classy and hilarious fashion. The following is a list of highlights from Brad Pitt’s career as an all-star of cameos, such as this (very) brief appearance in another modern classic.
Being John Malkovich (Himself)
There are many celebrities who appear as themselves in writer Charlie Kaufman and director Spike Jonze’s 1999 fantasy dramedy, Being John Malkovich, including John Malkovich in the title role, who learns about about a portal that sends people directly into his mind. When Craig Schwartz (John Cusack), who found the portal in a Manhattan office building, discovers he can occupy the two-time Academy Award nominee’s mind indefinitely, he uses the opportunity to finally make a living as a puppeteer, inspiring a televised documentary about his success. Popping up in that doc during red carpet footage is none other than Brad Pitt, who makes his half a second on camera worth it with an almost charmingly smug side eye at future Get Out star Catherine Keener’s character, Maxine.
Friends (Will Colbert)
Just a couple of years later, Brad Pitt had a much larger role in one of the best Friends Thanksgiving episodes of the hit NBC sitcom’s 10-year run, called “The One with the Rumor.” In the Season 8 classic, he plays Will Colbert - an old friend of Ross (David Schwimmer) and Monica (Courteney Cox) with a life-long vendetta against his high school bully, Rachel, played by Pitt’s then-wife Jennifer Aniston, who discovers that he and Ross started the titular rumor of her being a hermaphrodite when they were teens during yet another hilariously problematic Turkey Day feast for the gang. It is no surprise that one of the best Friends guest appearances would earn Pitt his first Emmy Award nomination.
Confessions Of A Dangerous Mind (Bachelor #1)
You could technically call this other very brief spot in 2002’s Confessions of a Dangerous Mind the next of Brad Pitt’s most notable “TV show” appearances. As a supposed favor to his friend, George Clooney (who directed writer Charlie Kaufman’s adaptation of late TV personality Chuck Barris’ highly-fictionalized memoir about his double life as a CIA assassin), Pitt is seen as a contestant on the classic game show The Dating Game dressed in a cheesy 1970s get-up loud enough to make any words unnecessary. Another Ocean’s Eleven cast alum sitting silently next to him as Bachelor #2 is Matt Damon in one of three films he and Pitt both cameo in on this list.
King Of The Hill (Patch Boomhauer)
As for another genuine TV appearance by Brad Pitt that you may not have noticed when it first aired, in 2003, he lent his voice to creator and star Mike Judge’s long-running animated hit series King of the Hill in a Season 8 episode named after his character, Patch Boomhauer. The brother of the sometimes indecipherable, car-loving horndog, Jeff Boomhauer (voiced by Judge), comes into town to announce that he is engaged to marry his brother’s former flame, Katherine (voiced by fellow Oscar winner Laura Dern), but quickly shows signs of not being as committed to the relationship as he claims. Honestly, I would have given Pitt an Emmy Award (or at least a nomination) for how perfectly he matches Boomhauer’s motor-mouth cadence amid such a limited vocabulary.
Happy Feet Two (Will The Krill)
The second of Brad Pitt’s voice acting roles on our list is also the second movie cameo he shares with his friend and frequent collaborator Matt Damon. The duo spent hours together in a voice recording studio (an unusual method for many animated movies) to star in 2011’s Happy Feet Two as a pair of krill respectively named Will and Bill, whom you could infer are romantically linked by Bill’s heartbreaking reaction to Will wanting to “split up” after becoming the remaining members of their herd. These two Hollywood heavies effortlessly steal the show of Mad Max director George Miller’s follow-up to the Oscar-winning Happy Feet with hilarious dysfunctional banter as one of the ocean’s smallest known creatures.
The Jim Jefferies Show (Weatherman)
Being a Hollywood heavy is exactly what made Brad Pitt’s role as the resident weatherman of Comedy Central’s The Jim Jefferies Show so bewilderingly and hilariously unexpected. Apparently, the movie star, being a fan of the Australian host’s stand-up career, asked if he could have some involvement on the satirical talk show and gladly accepted giving comically bleak updates on climate change in a total of seven episodes before being “replaced” with Seth Rogen as Cole Kleen in 2018. However, Pitt was able to make a quasi reprisal of his meteorological role in a surprise appearance on John Krasinski’s Some Good News series on YouTube.
Deadpool 2 (Vanisher)
Of course, the one Brad Pitt cameo that I would genuinely deem as the most bewilderingly and hilariously unexpected is his role as the invisible X-Force member aptly named Vanisher in Deadpool 2. In fact, I think the blink-and-you-miss-it reveal in the 2018's Ryan Reynolds-led sequel, which he apparently accepted at the request of being compensated with Starbucks Coffee, is one of the funniest superhero movie cameos of all time, not counting any of the late Stan Lee’s appearances. Several moments from this particular movie also make that list, including Matt Damon as a redneck sharing his philosophy of toilet paper with his friend, played by Alan Tudyk, before having an awkward run-in with Josh Brolin as Cable.
Since Matt Damon is reportedly returning to his surprise role as “Actor Loki” from Thor: Ragnarok in the upcoming fourth installment, Thor: Love and Thunder, perhaps that is a sign that Brad Pitt should one-up his buddy by playing Vanisher again in Deadpool 3, if they can find a way to explain how he survived that electric shock. Or, is there another cameo by the actor and producer that you would rather see honored again?
This poll is no longer available.
Jason has been writing since he was able to pick up a washable marker, with which he wrote his debut illustrated children's story, later transitioning to a short-lived comic book series and (very) amateur filmmaking before finally settling on pursuing a career in writing about movies in lieu of making them. Look for his name in just about any article related to Batman.
Your Daily Blend of Entertainment News
Thank you for signing up to CinemaBlend. You will receive a verification email shortly.
There was a problem. Please refresh the page and try again.