Long before he became president or had his own reality show, Donald Trump was still popping up on screen constantly, unexpectedly making an appearance in movies and TV shows going back to 1986. A ridiculous number of productions set in Manhattan had a role for the future president, who would always be given a line or two at most and who would almost always play himself, with this serving as an advertisement for his business.
Apparently, the reason for this was that whenever a movie or a TV show would film something on a Trump property, he would require the filmmakers to write a scene for him. Sometimes the scene would be cut out later, but sometimes it would be kept in. At least, this is according to Matt Damon, who said as much during an interview earlier this year.
“The deal was that if you wanted to shoot in one of his buildings, you had to write him in a part,” Damon said. “…You waste a little time so that you can get the permit, and then you can cut the scene out. But I guess in Home Alone 2 they left it in.”
In fact, there are quite a few movies and TV shows where they left the cameo in, and while in many cases Trump’s appearance serves no real purpose, sometimes he’s actually a vital part of the plot. Here’s a look at all of President Trump’s cameos in movies and television shows over the years.