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How Jimmy Buffett's Legendary Jurassic World Cameo Came To Be

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Audiences, music fans, and partygoers around the world recognize one name when it comes to having a good time: Jimmy Buffett. A prolific singer and songwriter, Buffett became a household name thanks to slick, laidback music which emphasized the power of taking it easy. With infectious tunes and a relaxing charm, Buffett managed to successfully diversify his creative outputs, most notably emerging as the founder of the restaurant chain Margaritaville. To this day, Margaritaville is a must for those vacationing in popular destinations. And when the vibes are low and drinks are running dry, Margaritaville is the quintessential spot to lift up anyone's spirits.

Beyond a music and margarita empire, Buffett managed to become a fixture of sorts on the big and small screen, mostly appearing as himself. It made sense — audiences loved Buffett's chill vibe, positive attitude, and love for cool drinks. While he has a number of iconic cameos under his belt, such as a brief appearance in the Steven Spielberg-directed "Hook," or Harmony Korine's chaotic "Beach Bum," Buffett is mostly remembered for one hilarious (and accurate) cameo.

Back in 2015, audiences who sat down to see director Colin Trevorrow's "Jurassic World" were treated to a laugh-out-loud cameo from Buffett in one of the film's most pivotal and haywire scenes. As the dinosaurs are unleashed upon the theme park, viewers can see Buffett casually escaping from a Margaritaville with two margaritas in hand — a mood if there ever was one. According to James Mottram's "Jurassic World: The Ultimate Visual History," Buffett and his brand Margaritaville appeared in the film because of producer Frank Marshall, who happens to be buds with the musician. For Trevorrow, however, there was one specific reason as to why audiences had to see Margaritaville (and other major brands) in "Jurassic World." 

Jimmy Buffett's Jurassic World cameo was strategic

In "Jurassic World: The Ultimate Visual History," James Mottram explains how Jimmy Buffet and producer Frank Marshall have previously worked together, with the musician appearing in Marshall's "Hoot" and "Congo." With a pre-existing relationship, it makes sense that Marshall reached out to Buffett for a brief but memorable cameo in "Jurassic World," which emerged as a billion-dollar grosser. Beyond having his friend cameo in the film, Buffett and his Margaritaville brand were brought on board for a specific reason. 

During a behind-the-scenes featurette surrounding Buffett's involvement, director Colin Trevorrow opened up about how it was important for the in-universe Jurassic World to feel as authentic and life-like as possible. That, of course, means taking cues from some of the world's most prominent and popular resorts and tourist destinations. Production Designer Ed Verreaux added how Trevorrow wanted Jurassic World to feel like a high-end vacation destination. "We wanted it to feel like a Fiji resort, and when you go down that Main Street, it's all brands we know," the director revealed. Take a brief look at some of the scenes in "Jurassic World" that showcase the main boardwalk and audiences will see nods to iconic brands like Starbucks and Nobu... as well as Margaritaville, a vacation staple. 

As the featurette continues, audiences get to see behind-the-scenes footage of the late Buffett hanging behind the Margaritaville bar, operating as a bartender. In the video, Marshall playfully refers to the Margaritaville bartender as "Jim Buktu." What does Mr. Buktu think of his business showing up in "Jurassic World"? "Somehow, a Margaritaville wound up being chosen to be the bar here and it's just marvelous to see," Buffett said. "I'm a big fan of 'Jurassic Park' and it was fun to do," Buffett said about his now memorable cameo.