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Grand Theft Auto IV Star Based on Russian Actor?

Looking over that trailer of Grand Theft Auto IV, we couldn't help but notice something familiar about the (alleged) Russian character starring in the game. So after thinking about it quite a bit, we realized who we were reminded of - a Russian actor by the name of Vladimir Mashkov. You may be thinking "who?", but you may have seen him in an American movie a few years ago. If you saw the Owen Wilson movie Behind Enemy Lines, you may recall the movie's bad-ass sniper who followed Owen's character everywhere he went -- yeah, that was Vladimir.

In case you've never seen Behind Enemy Lines or Vladimir Mashkov, well we have you covered. Take a look at the comparison pic of Mashkov and GTA IV's character. Notice the similarity in eyes, nose, lips, the large ears, the scruffy beard, and the short hair? While the GTA character may look a bit more cartoonish, we still think that the resemblance may have been what Rockstar was aiming for.

Vladimir Mashkov isn't exactly unknown over in Russia, in fact, quite the opposite. He's won 9 awards, out of 12 nominations, many of which were Best Actor awards. We’ve seen some of his work, and he is indeed a very powerful actor. It could be purely coincidental, but seeing as how games are frequently using likenesses of celebrities today (Onimusha series, Stranglehold, etc.), it’s also not very surprising. We'll attempt to contact Rockstar about this sometime soon and see what they have to say.

3/29/2007 Arnold Katayev

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