And occasionally, it pays off big time.
Russian cosplayer Anna Moleva did such a stunning job portraying the character Elizabeth from the hotly-anticipated BioShock Infinite that the game's creators decided to hire her to play Elizabeth for real.
"We were so amazed by her dedication and her resemblance to Elizabeth that we decided to ask her if she'd like to be involved in helping bring Elizabeth to life in our box, our key art and our upcoming television ad," wrote BioShock Infinite game designer Ken Levine in an official blog post.
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Elizabeth isn't the game's star, however. That would be Booker DeWitt, a former detective hired to rescue Elizabeth from a floating city called Columbia. It's a far cry from the underwater setting of the original BioShock, considered by many to be one of the best games of the past decade. That game sold over 4 million copies, and while its sequel, BioShock 2, didn't fare quite as well, BioShock Infinite looks to recapture the franchise's magic. The winner of countless E3 2011 awards (including top honors from Yahoo! Games), the game is currently set for a February 26 release.
Anna's headshot and Elizabeth's character model (Credit: Irrational Games)
That gives plenty of time for Moleva to fine-tune her performance, though apparently she couldn't help dressing up as Elizabeth even if she hadn't been hired by the team to do so.
"I love the first two parts of BioShock, so ever since Infinite was announced I followed the promotion campaign," she said. "Then when Liz's appearance was finalized — and I saw what I think is a remarkable resemblance between us — I as a cosplayer couldn't just ignore it. It was really hard, because cosplay isn't just about recreating the appearance. It's about acting, portraying the character as a whole. At the moment, we knew very little — almost nothing — about her as a character (in fact, we don't know much now, either). So I'm really glad that everything worked out for me."
Moleva's cosplayed as several other video game characters, including impressive turns honoring Mass Effect 3, Poison Ivy from Batman: Arkham City, and Alice from Alice: Madness Returns:
Anna cosplaying Mass Effect 3 (Credit: Anna Moleva)
Anna as Alice and Poison Ivy (Credit: Anna Moleva)
- Arts & Entertainment
- BioShock Infinite