Celebrities have been making appearances in video games for decades, like Michael Jackson’s Moonwalker on the Sega Megadrive and Mike Tyson’s Punch-Out on the NES. It’s a sure-fire way to get people talking.
As production quality improves and games continue to dominate the entertainment world, more A-listers than ever are being tempted to make appearances in the most exciting top-tier releases.
Just recently, we’ve seen Norman Reedus and Conan O’Brien in Hideo Kojima’s Death Stranding, and Keanu Reeves will star in Cyberpunk 2077 (when it finally comes out) as Johnny Silverhand.
But not all celebrity appearances are as well-remembered or widely-regarded as those above. We’ve rounded up 9 of the biggest Hollywood stars who you might not know appeared in video games.
Rami Malek in Until Dawn
Before he became a household name, playing hacker Elliot Alderson in Mr Robot and Freddie Mercury in Queen biopic Bohemian Rhapsody, Rami Malek starred in PS4 interactive horror drama Until Dawn, from the creators of The Dark Pictures Anthology.
He played Josh, for which both his likeness and voice were used, and starred opposite Hayden Panettiere in the game. You might remember her as Claire ‘The Cheerleader’ Bennet in Tim Kring’s superhero series Heroes.
Matthew Perry in Fallout: New Vegas
Matthew Perry rose to fame playing Chandler Bing in 90s sitcom Friends, but he also voiced a secondary antagonist called Benny in Fallout: New Vegas. Perry’s love for Fallout 3 is supposedly what landed him the role, after he appeared on The Ellen Show with a copy of the game in 2009.
“I played this video game so often that I injured my hand so severely that I had to go to a hand doctor and get injections in my hand because I love this video game so much,” he said at the time.
Snoop Dogg in True Crime: Streets of LA
Snoop Dogg – formerly Snoop Doggy Dogg, and briefly Snoop Lion – has had a long and varied career. He’s been a rapper, an actor, a chef alongside Martha Stewart, and the face of UK food delivery app Just Eat.
He was also a playable character in 2003 open-world game True Crime: Streets of LA, which tasked the player with heading up an undercover task force to stop Russian and Chinese gangs overtaking the City of Angels.
Snoop was unlocked after the player collected 30 Dogg Bones scattered throughout Los Angeles (or by entering a cheat code). He also came with his own mini-game called Dogg Patrol, and even recorded music for the soundtrack.
Kristen Bell in Assassin’s Creed
She’s probably most well-known as the voice of Princess Anna in Disney’s behemoth of a franchise, Frozen, but The Good Place star Kristen Bell also contributed her vocal talents to Ubisoft’s popular Assassin’s Creed series of games.
Bell first lent her voice and likeness to the character Lucy Stillman in the original 2007 game Assassin’s Creed, and later reprised the role in 2009’s Assassin’s Creed II and 2010’s Assassin’s Creed: Brotherhood.
Patrick Stewart in Castlevania: Lords of Shadow
He’s got one of the most recognizable voices in Hollywood thanks to roles as Charles Xavier in X-Men and Jean-Luc Picard in Star Trek, so it’s no surprise that Patrick Stewart is in high-demand for video games like Lego Universe and The Elder Scrolls.
Stewart’s biggest video game roles were in Castlevania: Lords of Shadow 1 & 2. As well as taking on the role of narrator, he played Zobek, a founding member of the Brotherhood of Light and one of the Lords of Shadow who aids protagonist Gabriel.
Ice Cube in Call of Duty: Black Ops
Ice Cube has found success in various forms of entertainment, from music to movies and TV, and in 2010 he tried his hand at video game voice acting in Call of Duty: Black Ops, where he portrayed Chief Petty Officer Joseph Bowman.
Bowman appeared in almost every mission played by protagonist Mason, until he was killed by a Spetsnaz Operative in the campaign mission Payback.
Chloë Grace Moretz in Dishonored
Chloë Grace Moretz rose to fame at just 13-year-old when she played Hit-Girl in 2010 superhero movie Kick-Ass, and has gone on to star in several big-budget movies including Dark Shadows, 2013’s Carrie remake, and the upcoming live-action Tom & Jerry adaptation.
She also found time to voice the young princess Emily Kaldwin in Bethesda’s Dishonored. The game had a star-studded cast of voice actors, including Oscar-winner Susan Sarandon and Star Wars actor Carrie Fisher.
Gary Oldman in The Legend of Spyro
We all know him as Commissioner Jim Gordon in Christopher Nolan’s acclaimed trilogy of Batman movies, but British actor Gary Oldman has also lent his voice to a number of video game franchises including two Call of Duty entries.
Lesser known, however, is his work on the Legend of Spyro trilogy games, where he voiced fire dragon Ignitus opposite Elijah Wood’s iconic hero Spyro.
Ricky Gervais in Grand Theft Auto IV
With the help of British sitcom The Office and his recent smash hit Netflix series After Life, Ricky Gervais has become arguably one of the world’s most famous comedians-turned-actors.
But his stand-up roots remain in Grand Theft Auto IV, where his likeness was recreated in the game. He can be found at the Split Sides comedy club performing an original routine that players could watch in full.
Christina Aguilera in The Sims: Superstar
The Sims is one of the most well-known and beloved video game franchises in the world, and has often partnered with celebrities like Katy Perry and Carly Rae Jepsen to promote their games.
But you might not remember that singer and actor Christina Aguilera appeared alongside a number of other pop stars including Avril Lavigne, Jon Bon Jovi, and Jennifer Lopez in a 2003 expansion pack called Superstar.
Phil Collins in Grand Theft Auto: Vice City Stories
Another unlikely celebrity cameo in Grand Theft Auto was Phil Collins, the chart-topping soft rock icon and former member of the band Genesis.
He appeared in the 80s-centric Vice City Stories, and was the first celebrity to ever play themselves in a Grand Theft Auto game. There’s even a quest named after him, the appropriately-titled In The Air Tonight.
Gary Coleman in The Curse of Monkey Island
As well as a bizarre appearance as himself in Postal 2, actor and comedian Gary Coleman also voiced Kenny Falmouth in The Curse of Monkey Island, the third installment of LucasArts’ iconic point-and-click Monkey Island series and the first to feature voice acting.
Falmouth ran a lemonade stand with a sneaky ‘bottomless mug’ policy before starting a new business selling cannons for the player’s pirate ship, all while speaking with Coleman’s inimitable voice.