The 15 Most Surprising Celebrities as Santa Claus, From Ben Affleck to Beyoncé

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Christmas is but a couple days away, meaning it’s time to roll out the classics like Home Alone and The Santa Clause (if you haven’t already). And while the latter film may have won Tim Allen the reigning title of Santa Claus’s foremost cosplayer over the past few decades, the actor isn’t the only one who’s gotten into the Christmas spirit on-screen over the years. Their roles may not have proven as memorable, but Ben Affleck and Ryan Phillippe have also contributed to his effort to Hollywood’s efforts to spread the holiday cheer. (For his role in Jarhead, Jake Gyllenhaal even donned a Santa hat while shirtless in the Saudi Arabian desert.) The most dedicated, however, have taken their efforts IRL; the 21st century has already seen Beyoncé, Paris Hilton, and Katy Perry all make their own cameos as Santa, with Perry taking care to simultaneous show off her Jesus tattoo. See each of their renditions of Jolly Old Saint Nicholas, along with a few more surprises, here.

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Ben Affleck donned a Santa Claus suit for a Christmas Eve heist scene when playing an ex-con in the 2002 film Reindeer Games.

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Behold Paris Hilton as Santa Claus—not for an on-screen role, but simply for the red carpet on the occasion of launching one of her two dozen fragrances at Macy’s in 2009.

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Jake Gyllenhaal gave Ben Affleck a run for his money as a shirtless Santa Claus stationed in Saudi Arabia in the 2005 film Jarhead.

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Beyoncé, Kelly Rowland, and Michelle Williams got into the Christmas spirit for an appearance at Toys “R” Us to reveal their Destiny’s Child dolls in 2001.

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A mid-twenties Ryan Phillippe reimagined Santa Claus with a six-pack in the 1998 film Studio 54.

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Billy Bob Thornton played a conman Santa Claus a year after Affleck in the 2003 film Bad Santa.

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Technically, Paul Giamatti played Santa Claus’s bitter older brother in the 2007 film Fred Claus, but he certainly fits in with the rest.

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Jessica Simpson suited up as Santa Claus, sans signature hat, for Z100’s Jingle Ball in 2000.

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At the behest of Tina Fey, Lindsay Lohan teamed up with Rachel McAdams, Lacey Chabert, and Amanda Seyfried for a scene in 2004’s Mean Girls whose legacy lives on today.

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Erstwhile gospel singer Katy Perry showed off her Jesus tattoo while performing in a Santa Claus dress at Y100’s Jingle Ball in 2008.

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LL Cool J looked jolly as ever for a Rush Philanthropic Arts Foundation party with Jay-Z and Ashanti in 2003.

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Flea reminded the crowd at the finals of the Chevy Truck U.S. Snowboard Grand Prix that it was just a few days before Christmas during a Red Hot Chilli Peppers concert in 2002.

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Kelly Osbourne left her goth sensibilities behind for a night at K-Rock’s 2002 Claus-Fest.

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Kenan Thompson suited up for SNL‘s 2013 Weekend Update segment following Megyn Kelly’s infamous insistence that Santa Claus is, and should therefore always be portrayed as, white.

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Kurt Russell kept the Christmas spirit alive in 2018 for Netflix’s The Santa Claus Chronicles.