Video games are arguably a bigger medium than films now with Grand Theft Auto making $1 billion in its first three days of release which is equivalent to what The Avengers took in total, so there is little wonder the A-List Hollywood actors are prepared to lend their voices to these productions in order to get a slice of that very lucrative, digital pie. Here we look at some of the biggest names that you probably didn't realize were in your favorite video games.
1. Elijah Wood
Best known for his work as Frodo Baggins in The Lord of The Rings trilogy, Elijah Wood has appeared in many hit films in recent years but he is also an avid gamer as well as having a brother who works as a games producer for Sony, so it is perhaps of little surprise that he has featured in many video game hits as well. He was turned to for the video game tie-ins of the fantasy trilogy he is famous for but has also voiced iconic purple dragon, Spyro in The Legend of Spyro series as well as cropping up in various other hit titles such as God of War 3 and Broken Age.
2. Christopher Walken
With a pretty iconic, and often aped, speech pattern that has become an identifying trope of the actor, it is a surprise more people don't recognize his voice work in video games but he has used his voice to great effect in True Crime: Streets of L.A as the elderly desk sergeant George. Of course, many gamers might have glossed over the fact that Walken was in the game as Snoop Dogg appears as a playable character in the game, the rapper also lending his voice to the character of himself.
3. Ellen Page
The Canadian actress who is known for many film roles including Juno, Xmen: Days of Future Past and Inception, she revolutionized the way acting in video games was seen in 2013 when she donned a motion capture suit and actually acted out many of the scenes for the game Beyond: Two Souls as well as giving a voice performance for the character Jodie. The game offered the player several moral choices to make and had alternate endings depending on which path they chose. So dynamic and well received was Page's performance that it became the talk of the industry and even landed her nominations for Best Voice Actress at the Spike TV VGX awards and Best Performer at the British Academy Video Game Awards. Fellow Hollywood actor Willem Dafoe also did the same for his part in the game.
4. Mark Hammil
Best known as Luke Skywalker in the Star Wars franchise, outside of the film industry Hammil has carved out a career as one of the most highly sought after voice actors of his generation and whilst the iconic Batman villain The Joker may conjure up images of Heath Ledger or Jared Leto to some, it is Hammil who has played the role of the Dark Knight's nemesis in animated adventures for over 20 years. It was perhaps no wonder then, that he was the instant choice to voice the character again in the Batman: Arkham series of games. He has, of course, also voiced his iconic Luke Skywalker character in games from the Star Wars franchise as well as characters in Kingdom Hearts and the Call of Duty series as well as playing Wolverine in the Xmen games franchise, a role usually associated with Hugh Jackman for his portrayal of the character in films.
5. Gary Oldman
Legendary British actor, Gary Oldman has an impressive body of work in film that has seen him play Dracula as well as appear in the Harry Potter series and has changed his voice so after for film that he actually had to have a voice coach in order to regain his original accent. Such is his dedication to the craft, it is probably no surprise that he has been sounded out for video game performances where he has performed alongside Elijah Wood in The Legend of Spyro series as Ignitus as well as Daniel Clark and Sergeant Viktor Reznov in Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare and Lord Vortek in LEGO Dimensions.
6. Seth Green
Comic actor Seth Green is perhaps best known for his roles as Oz in Buffy The Vampire Slayer and Scott Evil in the Austin Powers franchise but he is also no stranger to voice over work as he works on long-running animated shows Robot Chicken and Family Guy. An avid gamer, he has also been employed to use his vocal talents to play the character Joker in the Mass Effect games, a franchise he considers revolutionary for their use of decision-making technology.
7. Samuel L Jackson
The hardest working man in Hollywood, Samuel L. Jackson has appeared in over 100 films during his career with his distinctive brand of acting and highly powerful voice yet he still manages to find time to squeeze in other projects as well including hosting the Spike TV Video Game awards on various occasions. In terms of being in a game though Sam gave a sterling performance as the corrupt cop Frank Tenpenny in the smash hit game Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas. He has also reprised film roles for video game tie-ins such as Nick Fury from The Avengers and Frozone from The Incredibles. cropping up in Afro Samurai too, it appears Mr. Jackson is just as hard working in games as well as Hollywood.
8. Liam Neeson
The man that no one will ever take anything from anymore after he went from Oscar-nominated drama master to re-invented action hero archetype. Liam Neeson rarely works in video games as he is too busy smashing in bad guy faces in films such as the Taken series. However, when the makers of Fallout 3 approached him about the protagonist's father figure, James, for whom they had always had him in mind when developing the character, he found the script complex and compelling and agreed to do the vocals for it.
9. George Takei
Famed for his portrayal of Sulu on the original Star Trek series, George Takei has become an internet sensation and a champion of technology in all its forms, becoming involved in several projects trying to encourage older generations to embrace it. It is little wonder then that he has willingly appeared in such video games as Command and Conquer: Red Alert 3 where he plays Emperor Yoshiro with Jonathan Pryce and Tim Curry also lending their voices to characters in the game alongside Oscar-winner J.K Simmons and David Hasselhoff.
10. Sir Patrick Stewart
Commander Jean-Luc Picard in Star Trek: The Next Generation TV series and Professor Magneto in the X-men film franchise, he has reprised these roles for video game tie-ins to the on-screen work. He has also done other voice over work for games such as Lego Universe, Forgotten Realms and The Elder Scrolls: Oblivion, the latter of which he won a Spike TV Video Game Award for playing Emperor Uriel Septim. Not a gamer himself, Sir Stewart says he avoids going due to an addictive personality that he says would be too dangerous to take up such an addictive past-time.