The celebrity side-hustle: How Brian Cox and Lennox Lewis are among the stars raking in thousands on Cameo
- Celebrities are earning millions of dollars making brief videos for fans on Cameo
- Harry Potter’s Tom Felton and former Gladiators star Vulcan using the platform
They might have found fame on the big screen or with chart-topping hits, but some celebrities are also making a mint by charging for birthday messages and other shout outs with personalised videos to die hard fans.
In 2021, the app Cameo launched its shout out service, connecting fans with their favourite celebrities – but it comes at a cost.
Some of those who have used the service – owned by parent company Baron App Inc – are skateboarding legend Tony Hawk as well as The Inbetweeners star James Buckley.
Cameo saw an explosion of use during lockdown when many celebrities found themselves temporarily out-of-work due to restrictions.
The platform saw a rise of 77 percent more actors, athletes, musicians and comedians signing up to the service.
Revealed: Cameo’s top chargers in both the UK and US
According to recent reports in the Wall Street Journal, people aren’t just using Cameo to share positive birthday messages but using it to break up with their partners or even quit their jobs via a celebrity message.
Even celebrities have a side hustle with Brian Baumgartner from the US The Office earning more than $1m (£700,000) in 2022 and Tiger King star Carole Baskin earning $120,000 (£94,655) a week.
Below are some of the celebrities offering personalised messages on Cameo – including Brain Cox and Tom Felton in the UK to US stars Kinsey Schofield and Robot Chicken voice actor George Lowe.
Brian Cox – £544
Brian Cox, 77, is one of the most prolific actors of his generation and has appeared in countless box office smash hits
The X-Men, Troy, and Adaptation actor – not to be confused with his namesake physicist – is among those using Cameo.
He most recently appeared in hit series Succession, which is currently available to watch on Sky Atlantic, and won a Golden Globe for his performance as Logan Roy.
In his promotional video on the platform, the 77-year-old Scottish actor makes reference to the character who is known for telling other people on the show to f**k off.
Wearing a light coloured baseball cap and dark t-shirt, he says: ‘Hi, I’m Brian Cox and I play Logan Roy and if you want me I will tell you to f**k off in a very uncertain manner.
‘Okay, so have fun and get in touch.’
Tom Felton – £473
Tom Felton, 35, is best known for his portrayal of Draco Malfoy in the Harry Potter movies. He was born in Surrey, where he still lives
Felton is best known for appearing in all eight of the Harry Potter films where he portrayed Draco Malfoy.
The 35-year-old was born in Surrey, where he still lives, and will often publish videos to his Potterhead fans on his Instagram and Twitter accounts.
Unsurprisingly, his Cameo videos are often for fans of JK Rowling’s books who will have to fork out £473 for a personalised recording.
In a Cameo video promoting his page, Felton says: “Ladies, gentlemen, witches, wizards, muggles of all ages – hello, this is Tom Felton AKA Draco Malfoy in a muggle disguise.
‘I am here to engage with all of you in what ever way this beautiful app allows us to.’
Marcus Brigstocke – £395
Marcus Brigstocke, 50, has made countless appearances on the UK comedy circuit such as Live at the Apollo. He also played DJ interviewer Mikey in Richard Curtis movie Love Actually
Marcus Brigstocke wrote BBC Radio 4 comedy show Giles Wemmbley-Hogg Goes Off alongside Jeremy Salsby and Graeme Garden.
But the actor and comedian is best known for his shows on the comedy circuit where he has appeared at Live at the Apollo.
He also landed the role as DJ interviewer Mikey in Richard Curtis’ 2003 Christmas hit movie Love Actually.
He charges £395 Cameo, and in his promo the 50-year-old says: ‘Hello, I’m Marcus Brigstocke, comedian and that bloke from Love Actually who is on Radio Watford.
‘And now I’m on Cameo so if you want to send someone a happy birthday or a “well done, you’ve baked a sourdough”, “do your homeschooling”, or maybe you’re a boss looking for a fun way of letting someone know they are fired.
‘Why don’t you let me do it for you? I’d be happy to.’
Lennox Lewis – £315
Lennox Lewis, 57, is one of the most famous heavyweight boxers of all time and knocked out Mike Tyson in 2002. The former undisputed champion can be heard in one video giving advice to a fan for an upcoming fight
The former undisputed heavyweight rose to fame in the late 1990s and early 2000s
Perhaps his most famous and well-known bout came against Mike Tyson in 2002 in what was one of the biggest match-ups the sport has ever had.
Lewis knocked out ‘Iron Mike’ in eighth round to retain his WBC, IBF, IBO, and The Ring champion titles.
Lewis, now aged 57, sends out videos for £315.
In one two-minute video to fan Caroline, from her mum and dad, he gives her some advice for an upcoming boxing match.
He says: ‘Hey Caroline I hear you have been boxing for a while and are going to have a fight soon.
‘Very good and congratulations. It’s very important to train hard and to make sure you are in great shape so you are ready for the fight.’
Vulcan – £789
Vulcan had a role in the James Bond film The World is Not Enough as a henchman, but is most well known for appearing on the Australian and UK versions of Gladiators
John Seru is a Fjian actor and former professional wrestler.
He is best known for appearing on the Australian and UK versions of Gladiators as Vulcan.
He also had a role in the James Bond film The World is Not Enough as a henchman.
He owns and runs a wrestling school in Menai, Sydney with his wife and family.
‘Finally, I’m on Cameo,” he says in one video wearing a blue bandanna.
‘Guys, Vulcan. Ex-Gladiators and James Bond movie. A wrestler… everything all right.
‘So, if you want me to wish you ya know, cheer you up if you are sick, or birthday parties, divorce parties, marriage, whatever. Hook me up.’
Emma Rigby – £395
Emma Rigby, 33, found fame on Hollyoaks. It costs £395 for every video from the 33-year-old English actress, while every message to her will set people back £16
After first finding fame as Hannah Ashworth in Hollyoaks, she later played Gemma Roscoe in Prisoners’ Wives.
She also had roles in Hollywood Dirt and The Physician.
It costs £395 for every video from the 33-year-old English actress, while every message to her will set people back £16.
‘Hello all you sexy people on Cameo,’ she says in a video on her profile page.
Archie Manners – £395
Archie Manners has hit the headlines recently for his counter-protest group ‘Just Stop P***ing Everyone Off’. The magician and presenter is friends with Prince Harry
Archie Manners is a prankster who has recently found fame with his counter-protest to Just Stop Oil called ‘Just Stop P***ing Everyone Off’.
The 30-year-old and his business partner Josh Pieters, 29, donned orange T-shirts, with the slogan.
This month, after infiltrating Just Stop Oil with a ‘mole’, the stunt duo, who are known online as Josh and Archie, employed 15 actors to prevent the activists from blocking traffic in South London by surrounding them with a human chain.
The magician and presenter is the host of MTV’s unscripted reality royality show The Royal World.
He went to £48,000-a-year private boarding school Radley College in Oxfordshire – actcording to his LinkedIn page – and is friends with Prince Harry.
His Cameo videos cost £395.
Arabella S. Ruby – £237
Arabella S. Rubyfirst became passionate about acting when she watched Steven Spielberg’s Hook. She also served in the US military for eight years
According to Arabella S. Ruby’s IMDb page, the British-born actress first became passionate about acting at the age of seven when she saw her first Robin Williams movie – Steven Spielberg’s Hook.
She served in the US military for eight years with an honorable discharge having achieved the rank of staff sergeant.
The actress went on to get roles in Beauty and the Beholder and King of Kings and has a huge social media following with more than 1.2 million Instagram followers and close to 50,000 followers on TikTok.
Her Cameo videos set people back £237.
Elroy Spoonface Powell – £552
Elroy Powell made appearances on EastEnders and appeared in Star Wars Episode VII: The Force Awakens as Rosser Weno. He is also a songwriter and producer
Elroy Powell is a songwriter and producer.
He achieved international recording success with the Black Legend cover of Barry White’s You See the Trouble with Me – reaching number one in the UK Singles Chart.
He also made appearances on EastEnders and appeared in Star Wars Episode VII as Rosser Weno.
Powell gives a percentage of his £552 Cameo fee to charity – although he does not name which one in his promo video.
Downtown Julie Brown – £237
Downtown Julie Brown was born in the UK and has appeared on I’m a Celebrity Get Me Out of Here!. She is best known as the host of Club MTV in the late 1980s and early 1990s
English-born actress, TV personality DJ and former MTV VJ, Downtown Julie Brown is best known as the host of Club MTV, which ran from 1987 until 1992.
She also had appearances in Hey Arnold!, I’m a Celebrity Get Me Out of Here!, The Eric Andre Show and RuPaul’s Drag U.
Her personalised videos cost £237.
Kinsey Schofield – $1,000 (£790)
Kinsey Schofield has more than 270,000 followers across her social media platforms and has a hit podcast where she discusses the British royal family
Texas-born Kinsey Lea Schofield is a journalist and royal commentator who was a contestant on E! television’s reality TV show, Party Monsters Cabo.
Schofield has more than 270,000 followers across her social media platforms on Twitter and Instagram.
Based in Los Angeles, she has a podcast called To Di For Daily where she talks about the British royal familym, and is also author of ‘R is for Revenge Dress’.
But she became a face Brits are familiar with after covering Queen’s Platinum Jubilee, the late monarch’s funeral and King Charles III’s coronation live from Buckingham Palace.
As well as her regular work as a royal commentator for broadcasters on both sides of the pond, including GB News, TalkTV and Fox News, she is now also offering personalised videos to her fans for $1,000 (£790).
Nikki Giavasis – $1,000 (£790)
Nikki Giavasis, 46, boasts 1.3million Instagram followers. She has appeared in Hollywood movies and written three books, while on side earning $1,000 for each Cameo video
Actress Nikki Giavasis has starred in a number of big Hollywood movies including You Don’t Mess with the Zohan, Eagle Eye and Grindin’.
The 46-year-old was born in Ohio, US but now lives in Beverly Hills, California.
As a Forbes-listed influencer, she now boasts 1.3 million Instagram followers and likes to keep her fans updated with snaps of her glamorous lifestyle including fitness and beauty routines.
She has also written three books including Real Talk, Real Women and makes regular TV appearances on shows like The O’Reilly Factor and Good Morning America.
On the side, she also sells personalised cameo videos for $1,000 (£790).
Conrad Ricamora – $999 (£789)
A Conrad Ricamora Cameo shoutout costs $999 each. In one clip he teased fans that he is ‘happy to shout out to anyone in your life, sing a song for you on my piano…’
Best known for his role as the ‘friendly neighbourhood hacker’ Oliver Hampton on ABC’s How to Get Away with Murder, he is also a Broadway actor having made his debut in the 2015 production of The King and I.
But he has also appeared in notable movies such as Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby.
Ricamora charges $999 (£789) for his personalised shoutout videos to fans.
In one teaser clip, he tells prospective buyers that he is ‘happy to shout out to anyone in your life, sing a song for you on my piano…
‘A lot of people have been requesting ‘All of Me’ from season five. If you have a wedding that was postponed, I will sing for you.
He adds, ‘you will helping to support the Actors’ Fund’ before panning to a view of his pet French Bulldog Wilber, who he says may also make a star appearance.
Donshea Hopkins – $999 (£789)
Donshea Hopkins was just four years old when she landed her first gig on Sesame Street. The 21-year-old later bagged roles on shows such as Law and Order
Donshea Hopkins landed her first role at the age of four on Sesame Street.
The 21-year-old later got roles on shows such as Law and Order: SVU, Orange is the New Black, Nurse Jackie and Power.
She told her fans: ‘Book me if you guys want a shout out, a birthday shoutout, a random shoutout, weddings, baby showers, any special shoutout I do it all.
‘Your girl is here for you.’
George Lowe – $999 (£789)
Voice actor George Lowe is most famous for lending his voice to characters on Robot Chicken and American Dad!. On the side he charges $999 for a personalised shoutout
George Lowe is a voice actor best known for roles on Space Ghost Coast to Coast, Robot Chicken and Aqua Teen Hunger Force.
He also made appearances on American Dad! and done commercials for Dunkin’ Donuts and Capital One.
He sells personal Cameo videos for $999 (£789).
Lowe told fans: ‘Maybe I’ll be the one to voice your special event. Give me a call let’s do it.
‘You could have anything from a birthday to an anniversary.’
Angelyne – $900 (£711)
Angelyne came to came to prominence in 1984 after appearing in a series of billboards around LA. The billboards were spoofed by The Simpsons and Futurama
Real name Ronia Tamar Goldberg, Angelyne is a singer, actress, media personality and model who came to prominence in 1984 after appearing in a series of billboards around LA, California, saying ‘Angelyne’.
These caught the attention of local media outlets and she received several offers for film roles, magazine interviews and TV show appearances.
The billboards were also featured in a number of movies and TV shows and spoofed by The Simpsons and Futurama.
She hid her real name and age until it became publicly known in 2017.
It was revealed she was born in Poland to Holocaust survivors.
Her personalised videos cost $900 (£711).
Brandee Evans – $600 (£474)
Brandee Evans started out life as the chair of the English department at Southwind High School in her hometown in Memphis. Her breakthrough came when she was picked as one of Katy Perry’s dancers as part of the I Kissed A Girl And I Liked It star’s world tour
Brandee Evans describe herself on her website as an ‘accomplished actor, advocate, and businesswoman’.
Her most famous role to date is playing Mercedes in the Starz network show P-Valley
She’s also appeared in television shows Lethal Weapon and The Bobby Brown Story.
However, her first career was as the chair of the English department at Southwind High School in her hometown of Memphis.
She would land her first prominent role in showbusiness as one of Katy Perry’s dancers on the I Kissed A Girl And I Liked It star’s world tour.
Evans has also danced for Monica, Ke$ha, and Ledisi.
Wearing a P-Valley t-shirt in her Cameo video, she tells fans she’s ‘excited’ to be on the platform and offers to sing shoutouts for $600 (474).
Susie Essman – $600 (£474)
Susan Essman, 68, has a net worth of around $8million. The stand-up comedian and TV producer tells fans ‘I’m here for you and I’m supporting the Actors’ Funds’
Actress Susan Essman, 68, is best known for her role as Susie Greene on the hit TV show Curb Your Enthusiasm, but she’s also a stand-up comedian and television producer.
Her net worth is said to be around $8 million, and says she is using the platform to raise money to support the Actors’ Funds.
In a teaser clip she takes on her best-known character’s signature style, telling her fans that she will personally help out if ‘you need to tell someone to go f*** themselves… the possibilities are endless,’ she jokes.
She adds: ‘If you need me to be nice, I mean I can do that, but nobody really wants that coming from me. I’m capable of it, that’s all I’m saying.
‘I’m here for you and I’m supporting the Actors’ Funds and most importantly, remember… wash your f***ing hands’
Stephon Marbury – $600 (£474)
Stephon Marbury was in the NBA for 13 years before he moved to China in 2008 to become a coach of the CBA’s Beijing Royal Fighters.
Former pro-basketball player Stephon Marbury aka ‘Starbury’ was born and raised in Brooklyn, New York and played for 13 years in the NBA.
However, after a successful career in America, he moved to China in 2008 to become coach of the CBA’s Beijing Royal Fighters.
He hopes to inspire with his cameo videos, as well as send out ‘well wishes, congratulations and positive energy’ to his fans for £474 per message.
In one teaser clip, he delivers an aspirational message to a fan, telling them: ‘The most important thing is staying motivated, staying focused… practice doesn’t make perfect, it makes permanent. Every day you wake up, continue to try and get better.’
Amara La Negra – $600 (£474)
Amara La Negra has more than two million followers on Instagram but before then made a name for herself as a singer, actor and model. Before fame she battled homelessness and lived in a car for three months
Diana Danelys De Los Santos, who goes by the name of Amara La Negra, is best known for her role on the VH1 reality TV show Lie & Hip Hop in Miami.
She became one of the show’s main cast members in 2018 which saw her explode onto the showbiz scene. The 32-year-old now boasts more than 2.6 million Instagram followers.
She has also made a name for herself as a singer, actor and model, while also working as a podcast host.
But the starlet has not always found things easy, revealing in one interview that she battled homelessness and lived in her car for three months in 2015 – before her big break.
Starting up her cameo shoutout service during the pandemic, she sells personalised videos including birthday shoutouts and business promotions in both English and Spanish for £474.
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