The lights are on
recent years, the Grand Theft Auto games have shied away from using celebrity
voice actors. But back in the series' PlayStation 2 days, Rockstar hired
entertainment heavyweights like Dennis Hopper, Ray Liotta, and Ice-T to do
voiceovers - including some you probably forgot about.
10 - Shaun Ryder - Maccer (San Andreas)
one that shows some of the English roots of Rockstar founders Sam and Dan
Houser. Maccer is a drugged-out rockstar in the dance-influenced style of
"baggy" that was popular in in England in the late '80s and early '90s. While
his appearance is modeled on Ian Brown of baggy icons The Stone Roses, his
voice was done by Shaun Ryder, the famously booze- and drug-addicted singer of
the other baggy supergroup, the Happy Mondays. In San Andreas, his Kent
Paul-managed tour goes awry and he has to seek the help of protagonist Carl
"C.J." Johnson. For some reason, Rockstar still keeps up a Maccer website.
9 - Debbie
Harry - Delores (Vice
Debbie Harry is an icon of the glamorous, cocaine-fueled '80s disco scene immortalized
in Grand Theft Auto: Vice City. It wasn't surprising that Harry was tapped to
appear as a voice actor in the game, but the role she took was a bit different
than we expected. Where many voice actors in GTA games play off their public
persona, or put a clever spin on the roles they are known for, Harry, a paragon
of new wave cool, actually played Dolores, the elderly and acerbic cab
dispatcher who works for Tommy Vercetti in Little Haiti.
- Dane Cook - Talk Radio Caller (Grand
Theft Auto V)
Grand Theft Auto V, Rockstar had largely abandoned the use of high-profile
celebrities in its games. The cited reason was that it distracts from the
characters themselves, though I imagine it also saves a lot of legal and
logistical headaches for the development team - not to mention lower
costs. So, it was surprising when comedy superstar Dane Cook turned up in the
game not as a character, but a paranoid caller to the conspiracy-minded Truth
Seeker Radio in-game station. It was probably a favor on Rockstar's part; Cook
is an avowed GTA fan who's even worked the game into his standup routine.
7 - Will
Forte - Martin Serious (The
Lost and Damned)
Forte was a great SNL cast member,
but is most remembered for winning an Oscar for Best Actor for his portrayal of
MacGruber in the film of the same name. MacGruber
also took home Best Picture and Best Screenplay at the 2011 Oscars, making
Forte one of the most powerful men in Hollywood. Before this massive success,
he did a great turn in Grand Theft Auto: The Lost and Damned as Martin Serious,
a dead-on parody of shock jock Howard Stern.
6 - The Game - Mark "B-Dup" Wayne (San
Game, who's known for his gritty tales of the Compton streets, wasn't exactly
asked to stretch his acting muscles in San Andreas, a game set squarely in the
same gangster milieu as his music. He turned in a solid performance as drug
dealer Mark "B-Dup" Wayne - one of the many good performances by West
coast rappers in San Andreas. However, what's notable about his appearance is
when it happened - in 2004, a full year before his hit debut album The
Documentary was released. He had been making noise in underground rap circles,
but was hardly a proven or well-known commodity. It's a testament to how
plugged-in Rockstar has always been with music and street culture.
Email the author Matt Helgeson, or follow on Twitter, and Game Informer.