While the art of cosplay is not exactly a new form of entertainment, it is certainly a craze that is starting to gain a lot of traction in recent years. In the days of yesteryear, cosplay was a niche pastime that only fans would take part in order to show support for their favorite fandoms. Due to the extreme level of time, care, and detail that so many fans across the entire world have dedicated to their costume craftsmanship, cosplay has become something of a cultural phenomenon that goes beyond typical fandoms. So much so that even the world's biggest stars and actors have gotten in on the craze.
Cosplay began as a means for fans to show their love for their favorite show/movie/game/book/etc character and has bled into the industries which those same fans support and love. The actors within those industries have often dabbled in producing costumes themselves just for the sake of going out in public and wowing the fans who support and recognize them. Not just any costumes, however. What makes an actor's cosplay different from a casual fan's is that the actor has full leeway to dress up as their own character. This has happened more times than you may think. Here are just some examples.
15 The Cast of Cloudy With A Chance of Meatballs
Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs was a 2009 animated film that, along with its 2013 sequel, surprised audiences by expanding on the originally mild and limited concept based off of a children's book into a wildly inventive romp focused on themes of friendship. For a movie about food raining down from the skies, the story is much smarter than one would initially imagine. What also impressed fans was the stellar voice work helmed by a voice acting cast comprised of the likes of Bill Hader, Terry Crews, Anna Faris, Kristen Schael, Will Forte, and Andy Samberg. Even more surprising for fans was when all six of these actors dressed up as the characters they all voiced in the movie to promote the sequel in 2013.
14 Tara Strong - Twilight Sparkle
Tara Strong may not be well known by face or name, but any of us who watched cartoons during our childhood (frankly, that should be all of us) have heard her voice at least a handful of times. Strong has lent her voice to characters like Batgirl for The New Batman Adventures, Bubbles of The Powerpuff Girls, Raven for Teen Titans, and Timmy Turner for The Fairly Oddparents. Strong is a force to be reckoned with in the voice acting world. In more recent years, ever since 2010, Tara Strong has dedicated her vocal talents to voicing the character of Twilight Sparkle for the show My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic. Fittingly enough, Strong decided to dress up as Twilight Sparkle for the 2012 Canterlot Gardens Voice Actor Panel.
13 Tara Strong - Harley Quinn
Her dazzling Twilight Sparkle outfit from 2012 was not the last time that Tara Strong went to a convention dressed as one of the characters she voiced. In 2016, she showed up to Comic Con dressed up as Harley Quinn after voicing the character for the Arkham City, Arkham Origins, and Arkham Knight video games. In a way, it is almost ironic in itself that she is even the voice of villainess Harley Quinn for the Batman video game franchise when she used to provide the voice for superheroine Batgirl for the animated Batman series back in the day. Now that she is a full-time member of the dark side when it comes to the Batman universe, Tara Strong decided to bring the character to life and, oddly enough, she managed to look like the spitting image of her video game character.
12 Will Ferrell - Megamind
In 2010, Will Ferrell provided voice work for the title role of the DreamWorks animated movie, Megamind, which focuses on a supervillain who struggles to find meaning in his life after finally destroying the town's resident superhero. The film has become something of a forgotten classic in recent years, but one thing that none of us could ever possibly forget was the sight of Ferrell at Comic-Con when the comedian dressed up as Megamind during the film's panel to promote the movie. Adding to the hilarious sight was Ferrell looking at his cast with his enlarged prosthetic cranium on his head as he expressed that he thought that everybody else would be dressing up just as he did. It is also worth noting that when Ferrell wore the costume again for a Today show interview, he convinced co-star Tina Fey to dress up as her character as well.
11 The Cast of Mass Effect
As the entries on this list goes to show, it is always fun to see our favorite actors go out and cosplay as their own characters in public. The only thing better than seeing these actors dress up for the sake of our entertainment and a good laugh is to see them dress up for a good cause. The cast of the popular video game series, Mass Effect, managed to do both. In 2012, the voice actors behind the characters of Mass Effect all dressed up in costume as their characters at the PAX East panel as a means for charity. The event itself served as a special Q and A panel, but right after all the questions were answered, the charity component went into effect. A photo opp with all of the costumed talent involved was offered to fans with all proceeds going to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital.
10 Steve Carell - Gru
Some actors like to go above and beyond the usual means in order to promote their movie. Most actors just stick to attending press junkets and television interviews, but Steve Carell decided to think outside of the box in 2013. To promote his then-new movie, Despicable Me 2, he visited Ellen to talk about the movie, but he also decided to dress up as the hunchbacked lead character who he plays, Gru. Seeing the ridiculous, yet hilarious, sight of Carell in costume added more eyes onto the interview itself seeing Carell's immense dedication to the roll had audiences intrigued to see what the film had in store. This sort of promotion helped the film earn $970.8 million at the box office. Carell decided not to don the costume again for the new Despicable Me 3, sadly, but at least we'll always have this image of Carell from 2013 to remember.
9 Tom Hiddleston - Loki
When he first played the character of Loki for the movie Thor in 2011, the role proved to be a breakout part for Tom Hiddleston and managed to instantly make him into a Hollywood star. The actor and the character have both been a staple of the Marvel Cinematic Universe ever since. It's understandable to see why Hiddleston has been so attached to the role for so long. So attached that he decided to surprise fans at the 2013 San Diego Comic Con by showing up to the Thor: The Dark World panel as his infamous character. Not only did he dress the part, he came out in full on character mode, going as far as to demand the crowd to say his name. Needless to say, everybody in attendance loved it.
8 Andrew Garfield - Spider-Man
Upon first being cast in the title starring role of The Amazing Spider-Man as an actor that most mainstream audiences weren't familiar with, Andrew Garfield needed to find a way to win the Marvel crowd over. He did just that at the 2011 San Diego Comic Con for the Spidey film panel. Posing as a fan in the crowd wearing a crappy Spidey costume (and a fanny pack to boot), he approached the mic and expressed that being at Comic Con was always a lifelong dream of his before removing his mask to a thunderous ovation. Then, a couple years later, he showed up for The Amazing Spider-Man 2 panel wearing his legit Spidey costume and in character. Though he would re-don the crappier version of his costume for a special 2016 skit for Jimmy Kimmel Live.
7 Johnny Depp - Captain Jack Sparrow
Johnny Depp has always been considered a strange cat with a lot of time on his hands and so it is with no surprise to say that he has went out in public as his Pirates of the Carribean character, Captain Jack Sparrow, quite a handful of times. In this year of 2017 alone, he has already showed up to and turned heads at Disneyland as Jack Sparrow to just to wow the attendees there. Perhaps his most memorable and kind act in his infamous Captain Jack garb was when he showed up to the Lady Cilento Children's Hospital in Brisbane, Australia in character to put a smile on the faces of some lucky patients in 2015. This would not be the last time that Depp dressed up as the beloved character for the sake of some hospital patients. In 2016, Depp dressed in character again for his visit to the Great Ormond Street Children's Hospital.
6 Adam West and Burt Ward - Batman and Robin
Before Batman was a brooding crybaby of a character on the big screen when played by the likes of Christian Bale and Ben Affleck, the character actually used to be a lot of fun on the small screen. In the goofier times of the 60's, the caped crusading duo of Batman and Robin (played then by Adam West and Burt Ward) used to have groovy dance offs in between fighting crime. The upbeat tone of the series won over the hearts of millions. Even well into the late 80's when Michael Keaton first started playing a much more dark version of The Dark Knight, people couldn't get enough of West and Ward in the roles. So much so that in 1989, the two reprised their iconic roles for a special World of Wheels custom car show in Chicago in the year 1989.
5 Grand Theft Auto IV, God of War, and Uncharted Actors
Sometimes, for video game junkies, the actors who provide the voices for the playable characters leave more of a lasting impression on the gamer than any sort of gameplay that could be achieved from the game itself. Some voices just resonate strongly with audiences enough to make those prolonged cutscenes in between missions feel bearable and, at times, enjoyable to sit through. Regardless, voice actors for video games rarely (if ever) get enough recognition for their work or time in the sun to shine for the hours they dedicate to voice work in the game. Entertainment Weekly decided to rectify that injustice by bringing in Nolan North, T.C. Carson, and Michael Hollick for a special photoshoot where the actors dress up as the characters they were famous for voicing. Those characters, respectively, are Nathan Drake of the Uncharted franchise, Kratos of God of War, and Niko Bellic of Grand Theft Auto IV.
4 Molly Quinn and Matt Bomer - Supergirl and Superman
In 2013, DC Entertainment released a movie called Superman: Unbound based on the Superman: Braniac story arc. Judging by the film's 100% rating on Rotten Tomatoes, the animated film managed to impress fans and critics alike despite the direct to DVD platform. Much of that has to do in part to the voice work from Matt Bomer and Molly Quinn, who respectively played Superman and Supergirl. The two were so grateful for their roles that when it came time to promote the film at Comic-Con, both decided to dress up in costume as their characters. Although Bomer did not quite go all out to dress up seeing as all he had to wear were Clark Kent style glasses, Quinn more than compensated by dressing up in a Supergirl that captured the essence of the character.
3 Bryan Cranston - Walter White
When 2013 came around and he knew this was the final year that Breaking Bad would be on the air, the show's star Bryan Cranston figured he should do something special for fans to mark the occasion. As is the tradition every year, the show's cast stop by Comic-Con to promote the series and answer some enthusiastic fan's question. Prior to arriving to the show's panel, Cranston had the bright idea to wear an eerily realistic looking mask modeled after Walter White, along with the drug lord chemist's clothes, and walk the hallway floors among a sea of fans who were none the wiser to his disguise. They say that there is no better disguise than to hide in plain sight and, well, Cranston walked around in a mask of himself without anybody even batting an eyelash at the actor.
2 Hugh Jackman - Wolverine
In case it was not painfully obvious already, some of the costumes that we see at Comic-Con on a yearly basis look monumentally impressive. Some of the handmade costumes that regular people make themselves look even better than the more professionally crafted costumes seen in the movies or shows they are based on. Apparently, this was the sentiment expressed last year in 2016 when Hugh Jackman walked the halls of the San Diego Comic-Con. Unfortunately, he failed to procure any footage of the event, but during the panel for the latest film in the X-Men franchise, Days of Future Past, he revealed that he walked the halls dressed in his full Wolverine get-up just for a laugh. To his surprise, he received mild reviews for his get-up. Not one fan knew it was Jackman and no one was impressed by his costume. One fan told Jackman he was too tall to pull off Jackman's look.
1 Jane Lynch - Sergeant Calhou
Every year for Halloween, we tend to wrack our brains over who (or in some cases, what) we should dress up as for the occasion. In 2012, Jane Lynch decided to dress up as herself, or more appropriately, her movie character. That same year, Lynch provided the voice work for a hard-edged commanding office named Sergeant Calhoun for the Disney film, Wreck-It-Ralph. To promote the film, which was released just days after Halloween, Lynch appeared on a special Halloween episode of Ellen dressed as the character. Not only was the costume she wore magnificently detailed, it came equipped with a comically sized blaster gun to match her character's. We'd be lying if we didn't say we were jealous and wanted our own replica of the outfit.