Most Memorable Music Video Celebrity Cameos in 2017

6:00 AM 12/23/2017

by Katie Kilkenny

Channing Tatum, Riz Ahmed and Natalie Portman were among the famous faces mugging for the music world this year.

Courtesy of VEVO

When music lovers look back on the celebrity appearances in music videos in 2017, they might best remember Charli XCX's July video for "Boys." Certainly, "Boys" featured at least 60 famous faces from YouTube, Snapchat, music and movies in various memorable roles — Khalid cuddling puppies, Jack Antonoff lifting pink weights — but it was hardly the only video this year that featured Hollywood stars. Take Natalie Portman's starring role in a James Blake video, or Channing Tatum's supporting part in a scene for P!nk. Find those cameos and more below.

  • Riz Ahmed in "Boys"

    Artist: Charli XCX

    It's been a big year for Riz Ahmed: he won an Emmy, joined the roll call of Spider-Man spinoff Venom, chatted with Netflix about distributing his contemporary version of Hamlet and cuddled a pink teddy bear in a music video that, as of press time, had 65 million views on Youtube. Ahmed doesn't have much screen time in the July video, but his scenes were nevertheless widely screenshotted and GIF'd. Dressed in a pink button-down shirt and aviators, the Night Of star is seen dancing with a few other celebs in one scene, then holding a pink teddy on his back in another. At one point, he cups his hand to bear's ear, as if it were telling him a secret. Ahmed, of course, wasn't the only Hollywood star to make it into "Boys": Joe Jonas, will.i.am., Joey Bada$$, Shaun Ross and Cameron Dallas appear too, among others.

  • Drew Barrymore in "Drew Barrymore"

    Artist: SZA

    SZA’s “Drew Barrymore,” from her 2017 debut album CTRL, ostensibly tells the story of a girl who’s becoming self-conscious about how nicely other women dress and act around men at a party. But as the artist has said in interviews, it’s also an ode to the early roles of Drew Barrymore in movies like E.T. the Extraterrestrial, The Wedding Singer and Never Been Kissed, where the actress plays ordinary, sometimes awkward girls looking for love. SZA gave a hat tip to the song’s inspiration around the 2:20 mark of her music video for the song — which shows a casually-dressed Barrymore catching SZA's eye on a staircase.

  • Natalie Portman in "My Willing Heart"

    Artist: James Blake

    A very pregnant Natalie Portman goes for a swim and hangs out around a house with a child in the video for James Blake's “My Willing Heart,” a single from his 2016 The Colour in Anything album. Shot days before Portman gave birth to a baby girl, the black-and-white video primarily sees Portman touching her stomach, feeling kicks from her child in utero and swimming. A small child makes an appearance as well, reaching out to touch Portman’s stomach.

  • Alexa Chung in "Dance With Me"

    Artist: Cameron Avery

    Actress, former TV host and style icon Alexa Chung performs a creepy dance with Tame Impala bassist Cameron Avery in the video for his single “Dance With Me,” released in March. The video starts with a car accident, showing Avery crawling out of a vehicle over to an inert Chung, who appears to be bleeding from her head. But after Avery holds her in his arms for a bit, Chung comes to life and begins to dance with him, even, at one point, doing a dip. At the end of the video, however, Avery realizes the waltz was a dream.

  • Bella Thorne in "Bedroom Floor"

    Artist: Liam Payne

    Famous in Love and The Babysitter star Bella Thorne has morning-after regrets in the video for Liam Payne’s “Bedroom Floor,” which dropped in November. The scenario begins with Thorne’s character getting back together with a lover at a house party, only to throw him out of her place the next morning over something she found on his phone. This cycle — the two reconciling, then her calling it quits — repeats a few times until Thorne’s character resolves to end the relationship for good. 

  • Channing Tatum in "Beautiful Trauma"

    Artist: P!nk

    Channing Tatum plays P!nk's husband in the November video for "Beautiful Trauma," which tells the story of a 1950s-era couple disgruntled with the era's gender roles. At the beginning, Tatum lounges around and sneaks liquor into his coffee while P!nk does household chores — modeling the patriarchal norms of the time. But their domestic life starts to get edgier when Tatum sees P!nk popping pills after loading the dishwasher, he and P!nk turn their living room into a dance floor. Later, she catches him trying on her dresses, the two get drunk and she and another woman perform an S&M role-playing scenario in their basement. 

  • Jemima Kirke in "Dusk Till Dawn," "Not Used" and "Stranger's Kiss"

    Artist: Zayn Malik, Lola Kirke and Alex Cameron

    Former Girls star Jemima Kirke starred in three videos this year, two of which Kirke also wrote and directed. In Zayn Malik's September video for his single featuring Sia, "Dusk Till Dawn," Kirke plays an outlaw wearing a disguise and carrying a suitcase that's sought after by both the law and a group of gangsters. Kirke and an accomplice — played by Malik — outsmart both groups, introducing a decoy suitcase and staging diversions. In the July video for her sister Lola Kirke's folksy song "Not Used," directed and written by Jemima, Jemima exercises intensely in an apartment, lifting weights, doing curls and smoking during workout breaks. (Jemima has said that that the song is about less-than-dramatic transitions in life.) And in the August video for Alex Cameron's duet with Angel Olsen "Stranger's Kiss," Kirke — here, again, the writer, director and star — plays a fan of an aspiring actor and screenwriter who catches his attention by dressing up and dancing as he does and helping him hand out his headshots to New York CIty subway riders.

     

     

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