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An 'Aha Moment' from The Most Interesting Man In The World

written bySteve Borekon 18/03/2014

No, no. It’s not about me. Sorry to disappoint!

I’m talking about Jonathan Goldsmith, a.k.a The Most Interesting Man In The World (TMIMITW). The charismatic, salt and pepper haired Jewish performer who plays the suave Latino pitchman for Dos Equis beer. In our multitasking world, dodging commercials at every turn, for some reason, whenever TMIMITW appears on screen, we stop, watch, and listen; hanging on his every word, knowing he’ll put a smile on our face, or better yet, have us burst out in laughter. Jonathan is an accomplished character actor with over 100 IMDB credits to his name. You might have seen him in numerous TV programs: Adam-12, The Fugitive, The Wild Wild West, Ironside, and Mannix to name a few. 

In 2006, the then 68-year-old thespian stumbled on the role that would put him on the proverbial overnight road to celebrity. Jonathan was one of 500 actors invited to a cattle call (an audition), all vying to land the role of The Most Interesting Man In The World. Here’s the kicker. The other 499 were Latino! How did this accomplished Jewish artist, with roots in the Bronx, secure a role destined to be played by someone south of the border?  

On cattle call day, as Jonathan prepared to visualize the character, Barbara asked him to end his improvisation with the line, “And that’s how I arm wrestled Fidel Castro". Jonathan felt they were looking for a Hemingway type. The New York native’s intuition also sensed the need to give the character a dash of je ne sais quoi to stand out from the herd. He got the idea to channel the persona of his good friend and sailing comrade, Fernando Llamas. 

Following the reading, Jonathan was certain he’d never get the gig. One old gringo actor enveloped by 499 strapping youthful Latinos? No way Jose! A month passed and Jonathan forgot about the opportunity. Then, on an idle Tuesday afternoon, the casting director called Barbara saying she really liked Jonathan but was leaning towards someone younger. “How can the most interesting man in the world be young?” Barbara replied. The casting director thought about it and said she’d call her back. She did. Jonathan became the pitchman for Don Equis beer as TMIMITW. 

What can we learn from The Most Interesting Man In The World? To get great answers, ask great questions

If Barbara, his agent and now new wife, had rolled over and simply endorsed the casting director’s logic, the character we enjoy in between our favorite sitcoms and sporting events, never would have materialized. One question altered commercial history. Amazing, isn’t it?  

If you’re a salesperson partnering with a prospect, an entrepreneur pitching an idea to a customer, a follower giving a presentation to a leader on a new product; how do you react when your audience of one says no? A "no" is when the selling begins. During the research of TMIMITW, I uncovered additional revelations from The Most Interesting Man In The World.

Enjoy: 

  • on The Two Party System: “The after party, is the one you want to attend.”
  • on Careers: “Find out what it is in life that you don’t do well. And then, don’t do that thing.”
  • on Pick Up Lines: “There’s a time and place for them. The time is never. You can figure out the place on your own.”
  • on Packages: “Fellas, leave the tight pants to the ladies. If I can count the coins in your pocket, you better use them to call the tailor.”
  • on Life: “It’s never to early to start beefing up your obituary.”
  • on Beer: “I don’t always drink beer. But when I do. I prefer Dos Equis.”

 Stay thirsty my friends!