Ed Sheeran returns to acting with cameo in new comedy

Follow an ill-received turn in ‘Game of Thrones’, musician said he’s ‘more careful’ about on-screen roles

Isobel Lewis
Friday 01 September 2023 20:29 BST
Sumotherhood trailer

Ed Sheeran has made his unexpected return to acting as he made an appearance in the trailer for Adam Deacon’s new film.

The “Shape of You” singer has had a number of on-screen roles in recent years, playing both himself in films such as Bridget Jones’s Baby, Yesterday and Red Notice, and cameo roles in shows like Game of Thrones.

Sheeran’s latest role arrives in Sumotherhood, a forthcoming comedy described as a “parody of the UK urban genre”. The film was created by and stars Deacon, who starred in classics of the genre Kidulthood, Adulthood and Anuvahood.

Sumotherhood follows “roadmen” Riko and Kane, who decide to hold up a bank in order to put themselves “on the map”.

In one scene in the trailer, Sheeran makes a surprise appearance as a wild-eyed man who ambushes Riko and Kane through their car window.

Wearing a green coat and scratching his neck, Sheeran asks them: “Oi oi, what you lot sayin!”

“What the f***, man?” they respond. In a later clip, Sheeran is also seen singing along with his song “Thinking Out Loud”, before a neighbour yells at him to “shut the f*** up”.

Among the other cameo roles in the film are Jennifer Saunders, Denise Van Outen, Lethal Bizzle, Peter Serafinowicz and Jeremy Corbyn.

While Sheeran, 32, has had a number of roles in TV and film, the singer admitted in 2021 that he is now “more careful” when it comes to choosing which parts he’ll play.

Sheeran in the trailer

Back in 2017, Sheeran’s appearance opposite Maisie Williams as a Lannister soldier on Game of Thrones was widely condemned.

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Where previous cameos by Coldplay and Snow Patrol band members had been considered subtle, many fans complained that Sheeran’s presence was so glaring that it disrupted the episode.

Discussing the cameo four years later, Sheeran described it as “bittersweet”.

“I feel like I p***ed off a lot of people by being in that, but anytime I meet someone that is like, ‘oh you cameoed on that show,’ I’m like, ‘What would you say?’” he said.

“Everyone would say yes. I was a fan of the show; they asked me to be in it. I didn’t expect there to be that much backlash but I am definitely more careful when I am offered cameos now.”

Sumotherhood is released in cinemas on 13 October.

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