5 unexpected celebrity appearances in video games

Dillon Thompson

There’s nothing unusual about A-list celebrities appearing in video games — at least not anymore.

Once upon a time, Hollywood actors might have been more skeptical to lend their voice (or their face) to franchises like Grand Theft Auto and Call of Duty, but things have changed.

Video games are becoming increasingly cinematic in nature, and these days the industry out-earns box office figures by billions of dollars each year. That’s just one of the many reasons that today, you can power up a PS4 and find Keanu Reeves, Kit Harrington or even Conan O’Brien staring right back at you.

Not every cameo is as obvious though. Here are five of the most fascinating, unexpected celebrity appearances you might’ve missed in your favorite games.

1. Samuel L. Jackson

Jackson has appeared in more than 150 films, so it only makes sense he’d have a few video games on his resume too. Notably, the “Pulp Fiction” actor has a major role in Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas, where he plays a an antagonistic police officer named Frank Tenpenny.

Jackson’s appearance doesn’t stand alone in the 2004 game either: He appears alongside several other big-name actors, including David Cross, Chris Penn, Ice-T and James Woods.

2. Kristen Bell

In addition to appearing as her “Frozen” character, Anna, in multiple Disney Infinity games, Bell has also shown up in several entries of the Assassins Creed franchise.

Bell’s character, Lucy Stillman, appeared in the first-ever Assassins Creed game in 2007 and continued on for several years to come. Unfortunately, Stillman was killed off during Assassins Creed: Brotherhood, so it’s unclear what — if any — future Bell has with the franchise.

3. Emma Stone

Academy Award-winner Emma Stone is much more than a big-screen actor. The 31-year-old year old has also lent her voice to movie soundtracks, Broadway shows and, perhaps surprisingly, video games.

In 2012’s Sleeping Dogs, Stone plays Amanda Cartwright, a love interest for the game’s main character. She also recorded motion capture for her character.

4. Ellen Page

Page didn’t just show up in a video game, she starred in one. In Beyond: Two Souls, an interactive drama game released by Sony in 2015, Page appears alongside actor Willem Dafoe as one of two playable characters.

The “Umbrella Academy” actress was praised for her role, which, due to the game’s cinematic nature, required extremely complex and in-depth performances from its voice actors.

5. Vin Diesel

Diesel, who sometimes feels like a video game character in his own movies, has starred in several major franchises over the past two decades.

In addition to games based on films like “Fast & Furious” and “The Chronicles of Riddick,” the 52-year-old also lent his voice to the 2009 game, Wheelman.

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