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This post contains spoilers for Deadpool 2:

The best cameo in Deadpool 2 is a blink-and-youll-miss-it moment that happens midway through the action. Deadpool (played by Ryan Reynolds) decides to eschew his solo style and assemble a bizarro crack team of superheroes—and one regular dude, played by Rob Delaney—to help him thwart his new enemy, Cable. One of those team members is an invisible man who goes by “The Vanisher.” We never see the guy, so its assumed that hes not real—until the Vanisher jumps out of a plane and accidentally parachutes into a telephone wire, electrocuting himself. Its in that brief, sizzling moment that his face finally appears, and we realize the Vanisher is played by none other than Brad Pitt.

So, how did the Deadpool crew convince the A-list actor to make this quick appearance? For that, we can thank director David Leitch. Prior to becoming a filmmaker, Leitch worked as a stunt double and stunt coordinator on dozens of films—from 300 to The Bourne Ultimatum—for actors like Matt Damon and Jean-Claude Van Damme. But his most prominent stunt work was as a double for Pitt, on films including Fight Club, Oceans 11, and Mr. & Mrs. Smith. When the time came to find someone to play Cable, the villainous role that ultimately went to Josh Brolin, Leitch turned first to his old friend.

“We had approached Brad to play Cable early on, but with schedules, it didnt allow us to cast him,” the director told Vanity Fair at Deadpools New York premiere this week. “We left the door open and asked him, If theres something else down the line, would you take the call? He said yes. So we came up with this [Vanisher] idea, and Ryan reached out and asked, Would you be interested? And he said yes, and was a great sport. He came out to play and was up for anything.”

Pitts appearance is the latest in a long line of surprising superhero-movie cameos, a tradition that began with comic-book legend Stan Lee—who has appeared in every single Marvel movie released to date. (His Deadpool 2 cameo is a bit more static: Lee appears in a painting at the X-Mansion, and is also seen on a giant building mural.) Some cameos go a different route; in Thor: Ragnorak, Matt Damon made a brief, silly turn as an actor playing Loki, thanks to a suggestion from his pal Chris Hemsworth.

All in all, Pitts cameo is just the right amount of cameo: its not too long, not too short, and quick enough to make you question if what you saw was real. Good show, Vanisher—and sorry about the electrocution.

Get Vanity Fairs HWD NewsletterSign up for essential industry and award news from Hollywood.Yohana DestaYohana Desta is a Hollywood writer for VanityFair.com.

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Vanity Fair

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