ByKit Simpson Browne, writer at
Writer-at-large. Bad jokes aplenty. Can be gently prodded on Twitter at @kitsb1
Kit Simpson Browne

(Warning - mild SPOILERS for already-released superhero movies lie below...)

Now, when it comes to dream jobs, they don't come a whole lot dreamier than getting to play one of your favorite superheroes on the big screen. After all, being an astronaut'd be cool and all - as would turning over a new leaf as a cowboy, pirate, ninja or rock star - but when it came down to it, you still wouldn't be able to watch yourself beat the snot out of super-villains on a big screen, while knowing you're about to get to do it all over again (and get paid for the privilege).

It's perhaps not too surprising, then, that while there are a few actors who seem to see playing superheroes as something of a chore (I'm looking at you, mid-2000s Josh Hartnett), there are countless more who've been so over-excited by the prospect that they've...acted pretty much exactly like we all would.

Here, then, are:

5 Celebrities Who Worked Even Harder to Play Superheroes Than We Would've

First up?

5. Ryan Reynolds Basically Just is Deadpool at This Point

After all, the actor (and titular Deadpool star) hasn't just embraced the character since first playing him back in 2009's X-Men Origins: Wolverine - he's basically fallen in love with him.

So much so, in fact, that his Twitter feed has long-since become a cross between an official (over-excited) news source for the movie...

...and what is basically just verbal Deadpool cosplay...

None of which should be all that surprising, really, since not only did he spend several years trying to get the movie made, recording dialogue for that test footage in the process...

... but he also definitely definitely didn't leak it to the press (despite really wanting to):

"I would have, if I had known it would have caused that!...I was excited, because you can look back at an email chain from all of us, the core group involved in Deadpool, saying 'We should leak this, f—-,' like three years ago...Saying, 'Hey, if this thing is going to stagnate, one of us should just say 'Whoops, I slipped it online by accident.' And nobody seemed to want to nut up and do that, myself included. Someone did it for us, years later, when we all completely assumed it was dead in the water."

Though, at this point, who actually believes it wasn't him?

Meanwhile, over at DC:

4. Tyrese Gibson Really Wants to Join the Green Lantern Corps

Now, for most actors who've just starred in a billion dollar-making movie, the main priority is either to take some kind of extended break to cool off, or to finally get that little black-and-white indie movie they've been dreaming of made.

For Tyrese Gibson, star of the Fast and the Furious franchise, though? Not so much...

Instead, Tyrese has been substantially upping the tempo of his long-running campaign to play a very particular superhero...John Stewart a.k.a. Green Lantern:

A campaign which, it increasingly seems, may well have actually been successful:

#TheOath has been taken.....

A photo posted by TYRESE (@tyrese) on

But, even if not, it sure does sound as though Tyrese has taken the Green Lantern Oath all by himself, anyway...

"There are certain things I can’t speak on. But I will say, however this works out, it’s definitely the fans’ fault. I was at home minding my own business and fans start creating these fan-made videos of me as Green Lantern and I looked into it. I’ve been a fan of the Green Lantern. I took the oath, and I had a meeting at Warner Bros. and certain things were said and talked about. We’ll just see what happens."

Which, knowing the Green Lantern Corps' surprisingly lax entry requirements, might actually get him the gig all by itself.

Meanwhile, over at Marvel Studios...

3. Vin Diesel Is Groot

Tyrese, y'see, isn't the only Furious star enamored with the idea of playing a superhero.

According to Vin Diesel, after all, he'd been pretty determined to work with Marvel, even before Groot became a thing...


As he himself put it:

"You have to understand, when I met with Marvel it wasn’t for anything immediate. It was to talk about a film that would be introduced in the Phase Three part of Marvel – So, not for a few years. You wouldn’t be able to see it for a few years, and in my mind Marvel was doing it right. They were enrolling me at the ground level which is the best way to enroll me."
"I had heard over the last year people on the social media page saying ‘what’s up Vin? Why aren’t you going to Marvel? Why aren’t you doing anything with Marvel? It would be a crime of cinematic history for you not to be.’ So I’m thinking this Marvel thing is becoming really, really important to these people. Okay, what can I do? What should I think?"

So to say he was interested is - it's probably fair to say - a massive understatement...and then, after a number of meetings?

"I am Groot."
"I am Groot."
"They sent over the script to Guardians of the Galaxy and they sent over a giant book of conceptual art… Everyone knows I’m a sucker for conceptual art… So, they sent over the visuals. I look at the visuals first and am like ‘oh my god.’ This is some of the best conceptual art I have seen in my life. But the request was a little bit ‘hmm… they want me to play a tree…"

But then, as if by magic?

"…to make sure I was on the right track I took the book of conceptual art into the room with my kids and I opened it up to the page where all five Guardians of the Galaxy characters are and I say, ‘who do you think they want daddy to play?’ And my daughter so quickly pointed to Groot. From that moment on I was Groot."

And all it took were the adorable actions of a child (and Vin Diesel clearly desperately wanting to be in the MCU)...

Meanwhile, crawling up a wall somewhere:

2. Tom Holland Essentially Learned How to Be Spider-Man to Get the Part

That's right - not only did Tom Holland (Sony and Marvel's new Spider-Man) predict that he'd one day play the hero two whole years ago, but he also spent a whole lot of that time basically becoming Spidey. Y'know, just in case.

Specifically, he's spent the last few years learning how to do things just...

More fun more fun

A video posted by ✌️ (@tomholland2013) on

Fun fun fun

A video posted by ✌️ (@tomholland2013) on


Messing around at lunch. Learnt a new trick. Great day today. @stanley_weber @jonnybernthal

A video posted by ✌️ (@tomholland2013) on

Doing whatever a Spider can - that sort of thing.

Which, quite frankly, is an insane (and awesome) level of commitment to the role...

The greatest superhero celebrity geek of all, though? That'd have to be a certain Falconry expert...

1. Anthony Mackie Has No Boundaries (in the Best Possible Way)

The simple truth here? Anthony Mackie is just as big a geek as the rest of us.

The reason? Well, most actors, when presented with the possibility of a role in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, would probably play it cool, and let their agent get things rolling. Not so much with Mackie, though.

As the actor revealed back in 2014:

"I wanted to be like the Joker and get my Heath Ledger on. I would send Marvel an email, like every four to five months. I was calling saying, 'I'll work for free.' About two years ago they sent me a letter saying, 'Don't call us, we'll call you.' I was like 'Damn -- Marvel mad at me."

Which, thankfully, all worked out for the best - with Mackie's Falcon stealing scenes all over Captain America: The Winter Soldier. When it came time to (potentially) get involved in Avengers: Age of Ultron, though?

Mackie just straight up did it all again. Asked about whether he'd spoken to Joss Whedon about appearing in the movie (again back in 2014), he revealed:

"No, but I’ve been stalking him in London and harassing him and sending him emails. I’m ready for it. I mean, I’ve only met Joss twice now and I’ve made it very clear to him that whatever capacity he wants to use the Falcon, I’m there."

Or, in other words?

He just did exactly what any of us would do...and ended up joining The Avengers...

Which makes it to No. 74 on my list of reasons why Anthony Mackie is both literally and figuratively the coolest.

What do you think, though?


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