Shot in 1991 and released in 1992, Singles is Cameron Crowe’s love letter to the Seattle grunge scene, preserving the look and sound of that now-vanished era for posterity. It also doubles as a yearbook for certain established and up-and-coming talents who make blink-and-you-miss them appearances during the course of the film, briefly taking our attention away from Singles stars Kyra Sedgwick, Campbell Scott, Bridget Fonda and Matt Dillon. With the film making its Blu-ray debut on April 7, here’s a round-up of the cameos you should be on the lookout for during your re-watch.
Eric Stoltz (Mime)
The Mask star also has small roles in Crowe’s Say Anything and Jerry Maguire, but his Singles appearance as a chatty mime is his best cameo. It’s certainly his most unrecognizable thanks to that pancake make-up.
Defining Line: “I’ll tell you about love…love disappears, baby. Every time I’ve been broke, the girl has been off like a prom dress.”
Alice in Chains (Bar Band)
The Seattle-based group was only four years young when they played their tune “It Ain’t Like That” in the background of the scene where Scott’s lovelorn Steve spots and instantly falls for Sedgwick’s Linda.
Defining Line: “There I was, laid out on a table/Screamin’ sweat and bare feet to the floor.”
Cameron Crowe (Journalist)
Years before he canonized his early days as a teenage Rolling Stone writer in Almost Famous, the writer-director slipped back into the journalism game for Singles, playing a fake reporter interviewing Dillon’s fake musician, Cliff Poncier.
Defining Line: “A song like ‘Touch Me, I’m Dick’ is about…what?”
Paul Giamatti (Guy in Bar)
Giamatti rarely scores make-out scenes in his contemporary star vehicles. Maybe that’s because he used up all his passion for this extended bit of nookie, which proves distracting enough to almost ruin Steve and Linda’s first date. You can’t say that he doesn’t bring his usual level of commitment to the exceedingly small role.
Defining Line: “What?!”
Tim Burton (Brian)
We don’t know how Crowe convinced Burton, then fresh off the back-to-back successes of Batman and Edward Scissorhands, to make a rare appearance in front of the camera, but we’re glad he did. Call it typecasting, but Burton was entirely believable as an eccentric director — albeit a director of personal dating videos.
Defining Line: “Twenty.”
Pearl Jam (Citizen Dick)
To play Dillon’s back-up band in the movie, Crowe hired three out of the four members of a then-small-time Seattle outfit billing themselves as Pearl Jam: Eddie Vedder, Jeff Ament and Stone Gossard.
Defining Moment: Staring intently at the television, watching a nature documentary about bees.
Jeremy Piven (Doug)
Piven’s then-best buddy John Cusack starred in Say Anything, which may account for his brief presence in Singles as a supermarket cashier who claims that he still knows how to get wild when he’s off the clock. Strangely enough, Piven is one of the few actors in the movie who looks younger now than he did back in '91.
Defining Line: “What is up, you old goat?”
Chris Cornell (Chris)
The Soundgarden frontman continued the parade of Seattle-based musical talent passing through the frame, though he doesn’t get to demonstrate his musical chops in this particular scene.
Defining Moment: Looking on as Cliff’s jerry-rigged car stereo system ruins his former girlfriend’s car.
Victor Garber (Debbie’s Boyfriend)
After spending the whole movie searching for a romantic connection, poor Debbie (Shelia Kelly) finally meets Mr. Right at the airport and he bears a strong resemblance to Jesus from Godspell.
Defining Line: “Those are fantastic earrings.”
Watch the trailer: