His blood smells like cologne. His beard alone has experienced more than a lesser man’s entire body. His personality is so magnetic, he is unable to carry credit cards. He is the most interesting man in the world. And his name is Jonathan Goldsmith.
Goldsmith — to promote a new line of Dos Equis “The Most Interesting Man in the World” commercials — took time this week to speak to The Thirsty Beagle about the commercials and about his career in general. Goldsmith is a veteran television actor who got out of the profession for a spell to head up what turned out to be a multi-million dollar network marketing company. (During our interview, he revealed that on a business trip he once was caught in an ice storm in Broken Arrow. “Ice and some very good barbecue,” he said.)
He retired from the business world and looked to get back into acting, eventually beating out several hundred actors during auditions for “The Most Interesting Man” part, a role he said has been ”the biggest break of my life. The accolades I have received from this is more than I have over a 40-year career.”
Along the way to television and beer fame, Goldsmith has saved people from death’s door on two occasions (a mountain climber stranded in a snow storm without proper equipment and a young girl who nearly drowned at the beach) and continued years of work with the charity Free Arts for Abused Children.
Without further delay, here’s the latest Five Questions With… segment:
1. The Thirsty Beagle: What can you tell us about the new line of Dos Equis commercials?
Jonathan Goldsmith: We should debut mid-March. I predict that they’ll be the funniest, the best ones yet. These writers, they just get better and better. We’ve had a really good run and I think that it’s just going to get better this time out.
2. TTB: What has been the public reaction to the commercials?
JG: It’s been wonderful. I’ve had a very successful TV career for many years, but it just runs the gamut. We were sitting in a little Mexican restaurant the other day and a fellow comes over and says, “You’re the Dos Equis man.” I said yes. He said, “Yesterday I asked my little boy who’s 7 or 8 what he wanted to do when he grew up. He said ‘I want to be the most interesting man in the world.’” That felt nice.
3. TTB: Talk about your career in acting and in the business world.
JG: I was only in the business world for a little while. I had a very successful TV career and then I got into my late 40s and things kind of slowed down, my hair got a little grayer. Although I had starred in over 350 shows, I hadn’t made the leap from episodic television to film. They started offering smaller roles and I didn’t want to do it. Was tired of really not having any control over my life. I took basically almost anything that came along, as most actors do. And then I said I don’t want to do this. (That’s when Goldsmith got into the network marketing business.) But I never forgot about acting. I always wanted to go back to it. (I) retired from network marketing very successfully in 1998 and I said, no, I’m going back to the business.
4. TTB: Explain the birth of the “Most Interesting Man” character. Was that something the writers envisioned, or something you created?
JG: I think it was a combination. I used to work improvisationally quite a bit. I know that I brought a lot to their brilliant concept. My dear friend was Fernando Lamas, who used to sail with me. You probably have heard of his son, Lorenzo Lamas. Fernando was … one of the most charming, famous Latin actors in the world. We were dear friends, we had a production company together. He was very, very famous in his day. When he passed, I scattered his ashes. I based my character on him. He was a raconteur, a great swordsman, a lothario, a charming, lovely, funny and intense, delightful man. It’s a combination of what they had in mind and hopefully some elements that I brought to it. It was very much a working relationship that we took the best from each other, I think.
5. TTB: Do you enjoy a good beer every once in a while?
JG: I definitely do. I will tell you that my favorite beer is Dos Equis Amber. I absolutely love it. I was not much of a beer drinker before we got into this campaign. But now I thoroughly have enjoyed it. People try to give me all kinds of other things, the only thing I will drink is Dos Equis.
So there you go. Thanks to Jonathan for taking time out of his schedule to chat. I’ve always been a big fan of “The Most Interesting Man” commercials, and am looking forward to the new spots.
(Photo credit: Quillard Photography Inc.)