Keanu Reeves is dominating almost all aspects of 2019: He’s starring in the smash hit film John Wick Chapter 3: Parabellum, voicing Duke Caboom in Toy Story 4 and appearing as himself in an extended cameo in the Netflix romantic comedy Always Be My Maybe. Now, he’s set to conquer video games as well. Next year, he will voice and lend his likeness to a character in Cyberpunk 2077.
6 Celebs You Forgot Were in Video Games
But Keanu isn’t the only celeb to have appeared or portrayed a character in a video game; far from it actually. As video games overtake movies and television as the most profitable medium in entertainment, the prospect of A-list celebrities appearing in games doesn’t sound as far fetched anymore.
More and more games showcase dramatic and entertaining narratives that rival any movie or television production. One only need to look at 2013’s The Last of Us to get an idea of the stories that video games have the ability to tell. Due to this, video games have become an enticing opportunity for celebrities. With the advent of motion capture technology that possesses the ability to capture facial and body movements, the actors are essentially undertaking another acting job, just in a digital format.
With that, let’s take a look at six celebrities who have already taken the plunge and made an appearance in the world of gaming.
Kit Harington in ‘Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare’
Kit Harington, best known for his role of Jon Snow on Game of Thrones, left Westeros for the video game world in 2016, appearing in Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare as the villainous Admiral Salen Kotch.
The role was a far cry from the heroic Jon Snow, as Kotch was a ruthless leader that believed that empathy was a weakness and did not hesitate to kill anyone who stood in his path.
Samuel L. Jackson in ‘Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas’
OK so, this is one of the more well-known appearances by a celebrity in a video game but it’s too good not to mention. Samuel L. Jackson, John Shaft II himself, portrayed Officer Frank Tenpenny, the main antagonist of Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas. He was a corrupt cop that plagued the game’s protagonist, Carl Johnson, at every turn. Often forcing him to participate in his villainous schemes and criminal enterprises, Tenpenny was a true force to be reckoned with.
Liam Neeson in ‘Fallout 3’
Liam Neeson is known for many things: His massive stature, his Irish brogue and his particular set of skills being just a few. What you might not know about him is that he voiced the protagonist’s father in 2008’s Fallout 3.
The main story of that game had the player searching the endless wastes of a post-apocalyptic Washington D.C., for Neeson’s character and, depending on the player’s choices, saving the day or becoming the bad guy.
Martin Sheen in the ‘Mass Effect’ Trilogy
Perhaps best known for his role as President Josiah Bartlett on The West Wing, Martin Sheen, much like Kit Harington, took on the role of a much different character in the Mass Effect franchise, that of the villainous Illusive Man.
In a universe where humanity interacts and is a part of an entire galactic community, Sheen’s Illusive Man is the leader of an organization by the name of Cerberus that is obsessed with human dominance over all beings.
Emma Stone in ‘Sleeping Dogs‘
Now here’s an appearance that flew under the radar for a lot of people. Academy Award winner Emma Stone portrayed Amanda Cartwright, a love interest and supporting character in the 2012 game Sleeping Dogs.
Stone was still in the early stages of her career, which is why her appearance may have gone unnoticed by a lot of people. Regardless, Sleeping Dogs was well received by most and proved to be one of the more underrated games of that year.
Peter Dinklage in ‘Destiny’
Destiny was one of the most highly anticipated releases of 2014, was positively received by critics (for the most part) and saw incredible success commercially, selling more than $500 million.
Peter Dinklage portrayed a tiny robot AI named Ghost, which accompanied the player on the main questline throughout the game. Unfortunately, Dinklage was unable to appear in any of the game’s DLC add-ons and so the developers brought another actor to voice Ghost for them. In an effort to provide a sense of continuity, the new actor re-recorded all of Dinklage’s lines, effectively removing him from the game entirely.