Actors Who Took On Roles Just For The Fun Of It

Ashley Hunte
A movie clapper board with popcorn coming out of it.
Unsplash | GR Stocks

If you're good enough (and let's face it, lucky enough), you can make a lot of money as an actor. And then you can pretty much do whatever you want in terms of movies and TV.

These actors took on roles that might seem strange to some, but were pretty much no-brainers in their minds. Mostly because they sounded like a lot of fun.

Melissa Jaffer as the Keeper of the Seeds in 'Mad Max: Fury Road' (2015).

Melissa Jaffer in Mad Max: Fury Road.
IMDb | Warner Bros. via IMDb

The 78-year-old Jaffer was pretty excited to be able to do her own stunts.

"...I got feeling from a lot of the crew members that they didn't think it was right women of my age to be doing that sort of thing," she said.

It was also an opportunity for her to break out of the roles typically given to "older" actresses.

"The roles that one is offered at this age, quite frankly, you're either in a nursing home, you're in a hospital bed dying, you're suffering from dementia... So when this role came along, I thought well, I won't get another chance like this before I die, and that's why I took it. It was absolutely wonderful. Wonderful role."

Michael Caine as Alexander Anderson in 'Journey 2: The Mysterious Island' (2012).

Michael Caine wanted to make a movie his grandkids could see and enjoy, saying, "Now, my grandchildren will be able to say, 'I have a grandfather and he rides around on the back of a giant bumblebee with The Rock. What does your grandfather do?'"

Glenn Close as Nova Prime in 'Guardians of the Galaxy' (2014).

Glenn Close is considered a "serious" actress, but that doesn't mean she won't make time for less serious films like Guardians of the Galaxy: "I just have to let people know that I always have been up for anything. I love to do stuff that's different. That's what I love."

Winona Ryder as Annalee Call in 'Alien: Resurrection' (1997).

Apparently, Ryder really wanted to be in an Alien movie at any cost, even if it meant she'd die in the first scene (spoiler alert: she doesn't). She took the role before she even read the script.

Jeff Bridges as Obadiah Stane in 'Iron Man' (2008).

Bridges was pretty excited to be able to work with both Jon Favreau and Robert Downey, Jr. But another (albeit strange) draw for him was being able to shave his head.

"I looked at the comic book and said, 'Ooh! The guy's bald!'"

Kal Penn as Ahmed Amar in '24.'

For Penn, the decision to take the role was a complicated one. On one hand, it meant playing into the "terrorist" stereotype. But on the other hand, it presented an opportunity for him to blow stuff up.

"As an actor, why shouldn’t I have that opportunity? Because I’m brown and I should be scared about the connection between media images and people’s thought processes?"

Kristen Bell as Prescilla the sloth in 'Zootopia' (2016).

Bell's role is really more of a blink-and-you'll-miss-it cameo (even if she is talking as slow as a sloth), but that doesn't mean she wasn't all over the chance to provide those two words.

Why? Because of her love for sloths.

You might remember the viral meltdown Bell had over a sloth on Ellen around a decade ago. So of course Kristen Bell would jump at the chance to be a sloth, if only for just two words.

Megan Fox as Jennifer Check in 'Jennifer's Body' (2009).

Coming off the coattails of the Transformers series, this definitely wasn't the role anyone would've expected from Fox. Which actually might be one of the reasons she decided to take it.

"It’s fun to be able to say the [expletive] that [Jennifer] got to say and get away with it and have people find it charming," Fox said.

Stanley Tucci as Dr. Abraham Erskine in 'Captain America: The First Avenger' (2011).

In the grand scheme of the MCU, Tucci's role was small, but incredibly impactful. After all, he's the one who literally created Captain America.

Tucci ended up loving the role (and being able to do a German accent helped).

"I love the role. It's really well written. I'd never done anything like that before. I've always wanted to do a German accent. It's so much fun. It's really interesting. Very good script, great experience."

Bill Burr as Migs Mayfield in 'The Mandalorian.'

The fact that Burr has any part in a Star Wars story is hilarious, given how open he is about hating the franchise. But when he read the script and saw it was basically a Spaghetti Western, he was kind of all for it.

Catherine Zeta-Jones as Velma Kelly in 'Chicago' (2002).

Zeta-Jones was pretty jazzed (pun intended) to be part of the Chicago cast. But instead of playing the lead, she wanted to be Velma specifically so that she could sing "All That Jazz."

Frank Langella as Skeletor in Masters of the Universe (1987).

Langella really wanted to play Skeletor, even if it was out of his usual wheelhouse. It was all because his son was a fan of He-Man, so he "couldn't resist."

Bob Hoskins as Eddie Valiant in 'Who Framed Roger Rabbit' (1988).

Hoskins jumped at the chance for one simple reason: he loves cartoons. "A lot of people have worked with Laurence Olivier, but I've actually worked with Bugs Bunny! Daffy Duck! Droopy!"

Christopher Plummer as the Emperor in 'Starcrash' (1978).

You might be thinking, what the heck was Christopher Plummer doing in a campy space opera rip-off of Star Wars? Well, according to Plummer, there was actually a pretty good reason for that.

The movie was shot in Rome.

Really, he just wanted to go to Rome.

"Getting to Rome was the greatest thing that happened in that for me. I think it was only about three days in Rome on that one. It was all shot at once."

Cillian Murphy as Johnathan Crane in 'Batman Begins' (2005).

Murphy jumped at the chance to be in a Batman film because, well, he was a huge fan of the caped crusader as a kid: "I did the film in part just to be near the Batmobile. But I also think [director] Christopher Nolan made a very fine, intelligent film"

Stephen Fry as Gordon Deitrich in 'V for Vendetta' (2005).

There was a lot about this role that excited Fry, but one reason that jumped out to him was being beaten to death: "I hadn't been beaten up in a movie before and I was very excited by the idea of being clubbed to death."