ByKristin Lai, writer at
MP Staff Writer, cinephile and resident Slytherclaw // UCLA Alumna // Follow me on Twitter: kristin_lai
Kristin Lai

While we are more likely to see men and women in masks and capes fighting crime in comic books and movies, that doesn't mean that heroes don't still exist out here in the real world. Of course, you don't have to be famous to be a hero, but these actors and actresses use their platforms to do more than just accrue fame and fortune. They do it to be real-life super humans.

Whether it's visiting children in hospitals or donating their time and money, these actors who play superheroes go above and beyond to help make the world a better place.

1. Robert Downey Jr.

After a bit of a bumpy road earlier on in his career, RDJ has quickly and rightfully captured the hearts of the world by being an even better version of his genius, billionaire, playboy, philanthropist character, Tony Stark. How do you improve on being Iron Man? Well, you work with charities like March of Dimes, Stand Up to Cancer, and the Robin Hood Foundation, while also finding the time to meet with children and present them with new bionic arms.

2. Chris Hemsworth

As a father of three and an all-around good guy, Thor *cough* Chris Hemsworth works with foundations like the Australian Childhood Foundation and Small Steps Project to help ensure a better life for neglected, abused, and starving children.

3. Scarlett Johannson

Scarlett Johannson isn't just a beautiful woman who plays a kickass character onscreen, she's also a kickass character with a heart of gold in real life. Scarlett is involved with a number of philanthropic foundations including the American Humane Society, Michael J. Fox Foundation, Soles4Souls and a seven-year stint as the Oxfam ambassador. She later stepped down from her position amid controversy involving being the spokesman for SodaStream, but she still did seven years of good work with the organization.

4. Mark Ruffalo

You wouldn't like Mark Ruffalo when he's angry. Well, maybe you would since he uses that anger to fuel his campaigns to raise money for foundations that work towards water defense. Ruffalo's fundraiser (see the adorable video below) raised over $180,000 in only 3 week!

5. Chris Evans

One of the best superhero crossovers of the year thus far involved Captain America and Starlord going head to sports, that is. Evans, a fan of the New England Patriots and an ambassador for Christopher's Haven made a bet with Chris Pratt, a Seattle Seahawks fan. The loser was going to visit children in the winning team's city.

As we now know, the Patriots won. But being the great guys they are, I think we all knew that they would both be making special appearances for some of their fans in Seattle and Boston.

6. Chris Pratt

Not only did the Chris vs. Chris bet make a lot of kids really happy, but it also raised for almost $20,000 both Seattle Children's Hospital and Christopher's Haven. Not to mention, it looks like Pratt really made this kid's day by letting him try on his Starlord jacket.

7. Ben Affleck and Jennifer Garner

Whether you choose to see him as Batfleck or Daredevil, no matter what mask he wears, Ben Affleck is a really great actor and philanthropist. Alongside his equally super heroic wife, Jennifer Garner (Elektra), Affleck supports charities such as the UNHCR, Feeding America, the Jimmy Fund, GLAAD, and in 2010, Affleck founded the Eastern Congo Initiative which seeks to improve the quality of life and increase opportunities for those in the eastern Congo.

8. Hugh Jackman

Hugh Jackman may play the rough and often callous type as Wolverine in the X-Men franchise, but in real life he has been a longtime philanthropist and seems like an absolute sweetheart. He has been involved with a lot of different foundations including Aid Still Required, he is also a global advisor for the Global Poverty Project, a World Vision advisor, together with James Bond actor Daniel Craig, he helped raise over $1.5 million in 2009 and nearly $1 million more in 2011 for Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS, and he in 2011 co-founded of Laughing Man Worldwide.

9. Andrew Garfield

Both Andrew Garfield and his movie/real-life partner in crime, Emma Stone, prove that you can help out regularly in even the smallest ways. They've been photgraphed a number of times redirecting attention away from their celebrity status and towards much more nobel causes such as Worldwide Orphans, Gilda's Club NYC, Stand Up to Cancer, and even took the time to dress up as Spidey to hang out with some children involved with Kids City and later bring them to the premiere of [The Amazing Spider-Man 2](movie:508593).

Whether it's as simple as a retweet or mention, or as involved as being a supporter or ambassador, these superheroes are doing celebrity right. I'm sure some people will want to point out that they get publicity out of it, which is true, but that doesn't negate the fact that these actors and actresses' time and effort will help people and important causes. That's all that really matters, after all!

Thanks to these celebrities, and the many others, who put the "super" in "superheroes." Remember, you don't have to be a celebrity or a superhero to help out your fellow man! To get involved with any of the above charities, the links are included in each of the charities' names.

(Via: Look to the Stars, Distractify)


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