School’s almost out and since we’re bound to have an inferno, face-melting summer with our extreme weather patterns lately, what are you or your kids planning on doing for entertainment inside your cool, air conditioned home? Well if you’re under the age of 18 (or merely consist of the XY chromosome), then video games starring celebrities are calling your name!
Even North Korean dictator Kim Jong-un, who unfortunately has a celebrity cult-like status among his people, wants in on the video game action. Expect to see him riding unicorns and burning American flags with Dennis Rodman at his side in a video game near you! Yep. Sounds ludicrous, but for entertainment studio Moneyhorse Games, which is the maker of the somewhat controversial Glorious Leader! game, Kim Jong-un is ludicrous and that's basically the point.
Cruel dictators aside, we take a look at the casting of real celebrities in the world of animation and CG. Check out some of our favorites...
Kristen Bell – Assassin’s Creed (2007), Assassin’s Creed II (2009), Assassin’s Creed: Brotherhood (2010)
Before she became a mom bent on doing massive damage to the paparazzo for taking pics of her kid, Kristen Bell was an undercover assassin in an evil organization in 2007’s Assassin’s Creed. The Veronica Mars star portrayed Lucy Stillman, one of the most important characters in the Assassin’s Creed series to date. Who knew the seemingly sweet and chipper Bell could be so badass?
While Bell’s stint in the series came to an end with 2010’s Brotherhood, she went on to voice Anna, her character from Disney’s Frozen, in the 2013 game Disney Infinity.
Sean Connery – 007: From Russia with Love (2005)
One of the finest actors in box office history came partially out of retirement to reprise his greatest role for a video game in 2005. Sean Connery, the first actor to portray James Bond on the silver screen, not only lent his likeness to Electronic Arts’ 007: From Russia with Love, but also his voice. (Subtitles, anyone?)
007: From Russia with Love, which is the video game adaptation of the classic Bond film of the same name that also starred Connery, marked the first time Connery had stepped into the shoes of England’s greatest spy in over 22 years. (But as Connery would probably like to remind you: In real life, he's a proud Scotsman. And don't you forget it.)
Seth Green – Mass Effect (2007), Mass Effect 2 (2010), Mass Effect 3 (2012)
The mastermind behind Adult Swim’s Robot Chicken played a pivotal character in the original Mass Effect trilogy. Seth Green, who is a big fan of science fiction films, was cast as Joker, the pilot of the main character’s chip, the Normandy.
Nearly any time players wander around the Normandy, they can interact with the likeness of Seth Green as Joker and hear his signature sarcasm shine through. However, that’s not to say that Green didn’t record some very dramatic scenes throughout the trilogy, as there are some very dark moments that allow Green’s more serious side to shine through. But, we have to admit, it’s really weird equating Green with seriousness. Seriously.
Ray Liotta – Grand Theft Auto: Vice City (2002)
“The hardest part was leaving the life. I have to wait around like everyone else. I’m an average nobody. Get to live the rest of my life like a schmuck.” Those were the famous last lines of Ray Liotta, who played real-life mobster Henry Hill, in the iconic mobster flick, Goodfellas. But Liotta got to return to a life of crime (or a semblance of it) in Grand Theft Auto: Vice City, which is remembered as one of the defining games in the beloved, yet controversial series. Without Liotta's masterful performance, the main character probably wouldn’t have been so memorable.
The actor lent his voice to the fresh-out-of-prison Tommy Vercetti, a character who wastes little time before finding himself back in the thick of it. Liotta’s critically acclaimed performance helped move the series forward as it followed Grand Theft Auto III, which featured a silent protagonist.
Liam Neeson – Fallout 3 (2008)
Just like some of his latest films—Taken, Unknown, Non-Stop—Liam Neeson's video game cameo is another (almost) one-worded project: Fallout 3. The post-apocalyptic game thrusts players into the wastelands pretty quickly, but not before they’re given a crash course on life from their father, voiced by Neeson.
Neeson, who is known for his work in Schindler’s List, Batman Begins, Star Wars: Episode I, Taken, and many others, provides the narration for the introduction of the role-playing game, as well as some crucial voice acting later on in the adventure. As always, he means business—and so does his voice.
Snoop Dogg – True Crime: Streets of LA (2003), Def Jam: Fight for NY (2004)
It’s the D-O-Double G to the nizzle fo shizzle. Okay, so you may not literally get Snoop Dogg’s language, but at least you get his drift. While his likeness and voice talents have appeared in multiple games, the legendary rapper-turned-reggae singer’s first major appearance in video games came in a cameo as an unlockable character in the open-world game True Crime: Streets of LA in 2003.
Snoop Dogg also appeared through his likeness and voice in Def Jam: Fight for NY as Crow, a brutal gang leader who acts as the game’s main antagonist. In 2013, Snoop Dogg released a rhythm-based fighting game called Way of the Dogg, where he starred as the main character. And for that he deserves a bow wow wow yippie yo yippie yay.