What’s this summer’s must-have celebrity accessory (other than a Hermes beach towel)? A cameo role in a blockbuster movie, that’s what. Read on to find out where (and why) Britney Spears, Pam Anderson, Tom Cruise, Gwyneth Paltrow, and many other stars are turning up on the big screen.
”MEN IN BLACK II”
WE SPY Michael Jackson as a man in black wannabe (No, he’s not playing an alien); Biz Markie bridging the music-film gap to beat-box with Will Smith in the post office; ”Mr. Show”’s David Cross is back as a video store attendant; and stunt maniac Johnny Knoxville as a two-headed alien.
RHYME & REASON Jacko got involved on his own initiative — he dialed up director Barry Sonnenfeld. Hey, would YOU turn down a phone call from a Mr. Michael Jackson? The Biz knows Will Smith through their collaboration on ”So Fresh,” off Smith’s 1999 album ”Willennium.” Cross, who had to audition to win his role in ”Men in Black,” returns as a newfound celebrity. Knoxville appears to have quickly become a favorite of director Barry Sonnenfeld, whom he last worked with on April’s ”Big Trouble.” With his MTV series up in the air, Knoxville has found a new way to make a ”Jackass” of himself.
”AUSTIN POWERS IN GOLDMEMBER”
WE SPY Austin Powers, Dr. Evil, Mini-Me, and new faux-Bond chick Dixie. Not impressed? What if we told you they were played by Tom Cruise, Kevin Spacey, Danny DeVito, and Gwyneth Paltrow — and were directed by Steven Spielberg in the opening scene’s mock ”Austin Powers” movie. Also spotted: Britney Spears (as a fembot) battling Powers with her enhanced, er, guns; and bit appearances from the Osbournes (though their funniest bits show up in the outtakes); Katie Couric (as a prison guard); and Quincy Jones and Fred Savage (both as themselves).
RHYME & REASON Myers’ pal Spielberg agreed to his cameo and then recruited his ”Minority Report” star Cruise and longtime friend Paltrow. Spears’ role is more synergistic cross-promotion than anything else: Myers pops up in the video for her latest single, a Neptunes remix of ”Boys” that appears on the soundtrack, and the two share a recent Pepsi commercial. Myers and director Jay Roach pushed for the Osbournes cameo out of adoration and finally got it in late April — long after the film had wrapped.