Top 10 Movie Actors in Video Games
Video games now have the big bucks to pay movie actors to voice their characters – and a lot of A-list stars (well, except for Adam Baldwin) have been getting in on the act. We punters get decent characterisation and dialogue that doesn’t suck as much as “Somebody set us up the bomb”. Actors get a bouncy castle full of money (voice acting in video games is the equivalent of doing an ad in Japan). They also get more free time – a weekend of mucking about in a sound studio is going to sit a lot better with the missus than three months shooting in a Mexico titty bar with Angelina Jolie. Money for nothing! Without further ado, let’s check out the top 10 movie actors in video games…
10. Movie actor – MARK HAMILL.
Video games: WING COMMANDER IV, ARKHAM ASYLUM, GABRIEL KNIGHT
Mark Hamill’s car crash stole his babyface good looks, completely changed his life and, sadly, wrecked his movie career. Mark Hamill has rarely done anything substantial since Star Wars, and that movie was a very, very long time ago in a galaxy far, far away. He’s had to get by on cameos. It’s sad. At least with video games like Batman: Arkham Asylum he can work his voice, not his looks, and has been given some opportunity to explore his range as an actor. He doesn’t need the money, but he may need the professional pride. We’d like to see him get more work, quite frankly.
9. Movie actor – LIAM NEESON.
Video game: FALLOUT 3
Super-huge big actor Liam Neeson (best known to you young buggers as “Qui Gon Jinn”) was probably underwhelmed, but Bethesda were delighted to sign him up in a lead role as James’s father in Fallout 3. Some people say his performance was boring. Well, it wasn’t. It was quite noble and stuff.
We also get Malcolm McDowell (A Clockwork Orange) as President Eden. He is another actor who will do anything, simply anything at all to pay the bills. Then again, he more than proved himself with some incendiary performances in the seventies. All is forgiven. In fact – there’s nothing to forgive, only savour.
8. Movie actor – VIN DIESEL.
Video game – CHRONICLES OF RIDDICK
Fans loved Vin Diesel‘ marshmallow-hearted killer in Pitch Black so much that it spawned sequels and and his appearance in the inevitable video game, Chronicles of Riddick. You can’t spot the difference between Vin Diesel in a computer game and in the flesh. That’s a slim compliment to the game’s visuals.
7. Movie actors – MARTIN SHEEN, CARRIE-ANNE MOSS, SETH GREEN.
Video game: MASS EFFECT 2
Mass Effect is famous for adding romance storylines to action gameplay. Your character’s gigolo or siren gets fondled by a film actor you’ve secretly lusted after for years! Exhibit A is Carrie-Anne Moss, who played Trinity in The Matrix. I can’t think of a man or woman who didn’t fall in love with her a little bit – and now that she’s Aria T’Loak in Mass Effect 2, everyone can have a go. You can just see the Mass Effect casting agents rubbing their hands when she signed up. Ah-yeaaaah.
Seth Green (Austin Powers ) adds a decent comedy slant to Mass Effect 2. And Martin Sheen? That’s pretty star-studded.
6. Movie actors – PATRICK STEWART, SEAN BEAN, TERENCE STAMP.
Video game: OBLIVION
Patrick Stewart‘s plummy voice is absolutely perfect for voice acting. If you’ve got yourself a video game with, let’s say, an Emperor in it, you’d be mad not to say: “Hey. Patrick Stewart. Stop mucking about at Star Trek conventions. Come and be Emperor Uriel Septim VII in Oblivion, willya?” Don’t sweat it – he’ll come to the opening of an envelope. He’ll do it for a battered sausage and a bag of chips.
Terence Stamp and Sean Bean also feature in Oblivion. Sean Bean plays Emperor Martin Septim, a fictional character who, fortunately, looks exactly like Sean Bean.
Patrick Stewart isn’t the only Star Trek tart out there. George Takei has also lent his talents as a voice actor to a video game, notably by playing Lord Hakira in Freelancer and Sulu in the Star Trek video game Star Trek: Judgment Rites.
5. Movie actors: KIEFER SUTHERLAND.
Video game: CALL OF DUTY
Kiefer Sutherland can survive without sleeping or going to the loo for 24 hrs, so it stands to reason he’d see a role as Sergeant Roebuck in Call of Duty: World at War as a step in the right direction. Sutherland can still remember the fallow years between Flatliners and 24 Hrs. He ain’t gonna turn work down.
Craig Fairbrass also features in Modern Warfare as Gaz, and later as Ghost, and although that is quite good, it’s not as good as Kiefer Sutherland. Even so… four for you, Craig Fairbrass! You go, Craig Fairbrass!
4. Movie actors – CHRISTOPHER WALKEN, SNOOP DOGG, GARY OLDMAN.
Video game: TRUE CRIME
There were two games in the franchise: True Crime: Streets of LA and True Crime: New York City. Snoop Dogg was clearly keen to get in on the act in a games described as a “GTA clone where you get to play a cop”. Snoop Dogg is an unlockable playable character in the game. Does anyone else get the urge to call him Snoopy-Dog-Dogg? That’s what my mum calls him.
Gary Oldman plays Rasputin “Rocky” Kuznetskov, a member of the Russian Mafia. Gary Oldman as a villain? Surely not.
Michelle Rodriguez has been in Avatar, Lost, The Fast and the Furious, Resident Evil… she just keeps ’em coming. In video games she plays Trudy Chacon in the Avatar video game, Marine in Halo 2, Calita in Driv3r and Rosie Velasco in True Crime: Streets of LA. Slow down, feller! You’re making the others look bad!
Christopher Walken needs no introduction. He plays George in True Crime: New York City. Well, that’s a lie. He just plays Christopher Walken, really – same as in the movies. What a god.
3. Movie actors – TOO MANY TO MENTION.
Video game – GRAND THEFT AUTO
Oh, dear god. The Grand Theft Auto franchise has featured just about every movie actor in the whole wide world. Ricky Gervais does an entire comedy gig. Michael Madsen (Reservoir Dogs is Toni Cipriani. Samuel L. Jackson is swoonsome and tough as Officer Tenpenny. James Woods (Once Upon A Time In America, Hercules, Casino) is Mike Toreno. Burt Reynolds (Deliverance) is Avery Carrington. Jenna Jameson (woohoo! I haven’t seen any of her p0rn movies as far as I know but I’ve heard they’re woohoo!) is Candy SUXXX. Ray Liotta (Goodfellas) is Tommy Vercetti. Even Wil Wheaton sneaks in as something or other. We could have listed another ten movie actors or so but we got bored.
2. Movie actor – ANDY SERKIS.
Video game – ENSLAVED: ODYSSEY TO THE WEST
Andy Serkis played the CGI Gollum in LOTR, and is therefore the most famous invisible man in history. As well as directing Enslaved: Odyssey to the West, he plays the character Monkey. Pop fact: The storyline for Enslaved was written by Alex Garland (The Beach). Holy entertainment medium! Everyone is jumping ship like rats to the world of the video game!
1. Movie actors – ALL THE GHOSTBUSTER ACTORS, GODAMMIT.
Video game – GHOSTBUSTERS
Oh, come on! This is for real, people! There is not one man or woman alive who does not feel the magic of Bill Murray (Dr. Peter Venkman), Dan Aykroyd (Dr. Raymond Stantz), Harold Ramis (Dr. Egon Spengler) and Ernie Hudson (Winston Zeddemore). Yes, even Ernie’s in there. It kind of makes up for him not being on the original Ghostbusters film posters. It’s a real shame the Ghostbusters video game didn’t have a part for Rick Moranis, but hey. At least you get to hang out with the team with your own proton pack. Ghostbusters creator Dan Aykroyd has said that “this is essentially the third movie.” The video game came out in 2009, but if you’ve only just heard, prepare to be sick with excitement.
As big games become story and character led, we can expect to see more A-listers proudly displaying video game creditson Wikipedia. Hands up who wants to see Isla Fisher play a raffish gnome who’s devoured by Adam Sandler‘s big giant spider? I know I do!
There’s also a strong argument for game studios saving their big bucks for development, not A-list stars. I know where I stand – and that’s on the fence. How about you?
If you can’t get enough pop culture, feel free to check out the video above – it’s a friendly random guy’s take on movie actors popping up all over the place in games. And why not?