Can you recognize your favorite actors’ voices when you’re not expecting them in animated films? How about when they personify characters that are completely counterintuitive of what you know about them? Here are some famous actors you didn’t know plied their trade behind animated characters:
Samuel L. Jackson
Jackson is known for his crazy career choices, just watch “Snakes on a Plane” to see. But his reputation as a quality actor proceeds him. Not only did he make a name for himself in “Pulp Fiction,” back in 1994, but he’s so established that he can pick and choose what he puts his name on. So it might surprise you that Jackson took it upon himself to voice the main character in “Afro Samurai,” an anime mini-series. Not only did he star in the series, but he enjoyed the experience so much that he even produced the second season himself. Which brings us to our next celeb on this list . . .
Hamill might be known best for his role as Luke Skywalker in the original “Star Wars,” but he never left the silver screen, just went behind it. Samuel L. Jackson brought Hamill on board as a villain for the second season of “Afro Samurai,” but Hamill’s career in voice acting goes way back. In 1992, Hamill signed on as The Joker for “Batman: The Animated Series,” and between 2005 and 2008 he voiced the antagonist of the popular Nickelodeon show, “Avatar: The Last Airbender.”
Stephen Colbert is known for his quick wit and political satire, but he’s made a series of voiced cameos over the years. Not only has he been a voice actor for “The Simpsons,” but he has also made appearances on “American Dad” and “The Venture Brothers.” Most recently you can find him on the Netflix animated show “Bojack Horseman.”
Sure, he played Sirius Black in the “Harry Potter” films and Commissioner Gordon in Christopher Nolan’s “Batman” trilogy, but Gary Oldman’s voice also has cropped up in some popular video games, believe it or not. Oldman voiced the character Ignitus in the popular “Spyro the Dragon” games, and he even claims to have played mentor to Elijah Wood for the same game. Oldman also voiced a pivotal character in many of the “Call of Duty” games, including spin offs.
Of course it makes sense that Elijah Wood would reprise his role as Frodo Baggins in the “Lord of the Rings” video games, especially since he is an avid gamer. He also has lent his voice to “Happy Feet” and “Spryo the Dragon” games. His older brother produces video games, and Wood said he enjoyed the unique acting challenge it brought him.
After he starred in cult classics like “Earth Girls Are Easy ” and “The Fly,” Goldblum did an about face by turning away from the big screen to cartoons. He took a job in the cast of “Captain Planet,” voicing the eco-villain, Verminous Skumm. While it was an interesting role, he didn’t keep it for long. He only completed five episodes before he was called to action in major films like “Jurassic Park” and “Independence Day.”