Avengers, Assemble! 12 Actors We Bet You Forgot Have Played Superheroes
You know the stars of ‘The Avengers’… but we bet you forgot that stars like Ellen Page once played superheroes, too!
Bettys! You know what happens on Friday? The long-anticipated release of The Avengers! Marvel’s latest superhero flick has been a long time coming; indeed, they’ve been planting the seeds for it in the secret scenes hidden at the end of every recent Marvel movie from Iron Man to Captain America. Written and directed by the almighty Joss Whedon, The Avengers will see Nick Fury (Samuel L. Jackson) assemble Thor (Chris Hemsworth), The Hulk (Mark Ruffalo), Iron Man (Robert Downey, Jr.), Captain America (Chris Evans), Black Widow (Scarlett Johansson), and Hawkeye (Jeremy Renner) into a superhero super group to fight a new enemy that is threatening the safety of the entire world. Awesome? Oh yes!
By now, you’re no doubt incredibly familiar with all of the actors who play the characters involved in The Avengers. But there are plenty of actors who have played superheroes over the years that you’ve probably forgotten about. So, in honor of the Avengers finally assembling, we’ve brought together a list of our favorite actors we bet you’ve probably forgotten have played superheroes. Up, up and away!
1. Ben Affleck as Daredevil
You know, I actually remember finding Daredevil pretty entertaining when I saw it in theaters way back in 2003, though it hasn’t really stood up to time terribly well. Ben Affleck played Marvel character Matt Murdock, mild-mannered lawyer by day, heroic crime fighter by night. The catch? He’s blind. Furthermore, that very trait is what earns him the name Daredevil: Because he can’t see, he’s not afraid to do potentially dangerous things.
2. Jennifer Garner as Elektra
Ninja assassin Elektra as played by Jennifer Garner made her first film appearance in Daredevil before getting a spin-off of her own—which unfortunately was pretty terrible. But hey, at least the Daredevil/Elektra pairing brought Ben and Jennifer together!
3. Ellen Page as Kitty “Shadowcat” Pryde, X-Men: The Last Stand
One year before Juno catapulted Ellen Page to stardom, she appeared in X-Men: The Last Stand as Shadowcat, a mutant with the ability to phase through solid matter—that is, she can walk through things. Neat-o. She also, however, ended up being Rogue’s (Anna Paquin) rival for the romantic attentions of Iceman (Shawn Ashmore). Homewrecker? Not quite, but close. Ah well.
4. Eric Bana as The Hulk, Hulk
Before Mark Ruffalo took on the role in The Avengers… before Edward Norton tried his hand at it in The Incredible Hulk… Eric Bana played Marvel’s Jekyll/Hyde character, Dr. Bruce Banner/The Hulk. Unfortunately, Ang Lee’s 2003 film was pretty bad; though to be fair, 2008’s attempted reboot wasn’t great either. We have faith that The Hulk will finally get his due in The Avengers, though!… At least, we hope so. He might get angry if he doesn’t. And trust me—you wouldn’t like him when he’s angry.
5. Janeane Garofalo as The Bowler, Mystery Men
Mystery Men is sort of like Superuseless Superpowers: The Movie, though notably both Mystery Men and the comic it’s based on existed long beforehand. There are a lot of “hey! It’s you!” people in it—William H. Macy, Hank Azaria, etc.—but my personal favorite of our not-so-intrepid heroes is Janeane Garofalo as The Bowler. Her power? Her dead father’s skull is embedded in the center of a bowling ball, which allows her a) to communicate with his spirit, and b) to throw it with uncanny accuracy and force. Or so she says, at least. Whenever she has arguments with Dad, it just looks like she’s yelling at a bowling ball. Classic.
6. Thomas Jane as The Punisher
On the way to Hung, Thomas Jane dipped his toes into the superhero waters with 2004’s The Punisher. A classic anti-hero, The Punisher isn’t a nice guy: He’s a vigilante who’s not afraid to kidnap, murder, extort, coerce, and torture during his war on crime. In some ways, he’s not unlike Batman, though without the whole dressing-up-as-a-nocturnal creature thing.
More actors we bet you forgot played superheroes, including David Hyde Pierce and Rainn Wilson, up next!