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The face of Max Payne, Sam Lake, on if he regrets using his likeness in the games

Alan Wake 2's director seems like he semi-regrets becoming the literal face of the Max Payne franchise.

Sam Lake's likeness in the original Max Payne.
Image credit: VG247/Remedy Entertainment

Alan Wake 2 director Sam Lake has suggested that, in hindsight, he might not have been as open to the idea of lending his own mug to Max Payne had he known how successful the series would become.

With Remedy having just released the long-awaited Alan Wake 2 to a pretty stellar reception, Lake and co look to currently be taking a well earned chance to savour the achievement before getting started on any new projects. In an interview with GQ, Lake touched on his humble beginnings in game development, seemingly suggesting that he might not have gifted his likeness to Max Payne had he been aware just how many people would see it.

“If I had known how big the whole thing would become, would I have done it? I don’t know, but it would certainly have given me pause,” Lake said. He also noted that his friends, including Remedy cofounder Petri Järvilehto, once jokingly compared his appearance in the photo that eventually became part of the visual foundation of the original Max Payne’s story to that of action heroes Clint Eastwood and Bruce Willis during a flight to E3.

Lake, whose real name is Sami Antero Järvi, is interestingly yet to decide whether his visage will be lent to Payne for the remakes of the first two games in the series which were announced in April last year.

In the interview, Remedy’s creative director also responded to the idea of Alan Wake’s character drawing a lot of inspiration from his own life by saying: “Usually people think about a too-simple perspective like, ‘Oh, you just wanted to write yourself’. That’s too naive.”

It’s certainly easy to understand how Lake’s perspective with regards to his face’s presence in Max Payne might have changed over the years. I, for one, definitely don’t think I’d be too comfortable if a slightly cheesy shot of my mug from a university magazine ended up taking centre stage in a game played by millions.

If you’re keen to add as much Alan Wake 2 into your life as possible while you play through it for the first time, you might want to check out a new clothing line inspired by it.

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