When it comes to being an actor, the most prestigious title you could ever earn is "Geek Icon". Okay, so perhaps there are more important titles, like "Oscar Winner", or "Walk of Famer" or "That Guy In All The Stuff", but that's entirely subjective.
Being considered a geek icon is a surefire way for an actor to go down in history. Like legends, they'll never die, for they'll forever live on in the hearts of fans! Such is the case for these 6 actors, who went from A-list actors to A-list geek icons in no time at all!
1. Ian McKellen
When compiling a list of A-listers who have become geek icons, it'd be a pretty serious crime to not include the biggest geek icon of them all, Sir Ian McKellen. McKellen is one of the original geek icons, earning the praise of geeks everywhere for his role as Magneto in the first X-Men film in 2000. Sir Ian McKellen would go on to portray Magneto for four more films!
Another huge geeky role of his is that of Gandalf the Grey/White in the Lord of the Rings and Hobbit trilogies. These two roles are the ones that he's known for the most, but they aren't his only geeky roles.
Before he became a geek icon, most of Sir Ian McKellen's were usually that of historic novel characters, such as David Copperfield (in the film of the same name) and Paul Chauevelin in The Scarlet Pumpernickel. It's nice to see that even in the beginning of his career, McKellen was portraying iconic characters!
2. Patrick Stewart
Another original geek icon, Patrick Stewart joined his good friend Sir Ian McKellen in the X-Men series, portraying Charles Xavier, Magneto's rival and the leader of the titular team. But Patrick Stewart has been in the geek game much longer than his good friend/rival.
Back in 1984, Patrick Stewart was given the greatest honor of all; manning the USS Enterprise. As Captain Jean-Luc Picard, Patrick Stewart led the team of the USS Enterprise into many incredible adventures. He wasn't the first famous Star Trek captain, but his time on the show supplied the internet with many, many hilarious memes, thanks to Stewart's wonderful facial expressions!
Like his X-Men co-star, Patrick Stewart's roles before his time on the Enterprise were that of famous novel characters. He had roles in Dune, Hedda, and the 1981 adaption of Excalibur. He also has a hilarious part in Robin Hood: Men in Tights as King Richard!
3. Harrison Ford
Harrison Ford is a special kind of geek icon, because every iconic character he's played became that way because of him. There were no Han Solo or Indiana Jones comics before Ford portrayed them, so it was up to him to make these characters famous.
To everyone's surprise (at the time, at least) Harrison Ford succeeded, and Han Solo and Indiana Jones became household names—along with Ford himself. Who would have thought that this chiseled-chinned former contractor would become one of the biggest geek icons of all time?! Ford even brought his talents to book adaptions, becoming the face of Rick Deckard in Blade Runner. Harrison Ford's geek icon status is so big, that even after several decades, he's still portraying his iconic characters!
4. Cate Blanchett
Believe it or not, there was a time where Cate Blanchett's name didn't immediately make you think of the vast wonderland that is Middle-Earth. That was when she was doing films like Paradise Road and Elizabeth (in which she portrayed Queen Elizabeth I)—before she became a geek icon thanks to her role as Galadriel in the Lord of the Rings and Hobbit trilogies.
People always talk about how amazing Gandalf is, and he is, but let's not forget about how badass Galadriel is, lest we face her when she's in "I will murder you" mode! There's no denying that Cate Blanchett portrayed Galadriel incredible in the entire LotR franchise. The geek runs deep in her blood, so deep that she was even in a Hobbit play during her college years!
5. Mads Mikkelsen
Mads Mikkelsen achieved geek icon status when he portrayed the titular character in Hannibal. Only a guy like Mikkelsen could gain a humongous fan following from playing a sadistic and bloodthirsty (literally) cannibal.
Mads always has that same cool and collected, yet naturally malicious presence with each of his characters, which is likely why he usually portrays villains. This year, Mads Mikkelsen will having his name added to two huge Disney properties, Star Wars and Marvel! Mikkelsen will portray Galen Erso in Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, and the evil sorcerer Kaecilius in the upcoming Doctor Strange! Speaking of which...
6. Benefical Healthysna- Benedict Cumberbatch
Benedict Cumberbatch, the name everyone loves to intentionally mess up! Cumberbatch became an icon thanks to his portrayal of Sherlock Holmes in the BBC series Sherlock. The high-functioning sociopath captured the hearts of many viewers, and quickly started to rival the long-running Doctor Who series in ratings.
Cumberbatch continues to portray Sherlock today, as well as portraying Smaug the Dragon in The Hobbit trilogy, and the iconic sci-fi villain Khan in Star Trek: Into Darkness. However, the role I'm most excited to see him in is that of the Sorcerer Supreme himself, Doctor Strange!
Benedict Cumberbatch was a top contender for the role of Doctor Strange, and everyone certainly had him high on their fan-cast lists! Unfortunately, it seemed like he wouldn't be able to play the role due to scheduling issues, and his name slowly dropped out of the race. Thankfully, after filming on Sherlock Season 3 ended, Cumberbatch was free, and Marvel quickly met with him to discuss portraying the role. A few meetings and rumors later, and Benadryl Comicon became a part of the MCU!
It's also worth noting that Cumberbatch is in really good company, as besides the above mentioned Mads Mikkelsen, the cast of Doctor Strange also includes Tilda Swinton and Chiwetel Ejiofor. Swinton is practically the queen of geek icons, using her impressive acting and face-changing skills to portray both men and women characters in iconic films such as Constantine and The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe. Doctor Strange will be Ejiofor's chance to become a huge geek icon, but the A-lister has already appeared in Oscar-worthy films such as 12 Years a Slave and The Martian!
From portraying iconic roles, to creating the iconic roles themselves, these 6 A-list actors have done more than enough to deserve the status of geek icon! Wouldn't you agree?