George Clooney is partly responsible for Commander Shepard's face in Mass Effect

Mass Effect 2
(Image credit: EA)

Mass Effect's Commander Shepard was loosely inspired by George Clooney, a developer on the first game has revealed. 

Speaking to (opens in new tab), Derek Watts, who worked as an art director on the Mass Effect series, has shed some light on how the look of the iconic character came together.

"We had [the design] up to a certain point, but it wasn't quite there. So we opened it up to the team," Watts recalls. "There are a lot of people that took it seriously, and a lot of people didn't," Watts continues before going on to recount how one member of the team thought that Shepard should have the head of a "rugby team player" with their face "all bashed up with tape on their ear." 

One person who did understand the assignment at BioWare, though, was level artist Mike Jeffries who suggested that the commander should have George Clooney's head. "It was a good picture, he darkened the armor and then he put this little logo on the chest." 

The art director continues: "That for us, as we showed people, we were like, 'OK, this is going in the right direction.' Not because of George Clooney, but a bit of that look – the short hair, square jaw." So next time you're playing Mass Effect, take a good look at Commander Shepard and see if you can see traces of the Ocean's Eleven actor in him. 

If you're also taking part in N7 Day today - aka a day to celebrate the Mass Effect series - it's probably a good idea to get up to date on all things Mass Effect 5. We haven't seen much about the next Mass Effect title since its reveal in 2020, and it still doesn't have a firm release date yet. But what we did recently find out is that BioWare is still "envisioning" Mass Effect 5, but it knows it's a single-player game.

Still haven't found the perfect follow-up game? Take a look at our games like Mass Effect list for ideas on what to play next.

Hope Bellingham
News Writer

After studying Film Studies and Creative Writing at university, I was lucky enough to land a job as an intern at Player Two PR where I helped to release a number of indie titles. I then got even luckier when I became a Trainee News Writer at GamesRadar+ before being promoted to a fully-fledged News Writer after a year and a half of training.  My expertise lies in Animal Crossing: New Horizons, cozy indies, and The Last of Us, but especially in the Kingdom Hearts series. I'm also known to write about the odd Korean drama for the Entertainment team every now and then.