Five Oscar-Winning Actors Who’ve Also Appeared In Video Games
So that was the Oscars for 2019. By which we mean, this was the Oscars for 2019 - click there to find LADbible's coverage of the annual Academy Awards do, the highest-profile ceremony of its kind for the film industry.
One of the biggest winners on the night - the night being last night - was Bohemian Rhapsody. Love it or loathe it, the movie won four Academy Awards, with Rami Malek, who plays the late Queen frontman Freddie Mercury in the film, scooping the coveted Best Actor gong.
Malek has popped up on screens both cinema-sized and living room-proportioned for several years, with a starring role in the TV series Mr Robot representing a mainstream breakthrough. But he was well-known to gamers long before Bohemian Rhapsody propelled him to all-new heights of recognition, having had a significant role in the excellent 2015 PS4 exclusive Until Dawn as the prank-loving Josh. (Seriously, if you've not played it, what are you even doing?)
And Malek's far from the only Oscar-winning actor to have popped up in our preferred entertainment medium. Here are just five more famous faces who've found time for some interactive fun in between film projects.
You'll know Walken from a host of big-budget movies and indie hits alike - he's starred in Batman Returns, True Romance, The Jungle Book, Annie Hall, Catch Me If You Can, Pulp Fiction and Sleepy Hollow, to name but a handful. Nominated for two Oscars in his career, Walken won in the category of Best Supporting Actor for 1978's The Deer Hunter.
Walken's video game debut came way back in 1996, in the awfully brilliantly awful FMV title Ripper. Seriously, watch some of this stuff. It's gloriously bad. By which we mean: essential viewing. You cannot slice bacon with a baseball bat, too true. Walken also appeared in a pair of True Crime games, and another game rocking FMV scenes, Privateer 2: The Darkening. But if you only watch him in one video game, please, make it Ripper.
Moore's earned a pretty impressive five Oscar nominations in her career, winning in the category of Best Actress in 2015 for Still Alice. She also earned shortlist spots for The Hours, Boogie Nights and The End of the Affair, and has starred in blockbusters like The Hunger Games, Hannibal and The Lost World: Jurassic Park.
And it's her role in the dinosaur-tastic flick that Moore reprised for a video game. It's certainly not the most famous Jurassic Park-related game, but 1997's real-time strategy title Chaos Island: The Lost World featured a lot of its related movie's key cast members. So, Jeff Goldblum and Vince Vaughn also weigh in with voice performances. Reception of the game, only released for PC, was mixed to negative, which is probably why it never stuck in the memory.
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Morgan Freeman: you may know him as the President of the United States (Deep Impact), Nelson Mandela (Invictus), Lucius Fox (Batman Begins and The Dark Knight), or even, um, God, actually (Bruce Almighty and Evan Almighty). There were those sexual harassment allegations of last year, too, which were rather more depressing (and remain unresolved, so far as I can tell). But Freeman's first and only Oscar win, for Best Supporting Actor, came in 2004, for his role in boxing drama Million Dollar Baby.
Freeman reprised his role of Lucius Fox in 2005's Batman Begins video game - but a year before that, he appeared (kind of) in one of the most-celebrated titles of all time, Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas. Not that he was in it, exactly, but come on - the barber character of Old Reece is Morgan Freeman. Right? The actor later showed up in Wanted: Weapons of Fate, but the less said about that one, the better.
Dame Judi is British acting royalty, and has been a regular on the telly and in films since the 1960s. Her highest-profile roles on the big screen include playing Queens Victoria and Elizabeth I in Victoria & Abdul and Shakespeare In Love respectively, and it's for the latter 1998 movie that she picked up the Oscar for Best Supporting Actress.
Dench has also been a mainstay of modern James Bond films, playing the role of M since 1995's GoldenEye. And she's carried the role over to video games, voicing M from 2004's 007: Everything or Nothing to 2012's 007 Legends. Good grief, 007 Legends. I don't sell many games, but I couldn't move that mess on fast enough.
An Oscar-winner in 2015, in the Best Supporting Actor category, for his astonishing turn as music teacher Terence Fletcher in Whiplash, J.K. Simmons was, for the longest time, one of those faces who'd pop up often in TV shows and films, but you'd never quite remember his name. Before Whiplash, his casting as J Jonah Jameson in 2002's Spider-Man helped his profile no end, and he's returned to the world of comic characters since then, taking on the role of Jim Gordon in 2017's Justice League.
Gamers, however, got a potent dose of Simmons in 2008's FMV-laden Command & Conquer 3: Red Alert, a release famous for its wonderful over-acting. In it, Simmons plays American President Howard T Ackerman, and yes, you should watch his performances. Uh, that bit where he loosens his tie. Uh. (Though he can't hold a candle to Tim Curry, obviously.) He also found fans in the gaming world for his voice-over work in the acclaimed Portal 2 - he (brilliantly) plays Cave Johnson, the founder and CEO of in-game bad guys (sorta), Aperture Science.
Want more? Check out the video game work of Adrien Brody, Gary Oldman, Charlize Theron and Reese Witherspoon, why not? All Oscar winners, all video game stars (kinda). And yes, there's Kevin Spacey, too, but Kevin Spacey is absolutely cancelled, obvs. What famous faces of stage and screen have stood out to you, for their video game performances? Let us know - we're on Twitter and Facebook.
Featured Image Credit: Supermassive Games/Sony Interactive Entertainment