"special appearance by" in a Movie

I saw “Gods and Generals” last weekend (rather too reverential and dry for my taste), and in the opening credits it stated “Special Appearance by Mira Sorvino”. Now since it’s a movie, I would think that this category could be applied to anyone in the cast. In a series, special appearance has meaning, in a movie it becomes meaningless. What’s the standard here? I suppose it has to do with agent wrangling more than anything else.

I guess this is gonna end up in Café Society, pretty soon, but I’ll try to answer for you.

That’s what the agent negotiated. I haven’t seen the movie, but my guess is that Ms. Sorvino plays a small part. She’s an Academy Award™ winner though, and that’s always helpful when negotiating:
“Well, Mira would love to do this movie (spending two days in a trailer, doing a couple of walk-on’s and cashing in $75.000), but it’s a rather a small part, and you know… she did win an Oscar®… so maybe we can do something about the credits. We want ‘special appearence by’ and in all trailers and promotions we want ‘with Academy Award™ winner…’ How’s that? Oh, and she gets a personal assistant, too.”

Cecil wrote about credits and billing on posters. Search the archive.

Off to Cafe Society.

Not too mention that this movie is essentially a television movie being brought to the screen.