14 Actors Who Took Roles To Impress Their Kids


Tired: My dad is Ben Affleck. Wired: My dad is Batman.

1.

David Bowie voiced Lord Royal Highness in a SpongeBob SquarePants special called SpongeBob’s Atlantis SquarePantis because his 6-year-old daughter loved the show. On his blog, Bowie wrote that it was the “Holy Grail of animation gigs.”


Getty / Michael Putland / Nickelodeon / Via youtube.com

2.

Robert Downey Jr. reached out to Family Guy to ask if he could take part in an episode, since his son was a big fan. He voiced the role of Patrick Pewterschmidt, the long-lost brother of Lois, in the Season 4 episode “The Fat Guy Strangler.”


Getty / Alberto E. Rodriguez / Fox

3.

The notoriously foul-mouthed Ozzy Osbourne made an appearance on the Nick Jr. series Bubble Guppies because he wanted to see his 2-year-old granddaughter Pearl’s reaction to “hear[ing] my voice come from Sid Fishy’s mouth.”

4.

Richard Harris didn’t want to accept the role of Albus Dumbledore, until his granddaughter called him and said, “Papa, if you don’t play Dumbledore, I will never speak to you again!” He appeared in the first two movies before his death in 2002.

5.

Kate Winslet took on a villainous role in Divergent because she thought playing Jeanine Matthews would make her kids think she was “cool.” Her daughter, 12 at the time, was thrilled that other kids at school were excited about her mom’s new gig.


Getty / Mike Marsland / Summit Entertainment / Courtesy Everett Collection

6.

During an interview to promote Shark Tale, Will Smith said that, “as soon as you see one of these casts come together, you’re like, ‘Okay, yeah, somebody’s kid just turned 7…That’s why they are doing this.’” His own daughter was 3 when the movie came out.


Getty / Karwai Tang / DreamWorks / Courtesy Everett Collection

7.

Raúl Juliá starred as M. Bison in 1994’s Street Fighter because his kids were obsessed with the video game franchise. They were even able to watch some of it being filmed, albeit for a tragic reason: Juliá was frail due to complications from stomach cancer, and therefore was often accompanied by his family on set. He died two months prior to the movie’s release date.


Getty / George Rose / Universal / Courtesy Everett Collection

8.

Michael Sheen said that the main reason he was excited to portray Aro in the Twilight films was his 10-year-old daughter, a huge fan of the books who “squealed with delight” when he told her the part he’d been offered.


Getty / Taylor Hill / Summit Entertainment / Via youtube.com

9.

Julianne Moore’s children demanded that she read the Hunger Games series, and after she was cast as President Alma Coin in the two-part movie adaptation of Mockingjay, Moore said, “it’s been a great thing for my kids to have me in these.”


Getty / Pascal Le Segretain / Lionsgate / Courtesy Everett Collection

10.

Viggo Mortensen’s teenage son insisted that his father accept the role of Aragorn (which had to be rapidly recast after Peter Jackson realized that Stuart Townsend, then 26, was too youthful for the role). For his efforts, the son was rewarded with several cameos in the movie, including appearances as “a villainous orc, a heroic Gondorian, and a young soldier of Rohan.”


Getty / Jeff Kravitz / New Line Cinema / Courtesy Everett Collection

11.

Ryan Reynolds wanted to star in Detective Pikachu so that his young children could watch one of his movies, since he doesn’t “do a lot of films that are not rated-R.”


Getty / Cindy Ord / Warner Bros. / Courtesy Everett Collection

12.

Ben Affleck donned the batsuit for his kids since they, after all, “didn’t see Argo.” Affleck said that wearing the costume to his son’s birthday party was “worth every moment of suffering on Justice League.”


Getty / Amy Sussman / Warner Bros. / Courtesy Everett Collection

13.

Idris Elba said that the best part of working on the live-action The Jungle Book was the fact that “my daughter and my son were going to see a classic with their dad’s voice.” Elba voiced the tiger Shere Khan in the remake.


Getty / Jeff Spicer / Walt Disney / Courtesy Everett Collection

14.

Larry David was a guest star on Hannah Montana, and as inexplicable as that sounds, it’s all because his two daughters (who appeared in his scene with him) adored the Disney sitcom.


Getty / Matt Winkelmeyer / Disney+

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