Cynthia Nixon’s cameo in Forgetting Sarah Marshall makes for another iconic moment in the popular movie. Released in 2008, the romantic comedy received positive reviews for its performances and witty script, which was written by star Jason Segel. However, in addition to the hilarious and compelling story, the movie is notable for its numerous cameos – including Nixon’s.

Segel plays Peter, the composer for a crime show that stars his girlfriend, Sarah Marshall (Kristen Bell). Following an embarrassing breakup, a devastated Peter takes a vacation in Hawaii, only to discover Sarah is also on the island with her new boyfriend, rock star Aldous Snow (Russell Brand). Forgetting Sarah Marshall sees Peter try to move forward with both his professional and romantic lives, as he develops a crush on hotel receptionist Rachel (played by Ted star, Mila Kunis). More than a traditional love story, the movie prides itself in its admirably weird diversions, including a Dracula musical led by puppets.


During his vacation, Peter interacts with several hotel guests and employees, including Paul Rudd’s surfer and Jonah Hill’s waiter. By contrast, Cynthia Nixon’s cameo in Forgetting Sarah Marshall lasts only a few seconds, but is nonetheless a noteworthy Easter egg. Nixon, who played Miranda Hobbes in Sex and the City, isn’t credited and only appears in the background of a scene with Peter, making it one of the most discreet celebrity cameos in film and TV.

The scene in question takes place shortly after Peter arrives at the Turtle Bay Resort and bumps into Sarah and Aldous. He gets drunk in the hotel bar that night and starts babbling to himself in a hilarious montage. At one point, he dramatically flails his arms around and exclaims, “I’m on Sex and the City. What’s up, Miranda?” Directly behind Peter, Cynthia Nixon can be seen quickly walking past the camera, offering an amused expression. Freaks and Geeks star Jason Segel slightly twists his body, as if trying to catch her off-guard. However, Peter pays no direct attention to the passer-by and proceeds to mock Samantha, another Sex and the City character, played in the HBO comedy by Kim Cattrall. Cynthia Nixon’s cameo is so quick that it’s very easy to miss, especially given that Forgetting Sarah Marshall also boasts several other celebrity appearances.

For instance, Sarah’s fictional TV show, Crime Scene: Scene of the Crime contains an extended cameo from William Baldwin, showcasing their deliberately cringeworthy dialogue as they investigate various homicides. After the show’s cancellation, Sarah eventually lands another lead role on a similarly bizarre detective show, Animal Instincts, with Jason Bateman appearing as her new co-star. There is also an extended cut of Forgetting Sarah Marshall, featuring a deleted scene in which SNL star Kristen Wiig plays a yoga instructor who fawns over Aldous Snow. However, Nixon’s cameo is arguably the most entertaining, mainly for its complete randomness. It’s unclear why she would appear in the film, but it makes an already funny scene even more memorable. Hidden cameos are incredibly fun as they demand viewers pay close attention, such as with Daniel Craig’s stormtrooper in Star Wars: The Force Awakens and Matt Damon’s prosthetics-concealed role in Deadpool 2.

Forgetting Sarah Marshall remains a highlight of Jason Segel’s filmography, with the bar scene a particularly strong example of what makes his character so endearing. Segel is no stranger to amusing cameos himself, appearing as the star of an in-universe romcom in Friends with Benefits. Meanwhile, Cynthia Nixon will soon return to her role of Miranda in the HBO Max Sex and the City revival.

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