Several directors have made cameo appearances in their own films, sometimes as uncredited characters. But there have been instances where they’ve made blink-and-miss appearances in the most sly ways. Here’s a list of 15 directors who’ve made subtle cameo appearances:


1. Bryan Singer – The Usual Suspects (1995)

In the opening scene, the one who plays Keyser Soze as he leaves the boat, is actually Bryan Singer! 


2. Steven Spielberg – The Lost World (1997)

If you look closely at the center of the TV screen (where the news is being telecast) you’ll see the reflection of the director himself!  


3. James Cameron – Titanic (1997)

The hands painting Rose’s portrait don’t belong to Leonardo DiCaprio! They are Cameron’s!

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4. Kevin Smith – Red State (2011)

Smith made a quick off-camera cameo towards the end of the film, as a prison inmate yelling “Shut the fuck up”. 

5. Alfred Hitchcock – Lifeboat (1944)

Notable for making an appearance in almost all of his films, the master of horror decided to play a little cheeky in Lifeboat as he appeared in a newspaper advertisement.


6. Jon Favreau – Iron Man (2008)

Remember Happy Hogan? Tony Stark’s assistant was none other than the director of the film!


7. Peter Jackson – Lord of the Rings: Return of the King (2003)

The director decided to play a Corsair pirate in Return of the King.


8. Martin Scorsese – Taxi Driver (1976)

The sick passenger who planned on killing his adulterous wife in Taxi Driver was none other than Scorsese himself!

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9. Quentin Tarantino – Inglorious Basterds (2009) 

Remember the first Nazi who was scalped by the Basterds? That’s Tarantino! He even appeared later in the Nation’s Pride film that was screened at the end, saying “Colonel, I implore you, we must destroy that tower!”


10. Michael Bay – Armageddon  (1998)

The uncredited NASA scientist holding the folder is actually the director of the film, Michael Bay. He is shown after Carl asks to name the asteroid Dottie.


11. Todd Phillips- The Hangover (2009)

After engaging in a lot of ‘lewd’ activities in the elevator scene in The Hangover, the director Todd Phillips makes a subtle appearance.


12. Manoj N. Shyamalan – The Village (2004)

When Bryce Howard comes out of the woods and asks the sheriff for some medicine. The guy at the store is Shyamalan!


13. David Cronenberg – The Fly (1986)

The Fly was a melange of suspense, romance and horror that left everyone gawking, to the extent that everyone missed David Cronenberg as the gynaecologist!

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14. David Lynch – The Dune (1984)

David Lynch wasn’t particularly happy with this film of his but he did make an appearance as a radio operator on the mining ship that was rescued from a sandstorm.


15. John Carpenter – Escape from New York (1981)

Shortly after arriving in the city, Snake Plissken enters an old theatre. In that same theatre scene, the violinist wearing the top hat is John Carpenter.