Video games have come a long way since the days they were considered exclusively kids’ entertainment. Today, this is a multi-billion dollar industry with millions of fans, a fast-growing competitive scene, and it’s even brought about some of today’s influential stars (like Ninja). So, it’s no surprise that video games and Hollywood have been crossing paths for some time now. Some films and TV shows have even started to act like video games, like Black Mirror: Bandersnatch and Late Shift. Many Hollywood stars love video games, and some have even starred or been featured in actual games! So, let’s take a look at some of those stars!
10 Until Dawn - Rami Malek
Rami Malek is one of today’s most critically acclaimed actors, thanks to his stellar performances in Mr. Robot and Bohemian Rhapsody. In 2015, he acted in a horror video game called Until Dawn. Released exclusively on the PS4, the video game centers on a group of teenagers who choose to spend a weekend in an isolated cabin on a mountain. The teenagers soon find themselves under attack, and they have to survive until dawn. Through player choices, all the characters can die, but they can also survive. There are hundreds of different scenarios which can play out, so multiple playthroughs are the best way to experience it.
9 Beyond: Two Souls - Ellen Page
The actress rose to fame with award-winning Juno in 2007. Since then, she has starred in a range of films and TV shows, from X-Men to The Umbrella Academy. But she has also dabbled in video games. She starred in Beyond: Two Souls, an interactive drama game about a character with supernatural abilities brought about by a psychic link to an invisible entity. She worked on the video game for a whole year, performing motion-capture and voice acting. According to Hollywood.com, the game was seen at the Tribeca Film Festival, which is an incredibly rare feat for a video game.
8 Hitman 2 - Sean Bean
If there’s one actor who’s famous for dying in his roles, it’s Sean Bean. From Lord of the Rings to Game of Thrones, Equilibrium, Goldeneye and more, he has made a career out of kicking the bucket. This tradition continues in Hitman 2, a game where he plays an elusive target that Agent 47, the main character, must assassinate. Hitman 2 is an action game where you get assigned one or more targets to eliminate per mission, and it’s up to you how they get to die.
You can storm in guns blazing or be creative with options like poisons and traps.
7 Crackdown 3 - Terry Crews
Terry Crews is one of the most likable actors in Hollywood. He currently stars in Brooklyn Nine-Nine, and he has also played roles in films like Idiocracy, The Expendables, and White Chicks. He is also a hardcore gamer, with a custom-built PC for all his PC games. Crews has also starred in Crackdown 3, which he describes as a “Terry Crews simulator”. The game received mixed reviews, but one thing most critics agreed on was that Crews’ performance was praiseworthy. With his love for video games, it won’t be a surprise if he headlines another video game in the near future.
6 Batman: Arkham Series - Mark Hammill
Thanks to his role as Luke Skywalker in the Star Wars franchise, Mark Hammill is one of the most popular actors of the past few decades, especially among geeks. But he has another iconic role, which a few people might be surprised to learn: The Joker in Batman: The Animated Series.
His performance was so iconic that when Rocksteady Studios decided to make their own Batman video games, they got him to reprise the role. Hammill ended up featuring in three Batman games: Arkham Asylum, Arkham City and Arkham Knight. His performance drew critical acclaim, and the games became instant bestsellers.
5 Broken Age - Elijah Wood
Elijah Wood is most famous for his portrayal of Frodo Baggins in the Lord of the Rings films. But he has also starred in a range of movies like The Faculty, Maniac and Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind.
He is also no stranger to video games. He has provided voice roles for the video game adaptations of the Lord of The Rings trilogy and Happy Feet. He also featured in Broken Age, a point and click indie game from developer Double Fine. This was the largest crowd-funded video game at the time, raising over 3.4 million dollars from 87,000 backers.
4 The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt - Charles Dance
You might know Charles Dance from Game of Thrones; he acted as Tywin Lannister, the head of the powerful Lannister house. He was also in two Underworld films, and he has starred in a wide range of movies and plays. His first video game credit came through The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt, where he played as Emhyr van Emreis, the emperor of Nilfgaard. Like Tywin Lannister, Emperor Emhyr is a man of few words, incredibly powerful, and so ruthless that many fans tend to hate him.
He has also featured in Call of Duty: Black Ops 4 in the Dead of Night zombies map.
3 Mass Effect 2 and 3 - Martin Sheen
Martin Sheen has had a glittering Hollywood career since the 1970s with films like Apocalypse Now and Badlands. More recently, he starred in The West Wing as President Josiah Bartlet; this role won him an Emmy Award. Proving that even award-winning actors are no strangers to video games, Sheen played the role of the Illusive Man in Mass Effect 2 and Mass Effect 3. The trilogy became a massive success, selling over 14 million copies, garnering critical acclaim, and encouraging plenty of devoted fans to cosplay as the characters. With a response like that, Sheen should definitely consider doing more video game roles.
2 Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain - Keifer Sutherland
Most of us know Keifer Sutherland for his role in 24, where he plays Jack Bauer, a ruthless CTU (Counter Terrorism Unit) agent. His gritty acting led him to be approached to perform in video games. This started with 24: The Game, but he later featured in a couple of Call of Duty games, including World at War and the DLC for Black Ops 4. But the highlight of his video game career is Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain. In this game, he plays Punished “Venom” Snake, a mercenary leader on a revenge mission against people who decimated his forces and nearly killed him.
1 Rage - John Goodman
Since the 80s, John Goodman has acted in dozens of films and series. If you watch movies, chances are you’ve seen something with him in it. His highlights include Arachnophobia, Barton Fink, The Big Lebowski, 10 Cloverfield Lane, and Black Earth Rising. He has also done quite a bit of acting for video games. Since 1996, he has appeared in Pyst, Monsters, Inc., Rage, and Lego The Incredibles, among others. In Rage, he voiced Dan Hagar, the first character who the protagonist meets. According to Mental Floss, the game’s creators hired him because their sketch of Hagar reminded them of Goodman’s character in The Big Lebowski.