15 Stars Who Attended Comic-Con in Disguise

8:30 AM 7/18/2017

by Sydney Odman

Justin Timberlake, Ryan Reynolds, Andrew Garfield and other A-listers have masked their true identities and walked unnoticed on the convention floor.

Stars in Costume at Comic-Con -Bryan Cranston -Split-Getty-H 2017
Kevin Winter/Getty Images (2)

As Comic-Con 2017 approaches (July 20-23 in San Diego), fans of all things superhero, sci-fi and fantasy prepare to fully geek out for the weekend in elaborate costumes of their favorite characters. Located at the San Diego Convention Center, Comic-Con International is known for welcoming a community of die-hard fans who never fail to dress up in wild, wacky costumes each year.

As for the stars who are there to promote their upcoming projects, Comic-Con is the perfect opportunity to go incognito for the weekend and walk the convention floor. Many celebrities often disguise themselves in various masks and cosplay, unbeknownst to the fans bustling around them, in order to enjoy the event as just another costumed attendee. Take a look at how some of them have been able to pull it off.

  • John Barrowman

    John Barrowman, known among comic book fans for his portrayal of Malcolm Merlyn in Arrow, cosplayed as old-school Harley Quinn at San Diego Comic-Con in 2016. Throughout the weekend, Barrowman also dressed as Squirrel Girl, Kylo Ren and Zapp Brannigan from Futurama.

  • Jack Black

    Jack Black, in a failed attempt to remain unnoticed, went incognito while at Comic-Con to promote his film Goosebumps. The actor wore a Star Wars Stormtrooper helmet that he had purchased earlier that day, but word of his disguise quickly spread around the convention.

  • Henry Cavill

    Henry Cavill, promoting Justice League in 2016, walked around the convention floor unbothered and even surprised Suicide Squad star Will Smith while undercover in a Guy Fawkes V for Vendetta mask.

  • Stephen Colbert

    Stephen Colbert made an appearance at San Diego Comic-Con in 2014 to host the panel for The Hobbit. In his downtime at the convention, Colbert went all out, fully cosplaying as a comic book character of his own creation, Prince Hawkcat. The talk show host later did a segment about his experience as Prince Hawkcat on The Colbert Report, revealing the character’s slogan: “Half Hawk. Half Cat. Whole Prince.”

  • Bryan Cranston

    Actor Bryan Cranston walked around the convention disguised in an unnervingly realistic mask of his Breaking Bad character, Walter White. Hidden in plain sight, the actor later revealed his identity at the Breaking Bad panel. 

  • Will Ferrell

    Will Ferrell attended the panel for Megamind in 2010, in what appeared to be a self-made costume of the character itself, consisting of blue face paint and a plastic head. Although he wasn’t incognito, Ferrell likely made an impression on the audience with his humorous cosplay of choice.

  • Andrew Garfield

    Dressed in a low-quality Spider-Man costume, Amazing Spider-Man star Andrew Garfield stepped up to the mic to deliver a heartwarming speech in regard to why he loves the character so much. Believed by the audience to be just another fan with a question for the panel, Garfield soon revealed his identity by taking off the costume mask. 

  • Tom Hiddleston

    In anticipation of a long-awaited Marvel panel, thousands of superhero fans swarmed to Hall H, where Tom Hiddleston made a sweeping entrance fully dressed as his own character, the infamous Avengers villain, Loki. Hiddleston's appearance sent the entire crowd into a crazed frenzy prior to the start of the panel. 

  • Jared Leto

    Jared Leto went incognito at New York Comic-Con, donning a mask of the baboon Rafiki from The Lion King. Leto took numerous pictures with various attendees, some even cosplayed as his version of The Joker. The Suicide Squad star later tweeted and Instagrammed his costume, apparently pleased with his successful day undercover.

  • Audrina Patridge

    Audrina Patridge, a former star of The Hills, cosplayed as Mystique from the X-Men comics, dressed in a red wig and detailed blue makeup at San Diego Comic-Con in 2014. 

  • Daniel Radcliffe

    Daniel Radcliffe spent the weekend fully cosplayed as Spider-Man in order to enjoy the convention and avoid being swarmed by fans. At the time, the actor was there for a panel promoting his film Horns

  • Ryan Reynolds


    Late for your panel? Sometimes ya gotta make a run for it - harnessing the dark powers of Lord Vader. #sdcc #deadpool

    A post shared by Ryan Reynolds (@vancityreynolds) on

    Ryan Reynolds, while promoting his Marvel film Deadpool, embraced his love for the dark side and dressed up in a Darth Vader mask, later posting a photo to Instagram of his disguise.

  • Mark Ruffalo


    Got to hide out and enjoy #comiccon2015

    A post shared by Mark Ruffalo (@markruffalo) on

    Although he wasn’t there for a panel, Mark Ruffalo concealed his identity in a frightening Luigi mask while enjoying the convention with his family.

  • Matt Smith

    Best known for his role as the Eleventh Doctor in the Doctor Who series, Matt Smith spent his last year promoting the show by wandering the convention floor disguised as Bart Simpson.

  • Justin Timberlake

    Justin Timberlake, accompanied by Esquire magazine writer Chris Jones, dressed up as the Sesame Street duo Bert and Ernie. Although Jones urged Timberlake to take off the mask and reveal his identity, the former 'N Sync member refused. “You have no idea what it’s like,” Timberlake told Esquire, in regard to constantly being recognized in public.