Image from The Legend of Zelda: Art & Artifacts

A guessing game: Which ‘90s heartthrob actor does this picture most remind you of? Leonardo DiCaprio? Tom Cruise? Keanu Reeves???

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In The Legend of Zelda: Art & Artifacts, a new art book based on Nintendo’s iconic franchise that comes out today, there’s an interesting series of interviews with artists Yusuke Nakano, Satoru Takizawa, and Yoshiki Haruhana. In one of those interviews, which we’ve excerpted here, the three artists reveal that Link’s Ocarina of Time is actually based on a “world-famous Hollywood actor.” Problem is, they don’t say which one.

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So, what did you end up drawing?

NAKANO: It was this picture [top of page 157]. I created it as a design proposal for Link’s facial features, as an attempt to realize Koizumi’s desire for a “handsome, cool Link.” When it got a thumbs-up, I raised my hand and said, “OK then, I’ll do all the art just like this!”

Not just Link, you said you would do all the artwork, right?

NAKANO: That’s right.


So when you were illustrating Link, was there an inspiration for the character?

NAKANO: Yes. A rather world- famous Hollywood actor . . .

TAKIZAWA: Huh? You mean that actor?

HARUHANA: He is one good- looking guy.

NAKANO: Yeah. At that time, if you were to talk about a really good- looking actor, people immediately thought of this guy. So I recall keeping in mind the point of his nose and that strong-willed look in his eyes when I was drawing.

TAKIZAWA: Actually, I remember Koizumi saying something similar as well. When the watercolor version was being worked on, that actor’s name also came up.

NAKANO: Is that so? When I was presenting this piece, I did mention how I incorporated a little bit of that actor, but that tidbit didn’t seem to win or lose me any points. In actuality, maybe it was just an unspoken approval of how I “got it” back then. [laughs]

So who is it? Post all guesses below. My money is still on DiCaprio:

Shot from Titanic