One reason the memorable walk-off scene in the original Zoolander was so delicious was because the late David Bowie appeared as himself in a terribly clever cameo. Playing a star referee during the famously absurd modeling competition between Derek (Ben Stiller) and Hansel (Owen Wilson), Bowie’s bit part was one of many by celebrities of the day, including Tyrese, Christian Slater, Lil’ Kim, and even not-yet-presidential-candidate Donald Trump. This time around in Zoolander 2, Stiller (who also wrote and directed both films) has doubled down on the gimmick with a movie so packed with recognizable faces, it may very well break an all-time record for celebrity walk-ons.
Yahoo Movies has compiled a spoilery list of all the stars we spotted in the sequel. (Consider yourself warned!) And while rumors swirled that Kim Kardashian and Kanye West were set to appear, they — along with Laura Bush — are virtually the only big names who didn’t jump on the Zoolander 2 cameo train. Tell us in the comments below if we missed anyone; in the meantime, here’s our list:
Dead Pop Stars
Justin Bieber’s cameo was part of the plot setup, his movie death confirmed in teaser material well before the sequel opened in theaters. But other dying-celeb selfies, like the one snapped by the Biebs, flash onscreen when reviewed by Interpol agent Valentina (Penélope Cruz). Keep your eyes peeled for images of Demi Lovato, Miley Cyrus, Madonna, Bruce Springsteen, Lenny Kravitz, and Usher.
On-air reports by recognizable newscasters play during the first act as a way of getting audiences up to speed on what’s happened in the world of Zoolander during the past 15 years. Some TV hosts appear in the final act, too. Counting both groups, we spotted Katie Couric, Jane Pauley, Joe Scarborough, Natalie Morales, Soledad O'Brien, Don Lemon, Matt Lauer, Christian Amanpour, and perhaps the most surprising — Jim Lehrer of PBS.
He’s in a category all his own, reprising his role as himself, friend of Derek Zoolander.
Hansel’s Many Lovers
While a nameless hippo is also in the mix, a bunch of big names walk on as members of Hansel’s two, competing free-lovin’ sex groups: Kiefer Sutherland, Christina Hendricks, Ariana Grande, Susan Sarandon, and — yes! — Willie Nelson.
Not only is he mentioned by a dying Bieber, Sting also appears in live-action glory.
Other stars appear quickly, some of whom flash across the screen so fast, they’re easy to miss: Olivia Munn, Joe Jonas, singer Susan Boyle, ice skater Johnny Weir, rapper A$AP Rocky, and music producer Skrillex.
Naomi Campbell, who hasn’t aged a bit, appears in a retro ad with Derek. New-school supermodel Karlie Kloss shows up later in the film. And Kate Moss, who gained megafame in the ‘90s, surfaces in the final sequence.
Katy Perry and Neil Degrasse Tyson show up quite randomly, conveniently helping Derek and Hansel ponder the meaning of their existence.
We find out Mugatu (Will Ferrell) is in a prison that also houses the real MC Hammer and John Malkovich.
The final sequence draws upon the star power of Vogue editor Anna Wintour and designers Marc Jacobs, Alexander Wang, Valentino, and Tommy Hilfiger (who also appeared in the original) — and they’re all really acting!
Note: We did not count small character roles performed by Benedict Cumberbatch and Fred Armisen as part of this list. Unlike others mentioned here, they do not play themselves.