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Actors you didn't know were in video games


Grand Theft Auto V made $1 billion in three days. Three. That's what you'd call a 'good week'.

Call of Duty: Black Ops has also made over $1 billion. GTA IV managed $1.35 billion. As "triple A" video games begin to consistently rake in more than the average Hollywood blockbuster, increasing numbers of screen stars are realising the potential the industry has for their vocal talents. Charles Dance is the latest A-lister to turn to video games, appearing in this year's The Witcher III: Wild Hunt.

But some actors are ahead of the game, quietly racking up impressive numbers of game appearances alongside their 'usual' work. Here's a list of some of the biggest names you might have missed in video games.

Charles Dance: The Witcher III: Wild Hunt

The Witcher III doesn't do small. With a storyline written by Polish fantasy author Andrzej Sapkowski, some 200+ hours of gameplay (it'll take a solid day to do a "speed run") and a world bigger than just about anything you've ever stumbled about in, they've enlisted Tywin Lannister himself to lend some malevolence to proceedings. Given his recent fatality in HBO's Game of Thrones, this is Dance's first appearance in a video game, playing Emhyr var Emreis, Emperor of Nilfgaard. No, we don't know how to pronounce it either.

The Witcher III is available from 19 May on PC, PlayStation 4 and XBox One

Gary Oldman & Kiefer Sutherland: Call of Duty: World at War

Gary Oldman is no stranger to video game voice acting, amassing eight credits with titles in both the Spyro and Call of Duty series. World at War saw Commissioner Gordon joined by Jack Bauer himself, as Kiefer Sutherland stepped behind the mic to shout about bullets and war stuff.

Sean Bean & Patrick Stewart: The Elder Scrolls: Oblivion

When he's not proclaiming the coming of winter or muttering about O2 deals, Sean Bean can also be found gallivanting around the vast world of Elder Scrolls's third title, Oblivion. Bean lends his dulcet tones to Martin Septim, son of Emperor Uriel Septim VII - voiced by the one and only Sir Patrick Stewart.

Ron Perlman: Halo 2 & 3, Fallout

Ron Pearlman has voiced more video games than we've ever completed - a CV-filling 25 and counting. One that we didn't notice until the credits rolled was his turn as Lord Hood in the Halo series. He didn't do as much shouting and cursing as we're used to. He's far more recognisable in his voice overs for the Fallout series.

Every British actor ever: Fable 3

Lionhead Studios' called upon a host of British talent for the third instalment of the Fable series. This included (deep breath) Zoë Wanamaker (mistaken by many forums to be Dame Judi Dench), Sir Ben Kingsley, Stephen Fry, Nicholas Hoult, Bernard Hill, John Cleese, Simon Pegg and Jonathan Ross. Michael Fassbender topped off a list of talent that far outshone the quality of the game itself.

Brian Blessed: Rome: Total War

One of the very few occasions in Brian Blessed's career in which he hasn't been able to use his prestigious projection talents. His vocal performance lent a certain gravitas to this strategy classic.

Seth Green & Martin Sheen: Mass Effect

The Buffy and Austin Powers actor has displayed his considerable vocal talent in a variety of animated performances, most notably as Family Guy's Chris Griffin and throughout his Robot Chicken series. Green also stars as Mass Effect's loveable pilot Joker, whose failed attempts at comedy at least manage to be endearingly pathetic. Martin Sheen also appeared in the series, voicing the Illusive Man, who bears a striking (if not shiny) resemblance to Sheen.

Malcolm McDowell & Liam Neeson: Fallout 3

The Leeds-born legend is no stranger to video game voice acting, having worked on God of War, Killzone and Command & Conquer titles. In 2008 he took on the role of Fallout 3's deeply sinister John Henry Eden, the super computer president of the Enclave. Liam "particular set of skills" Neeson also featured, voicing the Lone Wanderer's father, James. Designers are said to have based the character around his physical traits... apart from his face, we're guessing.

Mickey Rourke: Rogue Warrior

Rogue Warrior is the video game equivalent of Sharknado - a piece of entertainment so lacking in artistic merit that it wins indestructible cult status. Mickey Rourke was presumably paid a truck-load of cash to star as foul-mouthed Richard Marcinko, a Navy Seal who didn't receive enough love from his parents as a child. The following video is not safe for work, but a glorious example of A list talent failing to save a poor game.

James Woods & Samuel L Jackson: Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas

Rockstar Games employed over 100 voice actors to record lines for the game's pedestrian masses. The extensive cast list also included appearances for the Oscar nominated James Woods and Samuel L Jackson, playing the roles of Mike Toreno and Officer Tenpenny respectively. Expect gangster language from the following clips.

Dennis Hopper & Billy Bob Thornton: Deadly Creatures

Deadly Creatures wasn't your average Wii title. Players took control of either a scorpion or tarantula, exploring the Sonoran desert and lending a different perspective to the human story of George Struggs and Wade, voiced by Hollywood mega stars Billy Bob Thornton and Dennis Hopper. We're disappointed they didn't voice the creepy crawlies...

Christopher Walken: True Crime: Streets of LA

The second Oscar winner in our list (the other being Sir Ben Kingsely), Christopher Walken featured as George in True Crime: Streets of LA's stellar cast, that included the likes of Gary Oldman, Michael Madsen, Michelle Rodriguez and Ron Perlman. Confusingly, Walken returned voice Gabriel Whitting in the second instalment of the same series.

John Rhys-Davies: Dune 2000

Old strategy games such as Dune 2000 didn't require voice over work, but actual performances from their actors to give players a theatrical distraction between missions. John Rhys-Davies managed to give a better performance in this game than most of the cast of David Lynch's unfortunate film adaptation of Frank Herbert's classic.



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