A Celebration of David Beckham’s Movie Cameos

The big screen outings of Goldenballs.

david beckham in king arthur

Coverage of England games is rarely complete without a shot of a besuited David Beckham watching from the stand. But these screen cameos bring to mind the moments where he’s popped up on the big screen in perhaps less expected places. Here then is our salute to the big screen outings of Goldenballs…

David Beckham as Trigger in King Arthur

King Arthur: Legend Of The Sword

Let’s start with the highest profile example of BeckCinema.

Director Guy Ritchie’s 2017 action-adventure King Arthur: Legend Of The Sword in theory was set to be the first of up to six movies. Its depressed box office and critical response soon ended those plans. Perhaps had the sequels gone ahead, we would have got more Beckham for our money.

Instead, we have to make do with his brief cameo appearance in the film, taking on the role of Trigger (no relation to the same-named character in the classic British sitcom Only Fools & Horses) where he tells Arthur that he wants him “bouncing on me”, and then calls him “stupid”. He also pulls a stern look, that he shoots in the direction of the film’s star, Charlie Hunnam. He gets a couple more lines too, which as those who have any experience in screen acting will know means he gets a slightly increased fee for his efforts. We hope he spent it wisely.

Here’s the full cameo…

It might not look like much, but it sure brought in the extra publicity that the studio behind the project – Warner Bros – was seeking…

The Man From UNCLE

Collaborating once again with Guy Ritchie on the set of The Man From UNCLE

Before King Arthur, Beckham had made an even briefer appearance in another of Ritchie’s films. This was his acting debut, at least in a role where he wasn’t playing himself. Instead, he slipped into the part of, er, a Russian projectionist. Quite what the motivation of said character was remains a mystery, given the cameo was so brief we’ve not managed to catch a video of it. 

Again, there were plans for sequels to this one too (and UNCLE remains one of Ritchie’s most underrated films), but perhaps the box office failure of the spy thriller was what ultimately denied us the backstory for Beckham’s character we never got. Dammit.


Many an acting class puts across the mantra of just be yourself on screen. Beckham did just that when he turned up in the first two films in the Goal! trilogy. This was a trio of movies made at sizeable expense, following the journey of a young footballer breaking into the game. 

Whilst the profile and investment of the movies didn’t ultimately equate to audience interest – the last one went straight to DVD in the UK – it did mean there were funds to bring in some high-profile cameos. Beckham was one of an extensive roster that included Cristiano Ronaldo, Zinedine Zidane, Birmingham City manager Lee Bowyer and former England and Philippines national team head coach, Sven Goran Eriksson. 

Here’s Beckham at work…

Not a bad film the first one either, and Beckham to his credit slips into it effortlessly. But perhaps his most successful movie outing wasn’t in a movie at all, but in a trailer. Which brings us to…

Deadpool 2

Warner Bros wasn’t the only studio aware that adding Beckham’s name to a film may not really trouble the Oscars, but certainly generates some headlines. Come the comic book sequel Deadpool 2 though, 20th Century Fox didn’t let the small matter of him not being on screen in the film get in the way. Instead, it hired Beckham to sit on a couch and be trash-talked by Ryan Reynolds. He got lines and a hug for his trouble.

For Beckham’s part, he was also required to shake his head, open the door, look at his phone and look stern. He pulled the work off with aplomb, and then proceeds to slag off some of Reynolds’ other films. Can’t really disagree with him where Green Lantern is concerned either.

Deadpool 2 was a huge box office hit. Here’s the promo concerned…

Bend It Like Beckham

Ironically, the only feature film to date that actually bears Brand Beckham’s name is one that he wasn’t actually in. When director Gurinder Chadha was planning to shoot her film, an enquiry went into Beckham as to whether he’d appear. He was still in the midst of his football career at the time, but agreed to take part. The problem? That he and his wife – Victoria – couldn’t make their schedules work. 

Kiera Knightley stars in 2002’s Bend It Like Beckham

He still gave permission for his surname to adorn the movie’s title, though, which’d carry over to the West End musical too. Not bad, for not a single day’s work…

And finally…

Beckham admits he’s no plans to make acting anything other than something fun to do on the side of his other projects. He has increasingly turned up in football documentary features, including 2006’s Zidane: A Portrait Of The 21st Century, and short films such as 2015’s Outlaws. But perhaps he’s really saving it all up for the inevitable biopic. We’ll put a fiver on Guy Ritchie directing it…

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