Book adaptations can lead to a weird mixture of excitement and trepidation. On the one hand, we're eager to see how the story and characters will come to life. But also, there's the possibility of altered storylines that don't stay true to the book or random characters being erased from the picture. We never truly know what to expect, but one thing that still gets us pretty stoked is seeing the original author get involved behind the scenes - or even better, seeing them appear in the film!
In most cases, these author cameos are easy to miss because they last for a mere few seconds. Meanwhile, others are lucky enough to snag important roles, whether it be a film producer or news reporter. Either way, it's always a pleasant surprise to see these familiar faces acting alongside the very characters that they created. See which author cameos you might have missed before.
Stephen King, whose writing has definitely given us nightmares, made a cameo as a minister in Pet Sematary, which was based on his novel of the same name. It didn't do so well commercially, but the second remake, which was released earlier this year, had a big opening weekend and debuted at No. 2. Stephen didn't appear in the newer version, but the author still made several cameos in other adaptations of his works. For instance, he played a pharmacist in Thinner, a pizza guy in Rose Red, a bus driver in Golden Years, a reporter in The Storm of the Century, a cemetery caretaker in Sleepwalkers, and Tom Holby in The Langoliers.
Remember that scene where Dallas was being super rude to his nurse? That nurse was actually S.E. Hinton, and while her character seemed super annoyed on camera, she was super friendly with the cast behind the scenes. In an interview, she revealed how the main cast viewed her as a mother figure: "I mean, they took all these little kids and turned them loose in Tulsa with no adult supervision or adult backup. So I immediately took on the job of being their den mother. Greaser den mother is what they called me."
This wasn't the only time she cameoed in an adaptation of her work. Four of her books got turned into films and she was able to appear in three, including The Outsiders. In Tex, she played a typing teacher and in Rumble Fish, she played a sex worker.
Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures
Not that many authors can boast that they had tons of fun working on the film adaptations of their work, but luckily for Kathryn, it was an experience to remember. The author got to work with an old-time friend, Tate Taylor, who got rights to her book and also wrote the screenplay. But best of all, she got herself a part as one of the ladies at the Junior League meeting. She said: "I had a big old bouffant haircut. I actually had to bend it down to get in the movie van." FYI, that was all her real hair, not a wig!
The author made not one, but two appearances in the infamous Twilight saga. Most are already familiar with her appearance in the first installment, where she popped up as a random customer with her laptop in a diner. But in Breaking Dawn: Part 1, she also appeared as one of the guests at Bella and Edward's wedding (though she wasn't sitting front and center).
Regarding her first cameo, she said: "They thought it would be, you know, cute for the fans because most of them would recognize me. I was thinking it was going to be more like a Where’s Waldo thing. Like I walk by for one second in a crowd and if they can find me, cool. That’s the one scene in the movie I would happily cut, the first five seconds, and the one that I had to watch like, I mean like this, ‘Ah, is it over yet?’ It was really hard for me."
20th Century Fox
Though the rest of us were understandably disappointed about John Green's cameo scene getting cut from The Fault In Our Stars, John felt differently. He shared: "I was hugely relieved when I got the call when they had cut the scene. I was terrible." But fortunately for us, we got another opportunity to see him cameo in an adaptation. Though "see" might not be the best way to describe it... In Paper Towns, it's John's voice, rather than his physical appearance, that makes the cut. He voiced an angry father who only appeared as a shadow holding a weapon while yelling about having a gun. If you didn't catch this, don't feel so bad - John's own wife didn't notice it either.
Honestly, this YA author deserves an award for "Most Adorable Author Cameo Ever." In the movie, there's a flashback scene where Lara and Lucas are on the dance floor during the homecoming dance. And as they take over the dance floor, we see a beaming Jenny standing in the background, acting as chaperone. Regarding her cameo, Jenny said: "It was exciting and I was so nervous. I was excited for it to be a surprise for the fans to see me. It was fun to actually be on set."
In one of the last scenes in the film, you'll notice Julie at the drag bar between her husband and the film's screenwriter, Kristin Hahn. Julie said: "I'm actually pretty camera-shy and so when they had approached me with the idea of filming a cameo, I immediately was like "no, I don't think I could ever do this." But once I was on set I realized that this was a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity, and they also said that my husband who was traveling could do it [with me]." The cast and crew were also sweet enough to come together and thank her for coming to the set.
Before the late author wrote his best-selling novel of the same name, he worked as a news reporter for the Washington Post. So it was only fitting that he'd land a brief cameo as a news reporter on the beach. If he could do it all again, though, he'd have probably never written the book to begin with. Fans actually started to see real-life sharks as villainous creatures that deserve to be killed. So after realizing how much damage his work had done, he became an ocean activist. He said: "What I now know, which wasn’t known when I wrote Jaws, is that there is no such thing as a rogue shark which develops a taste for human flesh. No one appreciates how vulnerable they are to destruction."
In this terrifying film, there's a scene where William (on the right) appears on the set of a movie that's being filmed. He portrays a film producer who asks if a certain scene is needed. But here's the kicker: That particular scene was inspired by real events because reportedly, William constantly questioned the director, William Friedkin, about his decisions regarding the film. We're willing to bet that he had no qualms about this scene being included...
Buena Vista Pictures
The popular YA author played Mr. Collingwood in one of the film's flashback scenes. Mr. Collingwood was a former resident of Green Lake in 1883 and he had a huge bald spot. But "I can fix that" Sam told Mr. Collingwood's wife that some onion tonic could help grow back his hair. He said: "Just rub this on his head every night Ms. Collingwood and before you know it, his hair's gonna be as long and as thick as Mary Lou's mane." Sounds like the perfect slogan for miracle-hair-growth products, doesn't it?
The emotional drama film featured a quick cameo by Ramona "Sapphire" Lofton. It's easy to miss but in the end scene, she appeared as a woman at a daycare center. Her book adaptation went on to become a major box office success. Plus, it got six Academy Awards nominations and won in two categories: Mo'Nique won for Best Supporting Actress and Geoffrey Fletcher, the screenwriter, won for Best Adapted Screenplay.
Do you remember that scene where Marcus matter-of-factly opens up to Rachel about his erectile disfunction while they're at Madison Square Park? Well, sitting on the bench right next to the pair was Emily Giffin herself. And of course, in her hand and on full display was a new copy of story's sequel, Something Blue. Talk about perfect product placement! We're sure almost every fan was able to catch that.
PolyGram Filmed Entertainment
Irvine made an appearance in both Trainspotting and its sequel, T2 Trainspotting. He cameoed as a drug dealer named Mikey Forrester, who would play an important role in both films. At first, the author was hesitant to have his books turned into movies. But Danny Boyle, who directed both, convinced Irvine to change his mind by writing him a letter, claiming that Andrew Macdonald (the producer) and John Hodge (the screenwriter) were "the two most important Scotsmen since Kenny Dalglish and Alex Ferguson."
MGM/UA Entertainment Co.
The writer actually appeared in one of the more memorable scenes. He was the angry bearded guy at the department store who told Ralphie and Randy: "The line ends here! It begins there!" And the woman right next to him in the Santa line? That was his real wife, Leigh Brown. Bob Clark, one of the screenwriters of the film, also made an appearance as a neighbor named Swede, who popped up during the Leg Lamp scene.
Fannie, who authored Fried Green Tomatoes at the Whistle Stop Cafe, appeared as the lady who led a self-help group for women. In the scene, she happily told her participants: "You can get that spark back into your marriage!" The author co-wrote the screenplay, which earned her an Academy Award nomination for Best Adapted Screenplay. She's also pretty well-known for being a semi-regular panelist on the game show, Match Game. Her other acting projects include Some of My Best Friends Are..., Five Easy Pieces, Grease, and Crazy in Alabama.
Though the author didn't play a major role in the making of the film, she got to make a quick appearance at the end. Kody said: "I wasn’t involved with the film, but I did get to go to set and meet the cast and some of the crew and I got to be a cameo in the movie, which was really fun to do... Towards the end, when everyone’s saying, 'I’m the DUFF,' I’m one of those people! There’s a clip of me where I’m standing against a wall and I look up and I say, 'I’m the DUFF!' That’s me."
Lee played the suspicious police desk sergeant who sat silently as Jack conversed with his lawyer while getting bailed out. It seemed like a rather insignificant part on the surfcace but, according to Lee, there was more to it. He said: "There’s a scene in the movie where Reacher’s lawyer springs him from a night in jail, and he has to stop by the police station’s front desk to pick up his possessions. As all Reacher fans know, he has only one possession—his folding toothbrush. They live in a world of story and symbolism, and they wanted Lee Child to pass the baton — in the form of the toothbrush — to Tom Cruise."
Warner Independent Pictures
At the beginning of the film, the author briefly appears. It's the scene where Jonathan, played by Elijah Wood, is looking at his grandfather’s grave. And in the background, you'll notice that there's a groundskeeper who's blowing leaves in the background. That guy is none other than the real Jonathan Foer. Unfortunately, the film adaptation was a box-office bomb, making only a small percentage of the overall budget.
The beloved comic book writer appeared in dozens of his comic book adaptations, including Thor, The Avengers, Iron Man, Spider-Man, and Guardians of the Galaxy. His roles have ranged from an emcee at a strip club to a World War II veteran, and according to Roy Thomas, Stan's successor as editor-in-chief of Marvel Comics, Stan was always thrilled to do a cameo. He said: "I think he was ready to go. But he was still talking about doing more cameos. As long as he had the energy for it and didn't have to travel, Stan was always up to do some more cameos. He got a kick out of those more than anything else."
In one scene, Sarah appeared as the woman in red and white, who looked at Rosie the elephant in surprise. We imagine that she had a blast during the filming process because she actually got to work with her family at the time. She explained: "When Rosie is by the vegetable stand I’m in the crowd looking shocked as she’s led away. One of my sons and my husband are in that scene and all of us are in the parade scene. My husband and I and our oldest son are walking on the sidewalk and our two youngest run out onto the street to walk beside the elephant."