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General Musings

The Cameos of M. Night Shyamalan

If you’ve watched more than one or two of M. Night Shyamalan’s films you may have noticed a regular face pop up here or there, and we aren’t talking about Bruce Willis or Joaquin Phoenix. The director actually has a habit of putting himself into his own films in minor roles, and his latest film Split is no different. Didn’t see him the first time round? Well join us as we take a look back at each time he sneakily popped up in his own films.

Like what you see, check out our Bruce Campbell cameos too!

m-night-the-sixth-senseThe Sixth Sense (1999) – Dr. Hill

In Shyamalan’s breakout film he starred as the character Dr. Hill, which was apparently a nod to his parents; both of whom are doctors.


m-night-shyamalan-unbreakable-cameoUnbreakable (2000) – Stadium Drug Dealer

When Bruce Willis starts putting his abilities to the test he picks up a vision of of shady drug dealing taking place in the toilets at the stadium where he works. Identifying the suspicious looking character waiting in a queue Willis approaches him and pats him down. The shady character is none other than M. Night Shyamalan.

signs-cameo-m-night-shyamalanSigns (2002) – Ray Reddy

In Signs M. Night Shyamalan has a very small role, but one that plays a significant part in the life of  Mel Gibson’s character off screen. Gibson plays Graham Hess, a former priest who lost his faith following the death of his wife in a traffic accident. Turns out the driver who caused the accident is Ray Reddy, a town local played by Shyamalan. Ray reveals to Graham that he’s managed to lock an alien in his pantry, whilst also revealing they don’t like water. He of course apologises about the accident too.

m-night-the-village-cameoThe Village (2004) – Guard at Desk

There he is…M. Night Shyamalan as Guard at Desk…


Lady in the Water (2006) – Vick Ran


The role of Vick Ran is not so much a cameo but a proper supporting role. It turns out Story (the actual lady in the water) played by Bryce Dallas Howard is looking for an author who will change the world for the better. Would you believe said author is Vick Ran, played by M. Night Shyamalan? I don’t know about you but I’m sure a lot can be said about the writer/director of a film casting himself as a sort of messianic author…

the-happeningThe Happening (2008) – Joey

So you don’t actually see M. Night Shyamalan in this shocking misfire of a film. The first time he  Joey is the person who constantly calls Zooey Deschanel’s character Alma during the film, and if I’m not mistaken his only word is “Hello”. It’s actually the first time since his second feature Wide Awake that Shyamalan did not appear in one of his own films.

the-last-airbender-posterThe Last Airbender (2010) – Firebender at Earth Prison Camp

I’ve never seen The Last Airbender nor do I intend to, something tells me it looks a bit shit. But according to IMDB Shyamalan plays ‘Firebender at Earth Prison Camp’ in an uncredited role…cool.

split-film-posterSplit (2017) – Jai, Hooters Lover

Split is a significant return to form for Shyamalan, but it also marks the first return in front of the camera since the aforementioned The Last Airbender. After skipping After Earth, and The Visit, Shyamalan makes an appearance as Jai, a character who assists Dr. Fletcher in watching some CCTV. For some reason Jai has a fondness for the Hooters chain and their chicken wings, as good as the film is it’s a rather unusual part to play…or even include.

So there we have the recurring cameos/appearances of M. Night Shyamalan in his own films. Bit of trivia for you…in his first film Praying with Anger he actually took on the lead role. What are your favourite director cameos?

Like what you read, check out our Bruce Campbell cameos too!

About Snooty Usher Dan

Favourite Film: One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest (1975) Worst Film: The Hills Have Eyes 2 (2007) Guilty Pleasure: Step Up 2: The Streets (The dancing is awesome ok.....)


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