Extraordinary portrayals of positive traits, actors or real people?
December 9, 2019 2:46 PM   Subscribe

Gal Gadot's Wonder Woman hits a particular wholehearted, heartfelt, invincible sort of emotive self-confidence right out of the park. And, I don't know, George Clooney does a particular smooth, charming self-confidence, in real life and on the screen. What are other fictional characters or real people who very clearly exemplify particular characteristics or traits? (And what is the trait?)

It doesn't have to have a one-word name in English. It does have to be tv, film, or real life, for real time exemplification. I want to actually see it in action.

I'm collecting positive traits and values that I want to maybe explore embodying for myself.
posted by zeek321 to Society & Culture (18 answers total) 9 users marked this as a favorite
(Or, just, who are people or fictional characters who have extraordinary presence or positive consistency along one or more dimensions?)
posted by zeek321 at 2:48 PM on December 9, 2019

Charisma, maybe?

(Also I'd be careful not to presume that how actors are in films and how we see them in interviews and such is how they actually are in the world when cameras aren't rolling.)
posted by bluedaisy at 3:15 PM on December 9, 2019

Charisma, maybe?

Yes, but name specific people or fictional characters, please.
posted by zeek321 at 3:49 PM on December 9, 2019

Charisma is just one example. Ok, no thread sitting.
posted by zeek321 at 3:50 PM on December 9, 2019

I have been a superfan of Jurassic Park since I was 8 years old and Ellie Sattler was my personal hero. Even today when I watch Jurassic Park I am struck by the same quality in her that I was as a child.

For lack of better phrasing I'll call it confident empathy. Almost the emotive self confidence you mention above, but not exactly.
posted by phunniemee at 4:04 PM on December 9, 2019 [4 favorites]

I feel like Reese Witherspoon just telegraphs determination in all her roles.
posted by Mchelly at 4:09 PM on December 9, 2019 [1 favorite]

Julie Andrews as Queen Clarice, and being herself.
posted by jgirl at 4:21 PM on December 9, 2019

Sarah Connor in T2 - determination, action
posted by warriorqueen at 4:32 PM on December 9, 2019

Leslie Nielsen played only one sort of character in his entire career: the deadpan, confident, straight-talking leader. First in straight roles in adventure and disaster movies and then, without any alteration, in comedies, because when you alter the surroundings, the act turns from serious to hilarious...
posted by Fiasco da Gama at 4:42 PM on December 9, 2019 [5 favorites]

They're Round (previously on the Blue).
posted by Sweetie Darling at 4:42 PM on December 9, 2019 [1 favorite]

I don't know if you have access to The Great British Bake Off Series 2 (it's not on Netflix yet, I watched it on Dailymotion about a year or two ago). If you do, Mary-Anne Boermans, a baker on the show, exemplifies the trait of being process-oriented, rather than results-oriented. It's very clear that she truly believes that if something doesn't work out, she'll have learned something from the failure, and that's more important that doing things perfectly all the time. She is absolutely fearless and joyful about trying new techniques and unusual flavors, and it was a delight to watch her on the show.
posted by creepygirl at 5:18 PM on December 9, 2019 [3 favorites]

Sweet and wholesome Kaylee Frye played by Jewel Staite. (see also Zoe Washburne, loyal, no-nonsense, fierce)

Deeply flawed but not corrupt, "free spirited," Luke Jackson played by Paul Newman.

Upstanding, moral and courageous Charles "Pa" Ingalls played by Michael Landon.

Perseverant, kind, loyal- Jean Valjean played by all sorts of people including Liam Neeson.

You could look up the following characters, but I can't go into them all right now: Claire Huxtable, Captain Virgil Hilts, Obi Wan Kenobi (Alec Guinness), Marge Gunderson, George Bailey, Atticus Finch, Rick Blaine and John McClane.
posted by Chuffy at 5:48 PM on December 9, 2019 [1 favorite]

Gilbert Blythe
posted by bardophile at 5:59 PM on December 9, 2019 [1 favorite]

Captain Jean-Luc Picard

wise, courageous, just, resourceful, loyal etc....
posted by leibniz at 7:02 PM on December 9, 2019 [2 favorites]

Franz Stigler: chivalry
posted by Doohickie at 8:24 PM on December 9, 2019

Vers/Carol Danvers in the movie Captain Marvel, from beginning to end.

"wholehearted, heartfelt, invincible sort of emotive self-confidence" - check
"a particular smooth, charming self-confidence" - check
"extraordinary presence or positive consistency along one or more dimensions" - check

In their own ways, I'd also say Maria Rambeau and Monica Rambeau from the same movie, but they have much shorter screen time unfortunately. (I'm being very careful about how much I type here because I have a tendency to go on about this movie if I'm not careful.)

I would also suggest Doctor Who -- the Thirteenth Doctor (played by Jodie Whittaker) is a good example (I haven't seen all the prior series, just a few episodes with David Tennant and Matt Smith). The Thirteenth Doctor has a heartfelt, charming self-confidence without (IMO) an overbearing ego, and is very vocal about believing in love and hope and being non-violent and helping others.
posted by rangefinder 1.4 at 8:37 PM on December 9, 2019

Paddington the Bear is the epitome of what I'd call "strong-willed respectfulness." Rude people sometimes mistake kindness for weakness, and Paddington is an excellent counter-example.

(This is true in both the books and the movies, but it feels like an element of his character they've particular chosen to emphasize in the films.)
posted by yankeefog at 1:44 AM on December 10, 2019

Gil Gadot and George Clooney (and Paul Newman, mentioned in an answer) seem to embody these positive values because they are have the trait of being incredibly, comically good looking. The conventional wisdom is that they're literally three of most attractive people who have ever appeared on film! They're playing "personify a positive value" on the easiest difficulty setting imaginable, and I'm not sure you learn a lot (or even feel very good about yourself) by thinking about how you might capture that.
posted by caek at 1:46 PM on December 10, 2019 [1 favorite]

« Older How can I build a jerry-rigged/improvised bathtub...   |   How do I help my sister with deep, lifelong... Newer »

You are not logged in, either login or create an account to post comments