15 Actors Who Took Roles For The Sake Of Their Kids
These actors who took roles for the sake of their kids prove that parents will do just about anything for their children. Sometimes these usual heroes agree to play the villain; other times it means having to sing and dance for the whole world to see. No matter how silly they may look or feel, these thespians scored big brownie points with their kids.
There are several Oscar-winning actors who took roles in kids' or young adult movies just to impress their kids. Yes, that’s Academy Award winner Jamie Foxx under all those special effects as the villainous Electro in The Amazing Spider-Man 2. Cate Blanchett, Gary Oldman, and Kate Winslet are a few more Oscar winners who were looking to dazzle their children. Four-time Tony Award winner Frank Langella as Skeletor may just be the only bright spot in Masters of the Universe.
Make your voice heard. Vote up the kid-friendly performances your inner child loves the most.
- Photo: Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix / Warner Bros. Pictures
Veteran actor Gary Oldman has had a long and impressive big-screen career. Many of his most memorable roles have come from playing the villain, such as in Léon: The Professional and True Romance. The Oscar-winning actor was certainly not an obvious choice to take on the role of Harry Potter's wizardly godfather Sirius Black in 2004's third Harry Potter movie, Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban.
However, Oldman added the fantasy movie to his resume in order to score some street cred with his kids. Oldman said that he became something of a hero at the kids' school. He added:
And of course I've got kids of my own now, and they love me being in the Harry Potter films. I'm now part of a phenomenon. You become incredibly cool to your kids, and you get a young fan base. So you became the cool dad at school. You're suddenly hip.
Turns out Sir Michael Caine can do it all. The British actor got to show off his singing and dancing in the 1992 musical fantasy The Muppet Christmas Carol. The Walt Disney/Jim Henson production is an adaptation of Charles Dickens's timeless tale, A Christmas Carol.
By the time the early 1990s rolled around, the Oscar winner had already played everything from a violent gangster to a womanizer. Despite his impressive filmography, his young daughter had not been able to see a single one of her father's movies. Caine explained why it was so easy to take the role of Ebenezer Scrooge in the Muppet movie:
To start, my daughter, who is the mother of my grandchildren, was then 7, and she had never seen me in a movie. I had never made a movie that a 7-year-old can see. And so a man mentioned the Muppets and I said, 'That’s it! I’ll do that!' And it’s A Christmas Carol, it’s a fabulous tale! You’ll be old Scrooge, it’ll be marvelous! And it was absolutely perfect at that time for what I wanted. I could make it, and my daughter could see it. That’s why I did it. And it was lovely.
- 3141 VOTESPhoto: Warner Bros. Pictures
Unfortunately for Ryan Reynolds's three kids, they won't be able to see his Deadpool movies for quite some time because they are (very) R-rated. However, the Canadian star was thrilled to play the titular investigator in Detective Pikachu. Reynolds did both the voice and facial motion-capture work in the 2019 hit movie. The live-action mystery is based on the Pokémon franchise.
Reynolds accepted the role as the wise-cracking detective with his kids in mind:
When I first heard about this film... Detective Pikachu, I was excited to do a film that my kids would love. For me, that's a big one because then I can watch it with them.
- 4144 VOTESPhoto: Universal Pictures
Raúl Juliá was a classically trained actor with an impressive dramatic resume. He endeared himself to American movie fans when he took on the role of patriarch Gomez Addams in two 1990s installments of The Addams Family.
There really isn't a lot to love about 1994's Jean-Claude Van Damme-starring action movie Street Fighter. It's a bad movie that absolutely tanked critically. However, there is one thing that saves the campy video game adaptation from total wreckage, and that's Juliá's scene-stealing performance as the movie's supervillain M. Bison.
Turns out the actor was suffering from terminal stomach cancer when he took the role. Despite being in pain and severely underweight, it was important enough for Juliá to be in the movie because his kids were big fans of the Street Fighter video game:
My children play the video game and as soon as I mentioned the title of the film all of a sudden their faces lit up.
The actor passed in 1994, the same year the film was released.
- 5101 VOTESPhoto: Universal Pictures
Matthew McConaughey's three kids are way too young to check out their dad's Oscar-winning performance in Dallas Buyers Club. In fact, the actor's filmography is packed with roles not suitable for young children. That changed in 2016 when McConaughey signed on to voice the character of Buster Moon, a koala, in the animated movie musical Sing. McConaughey explained:
I got tired of answering the question, 'So what film have you made that is your kids' favorite?' I looked at my last 10 years and I hadn't really done one that they could see. So I’d watch animated films with them, and I was like, 'You know what? I want to make an animated film, do some voice work.'
The actor's kids thought their dad's performance was alright. "They love it, I'm Buster Moon around the house now," said McConaughey. "They were glad I did it but they were into these other characters."
The cast is filled with a number of other big stars who lent their voices to the box-office hit, including Reese Witherspoon and Scarlett Johansson.
- 689 VOTESPhoto: Paramount Pictures
One of James Marsden's goals for his career as an actor is to vary his roles as much as possible. One reason why the handsome star chose to play the kindly Green Hills sheriff in the family adventure comedy Sonic the Hedgehog was because it was completely different from the dystopian darkness of Westworld. "I always try and do the polar opposite of what I just finished, and Westworld is a heavy show," said Marsden. "You want to go do something else completely different."
Another reason why he chose the live-action/CGI animated movie was to try and show off a little for his kids. "My kids are wonderfully underwhelmed with what I do," said the X-Men star. "It's not like they're begging me to be in movies, they've always found that kind of strange."
Marsden figured that his young daughter would at least enjoy seeing her dad play Prince Edward in the Walt Disney musical fantasy Enchanted. However, the experience made her anxious. "She didn't like me sitting next to her on the couch with me on the screen," he said. "It was a struggle for her to comprehend... They want you to be dad and not anything else."