During its heyday, Comic-Con could host as many celebrities as the Oscars, and sometimes even more. What’s more, sometimes those celebrities would go to absurd lengths to entertain the fans who had assembled for whatever upcoming project they were there to tease.
While trailers are well and good, and every Comic-Con has a few great moments, celebrities are ultimately the thing many people want to see the most. These are the 10 biggest celebrities to ever attend the convention.
Johnny Depp’s legacy in Hollywood is obviously complex, but few actors were more willing to go into full character for Comic-Con panels than he was. He most recently dressed up as Gellert Grindelwald during a panel for the Fantastic Beasts franchise, but he’s also shown up in the past to promote various installments in the Pirates of the Caribbean franchise. He’s not a Comic-Con regular, per se, but he’s paid his dues at the convention over the course of his long career.
Another actor who has often fashioned himself as a man of the people, Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson has often gone out of his way to make sure his appearances at Comic-Con are memorable, even if the movies associated with them are not.
During his most recent appearance for Black Adam, Johnson showed up totally in character, a move that many major stars have made over the years. It didn’t ultimately make a difference for the film’s box office, but that doesn’t mean it wasn’t a fun move.
Cruise made his most famous recent appearance at Comic-Con to support Top Gun: Maverick, which may not seem like the kind of movie that usually gets promoted at Comic-Con, but it all seems to have worked out for him.
Cruise is notorious, especially in this late stage of his career, for valuing the movies and their fans more than anything else. It should come as no huge surprise, then, that he was willing to come to Comic-Con a full three years before Maverick actually came out to begin hyping the crowd up about his long-imagined sequel.
Although the slap has tarnished his reputation somewhat, Will Smith remains one of the biggest movie stars in the world, and he’s been at Comic-Con a couple of times fairly recently. His most recent was to promote the 2017 Netflix Original movie Bright, and the year before that, he was there to promote Suicide Squad. Neither project was a tremendous success, but that doesn’t seem to have impacted Smith’s overall stardom, or his willingness to promote them with everything he had.
Washington has tended to seek out much more high-brow projects throughout his storied career, but he did make one stop at Comic-Con in 2009 for The Book of Eli, and he seemed to have a great time while he was there. He hasn’t made a habit of returning to the venue and tends to stay out of the public eye more than most celebrities of his caliber, but he did make a single, noteworthy Comic-Con appearance.
Jackie Chan has faded somewhat from the mainstream celebrity press, but there was a time when he was one of the biggest stars not only in America but all over the world. He showed up at a Comic-Con in 2012 to promote Jackie Chan’s Chinese Zodiac, and while the project itself isn’t all that widely remembered today, Jackie’s appearance is memorable in and of itself because of the huge amount of adoration he brings with him.
Nicolas Cage is always down for a wacky interview, and his appearances at Comic-Con have been no exception. Cage appeared at Comic-Con when his reputation as an actor was entering a fairly low ebb that corresponded with the Ghost Rider movies. Even so, he was always enthusiastic about his work and seemed to recognize how lucky he was that he got the chance to wake up every day and do the kind of work that excited him.
Downey Jr. has been a Comic-Con regular for a decade thanks to his time in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Of course, the appearances that were most noteworthy were those connected with major Avengers projects, but Downey Jr. seems to have genuinely relished his time at various Comic-Cons, and the support he received from the many fans of the Marvel universe, and of his character in particular.
Ben Affleck is probably among the least enthusiastic stars on this list. His stint playing Batman in the DC universe was not a tremendous success, at least according to him, although his performance certainly has its fans. Even so, Affleck did his duty and attended Comic-Con several times to promote his upcoming projects related to DC, even if his time as Batman will not be remembered as fondly as Christian Bale’s or Michael Keaton’s was.
Keanu Reeves has a relatively laid-back energy, but that doesn’t mean he isn’t incredibly passionate about the projects that he works on, and movies in general. Keanu has been to Comic-Con numerous times over the years, and every time, he shows his trademark enthusiasm for the artform he’s dedicated his life to.
While Keanu had some years in the wilderness in the mid-2000s, he’s since returned to stardom with a vengeance, and every Comic-Con appearance only further reminds us what a great star he is.
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