Have you ever played a video game and heard a familiar voice you didn't expect? Sometimes that voice belongs to a Hollywood celebrity.
Many times, though, we find ourselves a little taken aback to hear that particular voice in a video game, and sometimes, it's even distracting from gameplay knowing that a big name celebrity is behind certain characters.
Of course, that's not to say that Hollywood actors and actresses have nothing to offer in video game voice acting. Often, the voices are well cast and suit the character well.
But the initial surprise doesn't always wear off. Here's a list of celebrities who surprised us by turning up as video game voice actors.
Liam Neeson As James In Fallout 3
Back before all the Taken movies, Liam Neeson was a serious Oscar-nominated actor (Schindler's List, anyone?), so those of us who played Fallout 3 in 2008 were surprised to find out that he was the voice of James, the father of the main character we played in the game. Of course, Neeson was so good in the role that we all wished he were our father for real.
Charles Dance As Emhyr In The Witcher 3: The Wild Hunt
We knew ahead of time that Charles Dance was taking on the role of Emhyr var Emreis, the Emperor of Nilfgaard in The Witcher 3. Up until that point, though, we only really knew Dance from his turn as Tywin Lannister on HBO's Game of Thrones, but we saw how things turned out for that character (not very well).
Although most of us haven't actually completed The Witcher 3 yet, we wonder if his character's fate won't turn out similar. Because Emhyr is a lot like Tywin, yet with a lot more power, he's bound to have some enemies (and Geralt really doesn't like him much either).
Susan Sarandon As Granny Rags In Dishonored
Susan Sarandon has an Academy Award, but that still didn't stop her from playing the very odd character of Granny Rags in Dishonored. Hearing Sarandon take on a character so far down the rabbit hole of madness and black magic was eerie, but the actress handled it like a pro.
In Dishonored, Rags offers two very strange side missions to Corvo, the main character. It's also really weird to think of Sarandon playing a character often seen feeding her "birdies," which is what she calls plague rats. Yeah, Granny Rags is bonkers and a lot of that weirdness comes from Sarandon's voice performance.
Dennis Hopper As Steve Scott In Grand Theft Auto: Vice City
Some would argue that Grand Theft Auto: Vice City is the greatest of all the Grand Theft Auto games and a lot of that has to do with Dennis Hopper being part of the game. Who expected Dennis Hopper to even turn up in a video game, particularly one so violent? Okay, now that we think about it, it sort of makes sense. But Hopper still surprised us as the pornographic film director Steve Scott in the game. Let's just say that it was trippy hearing the Easy Rider himself in that role.
Sean Bean As Martin Septim In The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion
Sean Bean is an actor we know mostly from the roles he takes in film and on TV where his character always dies. That fate follows Bean into the world of video games, because in The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion, his character, Martin Septim, dies at the hand of Oblivion's hero after Septim shatters the Amulet of Kings and becomes a giant dragon. Here's an interesting sidenote: Septim was the illegitimate son of the Emperor in the game, voiced by none other than Patrick Stewart.
Patrick Stewart As King Richard In Lands of Lore: Throne of Chaos
Patrick Stewart turns up occasionally in video games, but the first time was with Lands of Lore: Throne of Chaos, when Stewart became one of the first celebrities to voice a video game character. This was way back in 1993, way before video games became a hot commodity. Of course, Stewart was also awesome as Sean Bean's dad in The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion, as we mentioned above.
Kristen Bell As Lucy Stillman In Assassins Creed
When we first plugged into Assassins Creed in 2007, we knew the voice of Lucy sounded familiar, but it took us some time to realize that it was Veronica Mars herself, Kristen Bell. This was way before Bell took on the role of Anna in Disney's hit film, Frozen, so it was surprising to hear her in Assassins Creed as one of the assassins. Bell voiced Lucy for a total of three games, right until the end of Desmond's story.
Seth Green As Joker In Mass Effect
Would you trust Seth Green to pilot a spaceship? Well, in all three Mass Effect games, that's exactly who sat at the helm: a character called Jeff "Joker" Moreau voiced by Green. And at first, it felt a little weird to have Buffy: The Vampire Slayer's Oz playing the role, but in the end, Green was the perfect fit. We even liked the little romance he had with the AI, Eva, at the end of the series. Now, we can't imagine anyone else as Joker.
Axl Rose As Tommy Smith In Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas
Those who spent time driving through the city in Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas, listened to the radio in the game a lot. If you tuned the station to K-DST, though, you heard a familiar voice: that of Axl Rose as DJ Tommy Smith. It was a pleasant surprise, and it worked out great because K-DST was a classic rock station in the game.
Tim Curry As Gabriel Knight In Gabriel Knight: Sins of the Fathers
Back in the 1990s, when video games were still fairly new, at least in the home, one of the most popular point-and-click adventures was a series about a Southern-bred shadow hunter called Gabriel Knight. Who better to voice a New Orleans drawl than the deep bassy voice of Tim Curry? But the thing is, we would never expect Curry to be so good in the role. However, he proved so invaluable in the first game that when the sequel, Gabriel Knight: The Beast Within, came out featuring live actors without Curry, fans complained about his absence.
The remastered 20th anniversary version of Gabriel Knight: Sins of the Fathers came out last year, and although the new voice actor for Gabriel did a decent job of recreating Curry's original performance, it still, somehow, wasn't the same.
Photo credit: Bethesda