18 Celebrities Who Play Dungeons & Dragons
It's been long out of fashion to call Dungeons & Dragons uncool. The fantasy role-playing tabletop game has been a pop phenomenon for a minute, appearing on shows such as Paul Feig's Freaks and Geeks. Recently, the RPG has been a salient framework for Netflix's Stranger Things, in which characters pass their time with the game's adventures and even name the Upside Down monster after the Demogorgon, a D&D creature. Outside of scripted series, there are celebs who love Dungeons & Dragons so much that they've created entire shows based on it, such as Deborah Ann Woll's Relics and Rarities and Dan Harmon's HarmonQuest. From Joe Manganiello to Stephen Colbert, we've rounded up a list of Hollywood stars who have been known to enjoy a riveting game of Dungeons & Dragons.
Magic Mike actor Joe Manganiello has been a lifelong fan of the tabletop game. He's penned a passionate essay about his love for it, writing, "I'm glad that the stigma's been erased, and I have consciously tried to play a part in that by being open that I love the game and I have fun playing it." According to his wife, Sofia Vegara, he even has a dungeon-themed basement devoted to the game, not to mention an entire clothing line.
In Marilyn Manson's book The Long Hard Road Out of Hell (cowritten by The Dirt's Neil Strauss), the musician mentioned his fondness for D&D while growing up in Ohio. That said, he's known for saying, "If every cigarette you smoke takes seven minutes off of your life, every game of Dungeons & Dragons you play delays the loss of your virginity by seven hours."
It's no secret that Felicia Day loves all things games, reclaiming geek culture with her production company Geek & Sundry. Because her mother thought that D&D would lead to satanic worship, Day actually didn't start playing the game until her twenties. If you swing by her blog, you can read about how much fun she had encountering it for the first time.
The CNN personality went on a Dungeons & Dragons tangent while chatting with Stephen Colbert about elves, and it might be the best thing ever. According to Cooper, he's played as an elvin thief and went into mourning for a long time after his character died.
Deborah Ann Woll
Deborah Ann Woll might be best known for playing reporter Karen Page on Daredevil and vampire Jessica Hamby on True Blood, but she's also a huge D&D fan outside of her acting career. She has been the Dungeon Master on the new Geek & Sundry show Relics and Rarities, which presents a modified version of the popular game that uses knickknacks such as "walking canes, sunglasses, knit blankets, and pocket watches" instead of traditional weapons.
In an interview with Inverse, Woll said, "For me, it's creativity. If you get the +2 sword, that's great, but that just means the numbers get higher. It doesn't change how you play the game. I like the idea that you get a spool of thread, it has a minor magical property that allows it to be extra special."
Not only did Martin Starr play a Dungeons & Dragons-lover Bill Haverchuck on Paul Feig's Freaks and Geeks, the Silicon Valley star also enjoys the game in real life. He definitely has a theory about the game's resurgence in pop culture.
"There's a huge resurgence of nerd culture, especially with the tech boom," Starr told The Hollywood Reporter. "If nerds were still poor and living at their mothers', nobody would be paying any attention to Dungeons & Dragons. But nerds rule the world, and D&D is making a big comeback — and I'm excited about it."
Sing, direct, act — JGL can pretty much do it all, including enjoying a good game of Dungeons & Dragons. During an interview with Geek & Sundry, Gordon-Levitt talked about how playing D&D got him into other games, such as Magic: The Gathering. (He says that he prefers Magic because of its "creative constraints," but it still seems like he's fond of D&D!)
Chatting with Jimmy Kimmel, actor and director Jon Favreau, known for helming the Iron Man movies and appearing in them as Happy Hogan, has said that he would play Dungeons & Dragons while growing up. "It was really good preparation for being a filmmaker," he remarked. "It did help me when you build worlds for making a superhero movie or dealing with CGI and filmmaking. Between that and doing improvisational comedy in Chicago, those two things, I really draw from."
D.B. Weiss and David Benioff
Likewise, Game of Thrones showrunners D.B. Weiss and David Benioff credit their knowledge of storytelling from playing D&D. "It was my first experience with world-building. You'd see hundreds of 'what if' scenarios play out in real time as players attempted to achieve their various goals — and those goals often involved having sex with imaginary women," Weiss said to The Hollywood Reporter.
She's an actress, makeup entrepreneur, and gamer? In a piece from The Hollywood Reporter, we learned that The Santa Clarita Diet star is a D&D player.
The beloved late-night talk show host has actually interviewed several celebrities about D&D, including Manganiello and Cooper. He's pretty unashamed about his love for Dungeons & Dragons, telling Manganiello during their discussion of the game, "This might alienate some of audience members here, but I don't care." Playing live for the first time, he joined Matt Mercer on Critical Role for a game to fundraise money for 2019's Red Nose Day.
The action star joined The Last Witch Hunter after learning that the writer Cory Goodman was a fellow Dungeons & Dragons player, the character Kaulder based on D&D's Melkor. "Cory went off to write The Last Witch Hunter and was attempting to speak to [my] D&D character," Diesel commented in an Uproxx interview. "But [he was] also attempting to set it in a modern time, which is kind of fun because how could a D&D influenced genre live in a Bond-like cinematic world? And that's [just] what he did."
Activist, actor, and celebrity judge, Terry Crews is all over the map in Hollywood. He also recently appeared in a World of Warcraft-themed episode of CelebriD&D sponsored by World of Warcraft: Battle For Azeroth Expansion. You can watch him enthusiastically fight for The Horde as Thodak the Blacksmith on YouTube.
Known for his roles as Shrek, Austin Powers, and Wayne Campbell, Mike Myers has a documented love for the RPG, even participating in the Worldwide Dungeons & Dragons Game Day in 2006 along with other celebrities. His affection for the game can be heard in his "Lothar of the Hill People" bit on SNL, in which he uses, in his words, his D&D voice.
The Rick and Morty and Community creator has such an affection for D&D that he launched a Dungeons & Dragons-style series called HarmonQuest, in which he and other entertainers play a fantasy roleplaying campaign during the live segment (there's an animated component as well).
Talking to EWabout playing the game as a kid, he said, "You need a certain membrane of alienation and intimidation in order for something to become uniquely your culture. It needs some element of being scary to some people. Back then, there were urban legends of kids killing each other on the streets because of taking D&D too seriously."