There's no denying it - Dungeons & Dragons has a stigma attached to it. At least, it used to. Back in the 70s and 80s, the board game was seen as a relatively nerdy pastime thanks to its fantastical elements (as fantasy has unfortunately carried a nerdy stigma for decades). It was ostracized and incredibly unpopular in the mainstream despite its currently immense popularity.
However, that seems to be changing. YouTube campaigns fetch millions of views, shows like Stranger Things have brought it into the mainstream, and celebrities are not shy about voicing their love of the game. Finally, after nearly fifty years, it is no longer dorky to play Dungeons & Dragons. Especially since a lot of celebrities spend their downtime playing it.
20 Joe Manganiello
Actor Joe Manganiello is a staunch supporter of Dungeons & Dragons. He's appeared on the Dungeons & Dragons web series Critical Role, and he even wrote a Think piece on NBC, saying, "Dungeons & Dragons isn't a weird game for nerds. It's a creative outlet for people like me." When you see a guy as cool and as tough looking as Joe Manganiello, you KNOW that D&D is no longer for scrawny basement dwellers (as its 80s stigma suggested).
19 Dwayne Johnson
While we're on the subject of brawny men enjoying D&D, we may as well mention Dwayne Johnson. The Rock has stated that he's tried playing Dungeons & Dragons in the past, as he loves both board games and video games. However, he admits that he prefers more traditional board games to role-playing adventures like D&D. Still, you have to give him credit for trying!
18 Kevin Smith
It probably comes as no surprise that pop culture-obsessed Kevin Smith loves him some D&D. Smith recently appeared in an episode of The Big Bang Theory where he played D&D alongside other celebrity fans, including Joe Manganiello. He also guest starred in Deborah Ann Woll's D&D series Relics & Rarities.
17 Wil Wheaton
Wil Wheaton has long-been a fan favorite subject on The Big Bang Theory, and he appeared yet again in the same episode as Kevin Smith and Joe Manganiello. Wheaton is also a staunch supporter of the game in his personal life, having played it at numerous PAX events and guest starring on Critical Role.
16 Stephen Colbert
Stephen Colbert has always been a proud geek. He's proven his devotion to Tolkien and The Lord of the Rings on numerous occasions, and as you may expect from such a devoted fantasy fan, Colbert also loves him some D&D. Colbert has been a longtime fan of the game, and guest starred on an episode of Critical Role in May 2019.
15 Deborah Ann Woll
If you know anything about D&D, you know that actress Deborah Ann Woll is one of the most important factors in bringing it into the mainstream. Deborah Ann Woll is a HUGE D&D aficionado. She has guest starred on Critical Role in the past, and has even created her own D&D-centric series titled Relics & Rarities, where she serves as the storyteller and Dungeon Master.
14 Ben Affleck & Matt Damon
We're lumping these two together because they always deserve to be together. Damon and Affleck were allegedly introduced to D&D by none other than Kevin Smith while they were working with him on a movie. The two played together (and presumably with Smith as well), and according to Damon, they would fight over who got to play as the "magic-using elegant elf."
13 Junot Díaz
Junot Díaz is the Pulitzer Prize-winning author of The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao and a creative writing professor at MIT. He is also a major fan of D&D. In this YouTube video, Díaz praises D&D for its imagination and for serving as a "revolution" in his childhood. You see what spending five hours in a fictional world can do for your imagination!?
12 Dan Harmon
Dan Harmon is another celebrity with his finger on the pulse of pop culture, so it may come as no surprise that he has taken to Dungeons & Dragons. Harmon created and starred in his own D&D television show called HarmonQuest, where he, Spencer Crittenden, Erin McGathy, and Jeff B. Davies play D&D with a guest player.
11 Vin Diesel
Vin Diesel has long been a supporter and vocal proponent for the quality of Dungeons & Dragons. Diesel has spoken about his love of the game numerous times in the past and has even appeared on various D&D-based shows and segments. He even based his character in The Last Witch Hunter on one of his Dungeons & Dragons characters, which we are in no way surprised by.
10 Judi Dench
Next time someone gives you trouble for playing Dungeons & Dragons, just remind them that a literal Dame also plays the game. According to Hollywood legend, Vin Diesel introduced Judi Dench to D&D while they were sitting around on the set of The Chronicles of Riddick. Vin Diesel and Judi Dench sitting around in ridiculous costumes playing D&D. Now that is an image we would pay top dollar to see.
9 Steven Spielberg
It's no surprise that a man with such a wonderful imagination is a fan of Dungeons & Dragons. Interestingly, it was his imagination that inspired Stranger Things, which in turn helped inspire the modern Dungeons & Dragons renaissance! The characters in E.T. can be seen playing Dungeons & Dragons, and it's reported that Spielberg hosted a game with the children while the movie was still in pre-production.
8 Mike Myers
Mike Myers is one of the OG Dungeons & Dragons advocates. He, Vin Diesel, and Robin Williams all played together during the 2006 Worldwide Dungeons & Dragons Game Day in an attempt to showcase the game's quality and prove that it wasn't a dying game (which was the belief at the time). Perhaps we can thank none other than Mike Myers for the sudden surge in the game's popularity!
7 Tim Duncan
If you didn't already know, basketball star Tim Duncan is a HUGE geek! For one thing, he has Merlin tattooed on his chest! He also reportedly collects swords, attends Renaissance fairs, and was even nicknamed Mr. Spock in college! And, unsurprisingly, he plays Dungeons & Dragons. Talk about flying in the face of the whole "D&D is for nerds" thing!
6 Joss Whedon
Joss Whedon has stated that he was a huge Dungeons & Dragons fan as a teenager and would often play the game in his college dormitory. However, he gave up the time-intensive hobby to focus primarily on his career. He is now an Oscar-nominated screenwriter who has created numerous beloved television shows and has served as a primary influence on the entire MCU. We think it was the right choice.
5 Joseph Gordon-Levitt
Like Joss Whedon, Joseph Gordon-Levitt was an avid D&D player who has since given up the hobby. During an interview with Chris Hardwick for The Nerdist Podcast, Joseph revealed that he used to play D&D all the time as a teenager, but has since given it up (and even showed surprise that the game was still relevant and popular). If this list has proved anything, it's that it is indeed still relevant and popular!
4 Jon Favreau
Jon Favreau is now one of the biggest directors in the business, having helmed movies like Iron Man and the live action adaptation of The Lion King. Favreau credits a lot of his success and imagination to playing Dungeons & Dragons. According to Favreau, the game helped shaped his understanding of what was possible in terms of scale and scope, and it directly inspired much of his later directorial work.
3 Curt Schilling
Curt Schilling is one of the best pitchers in baseball history. He's also a massive fantasy nerd. Schilling has referred to himself as "a big Dungeons & Dragons kind of gamer" and told Huff Post that he loved Dungeons & Dragons as a child. He even created a video game studio called 38 Studios (named after his jersey number), and the company released one game called Kingdoms of Amalur before closing its doors just a few months later.
2 Marilyn Manson
Believe it or not, Marilyn Manson was actually a quiet and reserved child. And, like most quiet and reserved children, he adored playing Dungeons & Dragons. He talks about his experience with the game in his book The Long Road Out of Hell, and even goes into detail about other idiosyncratic hobbies like painting miniatures. Now that is not the Marilyn Manson we know...
1 Elon Musk
Elon Musk is the epitome of geekdom, and believe it or not, he played a lot of Dungeons & Dragons! We know, crazy, right? Elon played a lot of D&D with his cousins and friends while growing up in South Africa, and according to his cousin, Elon helped their team win a D&D tournament in Johannesburg. It's not out of the realm of possibility to think that this imaginative game spurred Elon's desire to create and revolutionize...