Whether it’s summer in San Diego or New York City in the fall, fans of all things superhero, fantasy and science-fiction go balls to the wall and geek out at Comic-Con in celebration of their favorite characters, films, video games and television series. Cosplay stands in the center of the panels, sneak peeks and celeb sightings. From full-fledged costumes to a simple mask with a touch of face paint, it’s not just the fans who love to step into various costumes. Some of our favorite stars have walked the Comic-Con floors in disguise. They've been able to fool fans and get an official taste of all the convention has to offer without any restrictions. Check out 17 celebs who used cosplay to go incognito.
1. Lupita Nyong'o
From Star Wars to Black Panther, Lupita Nyong'o is popping up in all types of film franchises. Her mega-fame didn’t stop the Academy Award winner from having a ton of fun at San Diego Comic-Con this year. Dressed as the Pink Ranger from Power Rangers the 34-year old, skipped and smiled her way through the convention. Later, she asked her her Twitter followers if they'd seen her. She even went back the next day with a brand new disguise.
2. Henry Cavill
One would think that the man who embodies Clark Kent would be fairly recognizable. But apparently, all heroes don't have to wear capes. At San Diego Comic-Con in 2016, The Man of Steel actor strolled around the convention in a Guy Fawkes V for Vendetta mask. People just assumed he was just some random tall dude when the hunky actor stopped to pose with Superman fans. Cavill even fooled Will Smith, Viola Davis and the rest of the Suicide Squad cast.
3. Bryan Cranston
In 2013, Bryan Cranston had perhaps one of the most sensational disguises of all. The Malcolm in the Middle alum strolled through the San Diego convention wearing a mask of his Breaking Bad character, Walter White. Later, at a Breaking Bad panel, he peeled off the mask and left the crowd shook. This wasn’t the first time Cranston fooled fans. The year prior he and co-star Aaron Paul strolled in wearing full-fledged hazmat suits.
4. Daniel Radcliffe
The boy who lived decided to swap lives with Peter Parker. In 2014, Daniel Radcliffe attended his very first Comic-Con, and he evaded Potterheads with a pretty ingenious costume —a full fledged Spidey Suit. Apparently, no one recognized the Harry Potter actor at all. "I was just going around doing poses," Radcliffe explained. "It was awesome."
5. Masie Williams
The girl behind the most legendary Stark went to San Diego in 2014 and blended in with two costumes. For some of the convention Maise Williams remained anonymous behind a Spider-Man mask and later (just to make sure she kept things low key), the Game of Thrones star slipped on a Guy Fawkes mask. After leaving the convention, she hopped on Instagram to ask her fans, "Did you see this girl?"
6. Justin Timberlake
In 2011, the actor/musician showed up to San Diego Comic-Con with Sesame Street on his mind. Timberlake was the Ernie to Esquire writer Chris Jones' Bert. The N'SYNC alum never revealed his identity to the crowd, and we can’t say that we blame him. “You have no idea what it’s like,” Timberlake told Esquire, regarding constantly being recognized in public.
7. Jared Leto
If you've ever transformed into The Joker, we’re pretty sure you have a ton of tricks up your sleeve. Jared Leto certainly had some when he graced New York Comic-Con with his presence in 2015. Posing with fans of his Suicide Squad character, Leto wore a mask of Rafiki, the baboon from The Lion King. No one even guessed the Thirty Seconds to Mars singer was hiding underneath.
8. Matt Smith
If you head to San Diego Comic-Con dressed as one of the most iconic cartoon characters of all time, you’d expect people to stop and chat with you. After donning a Bart Simpson costume, Matt Smith found that people avoided him. In 2013, The Crown actor let BBC America film him undercover. His disguise might have worked just a tad too well.
9. Andrew Garfield
In 2011 Amazing Spider-Man star Andrew Garfield stepped in front of the mic at a panel to regal fans about why he adored Peter Parker so much. Dressed in a low-budget Spidey costume, no one knew it was Garfield speaking until he snatched off his mask and revealed himself —much to the delight of his fans. The next year he showed up wearing the actual costume from the film.
10. Josh Hutcherson
Sometimes celebs use their disguises to fool both their fans and their co-stars. In 2015, Josh Hutcherson wore a terrifying old man mask to SDCC. He even stood in front of the Hunger Games booth, and no one knew who he was. Later he gave his friend and co-star Jennifer Lawrence quite the shock. "He burst into my room and scared the life out of me," Lawrence recounted.
11. Mark Ruffalo
There are times when celebs what to evade the limelight altogether and hang out at Comic-Con with their families. Back in 2015, Mark Ruffalo graced New York Comic-Con with his presence, and he kept things on the down low. The Avengers actor threw on a pretty scary Luigi mask to hide out and enjoy the scene.
12. Ryan Reynolds
Apparently, the man behind Wade Wilson is a fan of lightsabers just like the rest of us. When promoting Deadpool at SDCC back in 2015, Ryan Reynolds realized he was running late for his panel. To help him get there undercover, he turned to his trusty Darth Vader helmet. Reynolds' crafty plan worked in his favor.
13. Jack Black
Despite having costumes at their disposal, some celebs don't exactly get by unnoticed. Back in 2014 while promoting the film Goosebumps, Jack Black decided to walk the floors of San Diego Comic-Con wearing a Stormtrooper helmet. He didn't exactly blend in. "Somehow the word got out, and everyone's just like, 'Jack Black are you in there'" the comedian told MTV News.
14. Hugh Jackman
In perhaps the greatest San Diego Comic-Con disguise there ever was, Hugh Jackman showed up in 2013, dressed as his beloved X-Men character Wolverine, and no one recognized him. During his X-Men: Days of Future Past panel, the Australian actor said one person stopped him and exclaimed, “Whoa. Way too tall buddy."
15. Peter Jackson
One would assume that the man behind the Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit trilogies would be the master of illusion, and apparently, he is. In 2014, director Peter Jackson threw on his evil Jester costume for San Diego Comic and his disguise worked like a charm.
16. Stephen Colbert
Stephen Colbert has always been able to balance work and play and his SDCC adventure was no different. Back in 2014, Colbert hosted the panel for The Hobbit, but during his downtime, he became Prince Hawkcat, a comic book character of his own creation. Apparently, Prince Hawkcat is “Half Hawk. Half Cat. Whole Prince.”
17. Samuel L. Jackson
One of the highest grossing actors of all time didn’t even bother with a disguise anyone could recognize. Samuel L. Jackson shocked both his cast mates and Comic-Con goers in 2014 wearing well…we're not really sure what he had on, but it worked.