From Joy to Star Wars: The Force Awakens, celebs were making surprise appearances on screens this season

By Chancellor Agard
Updated December 31, 2015 03:45 PM
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Credit: Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures/Lucasfilm Ltd./Everett; Inset: ChinaFotoPress/Getty

‘Tis the season of … cameos.

From Joy to Star Wars: The Force Awakens, many movies released in December have featured familiar faces in surprising, yet funny and/or memorable bit parts. Here are some of the most memorable ones from the movies hitting theaters this holiday season.

1. Everyone in Star Wars: The Force Awakens

The J.J. Abrams-directed return to a galaxy far, far away was chock-full of cameos, which made it very hard to pick just one. There was Daniel Craig playing a stormtrooper in one of the movie’s pivotal scenes, and Greg Grunberg and Lost‘s Ken Leung, who play members of the Resistance.

Several stars also lent their voices to the movie. Trainwreck‘s Bill Hader and Parks and Recreation alum Ben Schwartz helped create BB-8’s voice. In one pivotal scene involving scavenger Rey, moviegoers can hear Ewan McGregor and the late Alec Guinness’ voices as someone says, “Rey … these are your first steps.”

2. Margot Robbie in The Big Short

Robbie is one of several celebrities who show up in this movie about the financial crisis of ’08 and break the fourth wall to explain the complicated financial concepts that led to the crash. The Wolf of Wall Street star casually explains mortgages as she lounges in a bathtub, surrounded by bubbles as she sips champagne. Anthony Bourdain, Selena Gomez, and behavioral economics professor Richard Thaler also show up with their own economics lessons.

3. John Cena in Daddy’s Home

This Trainwreck scene-stealer appears toward the end of this Will Ferrell-Mark Wahlberg comedy in a hilarious guest-spot that writer Sean Anders tells CinemaBlend was meant to bring the movie full circle.

4. Susan Lucci in Joy

Daytime Emmy Winner Lucci returns to her soap-opera roots in this Jennifer Lawrence-led movie. The All My Children alum plays Danica, a character in the favorite soap opera of Joy’s mother, Terry. General Hospital vets Laura Wright, Maurice Benard and Donna Mills are also part of this meta show-within-a-movie called The Joyful Storm.

5. The Hateful Eight‘s Spoiler Star

This cameo in Quentin Tarantino’s latest Western is too good to spoil. (However, a quick Google search could probably reveal the answer pretty easily).