Ten of the Best Author Cameos in Movie Adaptations

Posted by Allison Racicot

Nothing creates that stomach-churning feeling of exaltation and terror in the hearts of book lovers more than the news that their favorite book will be made into a movie. I mean, sure, the excitement level is insane, but at the same time, there’s also that fear in the back of your mind that the director will stomp all over something you’ve spent so much time poring over and loving. Something that can set readers’ minds at ease, though, is the author having something to do with the movie version of their book, sort of like a stamp of approval, and one of the coolest ways authors do this is by having cameos in the movie adaptations of their books.

Personally, I’ve got my fingers crossed for John Green to make an appearance in the upcoming The Fault in Our Stars adaptation (Have you read it? No? Go grab a copy and a box of tissues—it’s okay, I’ll wait), but in the meantime, here are ten other authors that have had cameos in movie versions of their own books.

Stephen King (Pet Sematary): Okay, okay, so Stephen’s had a cameo in pretty much all of the adaptations of his books, but the one included here is Pet Sematary, where he plays a minister who officiates Missy Dandrige’s funeral. I guess it’s only fitting that he plays the role of someone who lays people to rest while also being the literary master of horror, ghosts, and everything else that goes bump in the night.


The only screengrab we could find was in Spanish, but that really is Señor Palahniuk.

Chuck Palahniuk (Choke): His most famous novel is Fight Club, which is one of the few movie adaptations that are considered equal to the book, but have you seen Chuck? He’s so skinny, soft-spoken, and such a sweetheart; he’d stick out like a sore thumb among Tyler Durden and company. So what do you do? Put him in Choke, of course! Choke came out in 2008, and in the last few minutes of the movie, you can see Chuck as one of the passengers on the same plane as Victor, the main character.

You can lurk, but you can’t hide from our Giant Author-Seeking Arrows

Bryan Lee O’Malley (Scott Pilgrim vs. the World): There was a ton to see in Edgar Wright’s adaptation of Bryan’s graphic novel series, what with video game progress bars to observe and level-up coins to collect, so it’s totally understandable if you didn’t notice the series’ creator and his wife, Hope Larson, hanging out at Lee’s Palace, where Scott and his band, Sex Bob-Omb, got a gig opening for super indie band The Clash at Demonhead.

Also featuring Tobey Maguire’s cameo as “Andrew Garfield.”

Stan Lee (pretty much anything and everything Marvel): Arguably the Master of the Cameo, Stan has appeared in every Marvel movie adaptation of his comic books, from Iron Man and The Avengers to Spider-Man and Thor. No one can stop Stan, and honestly, who would want to? His cameos are smart, funny, and just generally kickass.

We couldn’t find a screengrab of his appearance, so pretend this is a deleted scene featuring the groundskeeper character, looking pensive, in…Colonial Williamsburg. Why not.

Jonathan Safran Foer (Everything is Illuminated): In the movie version of the critically acclaimed book, Elijah Wood plays a character named Jonathan Safran Foer. Since his name has a starring role, but he himself doesn’t, the author snuck into a scene where the movie Jonathan is looking at his grandfather’s grave. The groundskeeper blowing leaves in the background? The IRL JSF.

There is a certain roguish resemblance, no?

Hunter S. Thompson (Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas): A movie as drug-laced, crazy, and generally awesome as the book it was based on, Fear and Loathing sets a stage that’s rife for cameos, and the casting agents totally take advantage of it. The best one, though, comes from Hunter himself: at a music club, the camera takes in everything that Johnny Depp sees, and one of those things is the book’s author lighting a woman’s cigarette. Movie-Thompson notices him, says, “There I was…mother of God, there I am!” and creates one of the most tongue-in-cheek author cameos ever.

For Really Obvious Reasons, we are not going to show you the scene described below.

Irvine Welsh (Trainspotting): In Danny Boyle’s adaptation of his book, Irvine plays the drug dealer Mikey Forrester. Mikey gives Renton “opium suppositories” with a cheeky grin, and pretty much sets in motion the scene that takes place in the “worst toilet in Scotland.” If you’ve seen the movie, then you know what’s up; if you haven’t…you can use your imagination, if you want. But if you do decide to check it out, be warned—it really is the worst toilet in Scotland. And we get to see it, all thanks to Mikey Forrester.

Class act(ing). And she isn’t even clutching those pearls!

Kathryn Stockett (The Help): Let’s be totally straightforward here—someone who can come up with lines as simultaneously hysterical and cringe-inducing (and enough to break Dean Winchester’s heart) about pie as Kathryn did deserves to have a cameo in every movie ever, so it’s only fitting that she appears in the Oscar-nominated adaptation of her own novel while rockin’ a snazzy sixties hairdo, in a scene with the Junior League.

Sachar (right), scanning the horizon for Kissin’ Kate Barlow.

Louis Sachar (Holes): Oh man, Holes. I remember reading this book in sixth grade, and whenever I would finish reading it, I’d just turn it back to the front cover and start reading all over again. In the movie adaptation of Holes, Louis made an appearance in a flashback, playing Mr. Collingwood, a man getting advice from Sam on the best way to help his hair grow (hint: it’s onion cream).

Yo dawg, I heard you like writing books that become movies, so I put your book in your movie so you can read while you…act?

Emily Giffin (Something Borrowed): This one might be one of most semi-meta cameos on the list. There’s a scene in this 2011 rom-com where two of the characters, Rachel and Marcus, are sitting on a bench in the middle of a park, and Marcus is discussing some stuff that…probably shouldn’t be discussed on a bench in the middle of a park. Emily plays the woman sitting next to them, looking slightly grossed out at first and then turning back to her book, a copy of Something Blue, which is the sequel to Something Borrowed. And that’s something cool.