9 Actors Who Play Dungeons & Dragons

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It's actually quite surprising...


“First it’s Dungeons and Dragons, and then it’s LARPing” is the slippery slope feared by anyone considering taking up Dungeon Masters. Players create a world of their own and a storyline and characters (which can range anywhere from a gnome bard to a wood elf sorcerer) live out. But the stereotype that players are nerds who live at home can be put to rest with a look at some famous Hollywood actors who do it (or did it) themselves.

1. and 2. Ben Affleck and Matt Damon

As cool as these two are now, they used to play the game together when they were in high school. In an interview with an Australian show they emphasize how they both wanted to be the “magic-using elegant elf.”

3. Rainn Wilson

Those who can’t separate Wilson from his 9 season role as Dwight Schrute on The Office might not find this surprising, but in an interview at his alma mater University of Washington he fondly described how in high school he used to hang out with a gang of Dungeons & Dragons players.

4. John C. Reilly

This comedic actor known for his roles opposite Will Ferrell in Talledega Nights and Step Brothers was one of the founding members of the Dungeons & Dragons club at his high school. He credits the other members with acting as mentor-like figures to him, and describes how he was "an outcast among a group of outcasts."

5. James Franco

Apart from starring in the episode of Freaks and Geeks called "Discos and Dragons" where he played a Dwarf named Carlos, James Franco has been familiar with the game since the fourth grade. In an interview with Moviefone he describes how when he was younger he was really into fantasy, even playing Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles role playing games.

6. Robin Williams

The late actor Robin Williams was no stranger to the world of gaming. With a daughter named Zelda (after Nintendo’s Legend of Zelda series), it comes as no surprise that he engaged in both the “board game” version of D&D and the online version. He even participated in the Worldwide Dungeons & Dragons Game Day in 2006.

7. Stephen Colbert

The popular actor and comedian known for the satirical news show The Colbert Report, once belonged to a group of “outcasts in school -- beyond the fringe, beyond nerds.” As Colbert reflects on his childhood memories he describes how Dungeons & Dragons allowed him “to enter the world of the books [he] was reading” - a reason that is similar to why many others are drawn to the game.  

8. Judi Dench

Unlike the others that played the game in their childhood, Judi Dench was introduced to the game during the shooting of The Chronicles of Riddick, where Vin Diesel introduced her. In an interview with Universal Diesel describes, “I was literally playing Dungeons and Dragons with Judi Dench . . . at nights after shooting. I will tell you that I was showing her Dungeons and Dragons books and showing her the different properties of Elementals.” Since then she has continued to play.

9. Vin Diesel

Last but certainly not least is macho action hero Vin Diesel who has not been shy about his love of Dungeons & Dragons. From Jimmy Kimmel Live to Late Night with Conan O’Brien, Vin Diesel has enthusiastically upheld the experiences of being both player and Dungeon Master as essential to his creative development. In fact, the game was so influential that in the film xXx Vin Diesel's character has the name of his most beloved character, Melkor, tattooed onto his stomach. For Thirty Years of Adventure: A Celebration of Dungeons & Dragons, he even wrote the introduction, stating "We were all drawn to the game because it allowed us to become these characters, vastly different in appearance and in actions, but what kept us hooked, was the search for the character that represented our higher self."