Jonathan Goldsmith is an American actor. He began his career on the New York stage, then started a career in film and television. He appeared in several TV shows from the 1960s to the 1990s. He is best known for appearing in television commercials for Dos Equis beer, beginning in 2007, as the character The Most Interesting Man in the World, in which he speaks with a distinctive deep voice inspired by his deceased sailing partner and friend Fernando Lamas.
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I'm here with Victoria from reddit for my second AMA. Last time was a lot of fun and we raised a good amount of money for landmine and bomb removal in Vietnam. I'm asking for your help again, reddit, but this time to help clear landmines and bombs in Cambodia.
Money for landmine removal is dropping in Cambodia, but the threat remains. We need your help.
Sure, you could win an unforgettable day, but more importantly you will raise money to save lives and limbs.
Mines Advisory Group is doing great work.
Ok, reddit, ask me anything.
Update: It's very flattering to me that anybody wants to communicate, or cares about my position on things. And I guess the only thing I would like to share is that we can all make a difference. We have to look outside of ourselves, come from a place of service, and we can all ameliorate the human condition. Each in his own way.
And giving is far more valuable than receiving. To be able to make a difference in somebody less fortunate's life is the greatest gift of all.
So I do want to thank reddit, and all of the people who have been kind enough to care about what I have to say, and who have been fans, I really appreciate it. Keep drinking responsibly, and stay thirsty for all things.
And I hope you will take seriously the fact that each of us can make a difference. And each of us are instrumental to change and hope and encouragement. And yes, each one of us can change the world just a little bit. And collectively we can make a helluva difference.
What's Chuck Norris like?
He was a very good student.
Is it true that you once warned a psychic?
Would you be willing to be in the next Expendables?
I think it's a wonderful idea.
i HACE DRINKING 22 DOS EQUYSB AND DNNT BFEEL ANYMROE UINTERSTING WAHT AN I DOING WRNG?
Get a catheter!
When you're in character as The Most Interesting Man in the World," are you speaking in your natural speaking voice or is that part of the bit? How did you get involved with the bomb removal effort in Cambodia?
Victoria, why don't you answer the question?
It also depends on the time of day. I have a twilight voice: I have a secretive voice: and I have a real secret voice that only you know, Victoria.
What was your reaction when you found out how big the "Most Interesting Man in the World character" became?
Well, of course i was delighted. And I must say I was surprised. When the campaign came out, nobody had expectations of it becoming as successful a campaign as it is. So I'm delighted, I feel very blessed, and extremely lucky.
I could, but it's highly personal. And I don't want to break her heart again.
It's always nice to see someone using their celebrity to support a good cause. What originally drew you to land mine removal?
What drew me to it was a trip with another organization, where I went to Vietnam, and I saw the horrible results of ordnance that was left behind from a 40 year old war! I mean, the Vietnam situation ceased 40 years ago, and still, every day, children and farmers were injured and crippled and killed. And how could i not help? I have always been involved with giving back to causes for children, ever since I started working at 18 years old for the Herald Tribune Fresh Air Fund. And always been involved with kids, and to see these beautiful kids who were crippled and maimed, I knew I had to get involved and any way I could call attention to this horrendous problem. That led me to get involved with MAG (Mines Advisory Group), and it's become something that's extremely important to me. What they do is amazing. And i'm so glad to lend whatever celebrity status I have to bring attention to it. I mean, for 26 years, they've been able to clear thousands and thousands of acres of land - in fact, there's a statistic, I believe, if I remember correctly, of 2100 square miles of land cleared for local populations - that's like having a one-mile road stretching from DC to Las Vegas.
I'll give you some other statistics that may be of interest, certainly of importance:
Although MAG has some government funding, it's an ongoing challenge to find enough funding. When you are helping children and people at risk...
When you are not drinking Dos Equis, what do you prefer to drink?
Well, it depends on the time of the year.
If it's summertime, I like tequila with fruit juice. If it's the winter-time, I like good whiskey.
And in between, I like a fine Armagnac with my cigars.
I believe I read somewhere that hooked up with Queen Elizabeth using Tinder while on your summer vacation to England. Is this factual?
I didn't need Tinder, she was within earshot!
I am a certified, military trained, EOD tech. How do I get involved with de-mining operations like this?
Please reach out to http://www.magamerica.org. Absolutely.
What work goes into creating the scenes of the "younger you" in the Dos Equis commercials?
Finding somebody charming, extremely handsome, well-built, and really sexy.
Who do you consider the most interesting man in the world that you've met?
Well, I would say President Obama. I had the pleasure of actually being a guest of his, a surprise guest, at Camp David for his birthday a few years back. And had the pleasure of meeting him, spending 1.5 days at Camp David. He had brought out 10 of his dear friends going all the way back to Grade School, I felt very honored and privileged to be there. And it was indeed an honor. We shot skeet (and I will report that the President is a very good marksman, contrary to frequently held opinions). We bowled. We played archery. And he played basketball, my basketball playing days are a little behind me and I didn't want to embarrass myself with these kids. We talked. And he was sharing a lot of stories with his dear friends, going back to some of the early years of school, to as far back as grad school. and I was very glad to be there, it was a lot of fun.
Why am I reading all your responses in your Most Interesting Man in the World voice?
I guess because you're...interested.
Preferred whiskey? I need to be interesting!
I like different whiskies. I particularly like a peaty single malt.
What is the most interesting thing in the world?
Besides you of course.
HAHA! Let me see. The most interesting thing in the world, I think, is probably the reason for life. And that's love.
I'm falling in love with you right now, Victoria. I can see you now, wearing a cardigan sweater and penny-loafers...
I will tell you, I knew about the cardigan sweater because i do have ESP (at times it's more acute than others).
What is the coolest or most interesting thing you've gotten to do in a Dos Equis commercial?
Well, I think it's the involvement, for sure, with these marvelous animals. A rhinoceros, an owl ( a barn owl), a hawk, a puma... that's been the most interesting, the interaction with the animals, and talking to their trainers. The rhino WAS real. I asked the trainer - there was nothing separating me from this rhino except for this young trainer with a tiny whip like a kid would buy at a circus! And I said "Listen, what should I not do?" and he said "Just don't run!" and I said "Don't worry - if he comes for me, I'll have a heart attack anyway."
Who do you think the most interesting woman in the world is currently?
Obviously my wife.
How can I grow such an epic beard like yours?
There's a formula of stuff.
You have to find some bat droppings, guano. Which is not too easily found. But there is a bat cave nearby where I live, and I have a steady supply of that. And mix in a little rainbow dust. And starlight, starlight is also one of the ingredients. But i can't give you the other secret ingredient because... well, it's proprietary.
What do you think of Scotland independence referendum currently underway?
Well, I think that every country has a right to their ownership of their own country. They've been aligned with England for 300 years, apparently that's been a good relationship, but I can understand national pride. It might be a difficult transition, but it's important for the Scot people to go the way that they choose to through their election.
Before you became the Dos Equis guy you had dozens of appearances in shows like Magnum PI and Knots Landing, but according to your IMDb page you haven't had any such acting gigs since an appearance on the new version of Dragnet in 2003. Any plans to return to television acting in the near future?
Yes, I do have plans. There are things that are being developed. But right now I am involved with Dos Equis, but life will be going on. There are things in the works, and I look forward to that.
During the Olympics this year in Sochi a lot of reporters were discussing Prince Hubertus Von Hohenlohe and his festive outfits. Some went as far as calling him the "Most Interesting Man in the World".
How do you feel about this guy trying to make a run at your title?
Here is a picture of this wanna-be.
I think he was also one of my students. And I flunked him.
Who's your favorite superhero?
Well, I think Nelson Mandela is certainly one of them.
But who could go against Superman? He was a cool dude.
At what age did your beard really start to come in nicely?
4th grade. I was 9.
Do you feel a lot of pressure regarding this thread in that you might make a response that someone will think, "Eh, that's not that interesting", and the the Dosequis guys will say, "Hey, you are supposed to be highly interesting at all times to be our spokesman?" It's like Weird Al...does he feel obligated to be "weird" at all times or can he just be casual whatever sometimes? Do you ever feel like, "I'm feeling like having a low key boring yet relaxing day?"
Haha! That's kind of a long question. No, I don't. Because I enjoy what I'm doing. I'm confident about what i do. I love the character that I portray. And so I find it enjoyable. Of course I always want to inspire others to want to listen. But I don't try or worry about being interesting. It's just effortless.
Do you really even drink dos Equis?
In all truth - I love Dos Equis. I prefer it in the summertime, when it's hot, the dark, and in the wintertime, I like the lager. I also would recommend cooking with it! Yea, I cook with it all the time! You've heard of beer-can chicken, haven't you? If you haven't look it up on the internet! It also makes a great batter - I'm sure most of the people listening have heard of beer-batter. Great for onion rings, and fine for seafood.
Also a very good marinade for brisket or pot roast.
What do you think made you stand out from the hundreds of other applicants vying for the role of "The Most Ineresting Man in the World"?
Well, I was much more interesting, obviously!
What's something interested about yourself that we might not know ?
I think a personal thing that many people wouldn't know about me is that I cry rather easily. Anything that's aesthetically pleasing, but frequently it's moments of love - it can be lovely moments of shared joy or a special relationship, and it even could be the weatherman, if he talks about love - not him personally, but just a good report about promises of snow on the mountains, the colors moving down the hills, things like that can actually bring tears to my eyes.
What's your favortie animal?
I do a lot of charity things for dogs. I recently worked doing a fundraiser for the local rescue, but I'm very involved with Morris Animal Foundation and their cancer research. It's a wonderful organization, responsible for most of the vaccines and lots of the progress on the cancer front going back 50 years. I've been a spokesman for them a few times. I have two Anatolian Shepherds, flock-herding dogs from Turkey, and if you have a flock of animals, they will live with them outside. If you don't have a flock, you bring them inside the house, and they will protect you. They are very bright and very protective, but not aggressive. And I'm training my male dog to be a therapy dog. They're giants, and they're gentle giants. Very loving, adore children, very good with people. I am looking forward to particularly going to old-age homes and working with the vets in institutions.
Mr. Most Interesting, I've got an artesian well on my property and the water pressure is lousy. Any suggestions?
Hit it with a high-pressure water pump. I guess they call that "fracking" in a way, but it will do it. At least we are not upsetting the shale, and the oil. And if you're out in the country, and it's your well - I don't know what the technique is, exactly, but they hit it with high-pressure water and it does help.
on a scale from 10-10 how much of a badass are you?
what do you love most about your life?
I love the ability, the few times that I am totally aware of the present moment. It doesn't happen all the time, but that kind of clarity, where I am uncluttered in the mind, just enjoying the moment and not thinking about the past (which is gone) and not thinking about the future (which has never occurred) but just being in the moment is a glorious feeling for me.
What I'm getting from this is that you're just naturally interesting. That's the best kind of interesting.
Well... I am who I am, and if people find me interesting, I'm delighted.
Why Vermont? I grew up there and I loved it more than anything, I'm wondering what brought you there?
Well, my father was a retired teacher that bought an old farm in upstate New York, and the most beautiful times I spent with my dad were fly-fishing on the Battenkill River... and those were my most pleasant memories growing up. And I want them to be my most treasured memories growing old.
What is the most interesting place in the world?
Where I am with somebody I love.
When you stayed at Camp David, is it true that you performed security checks on the Secret Service?
I didn't have to, because I just knew.
What's the most "boring" thing about you that we might find interesting?
I guess the fact that other people might find boring about me is that I can be completely content to be alone. And to some people, they find that boring. I don't like to waste my time on frivolous social things of no consequence.
What kind of car does the most interesting man in the world drive?
Well, I have 2 vehicles. I have a beautiful Ford King ranch pickup echo boost, 1/2 ton. And I have my father's old 1994 Jeep, and that covers me for if i have to haul fertilizer - you can't put that in my father's car! That's a shrine. No fertilizer in the Jeep.
What is your favorite line about your character?
"He once warned a psychic."
Hello, do people stop you on the streets or while eating out to get an autograph and pics? and does it bother you? Also you are very handsome:)
Thank you very much for that. Yes, people stop me often on the street, and if they are polite and not pushy or aggressive, I thoroughly enjoy the exchange. I willingly pose for pictures, and I will just share a story that happened to me. My wife and I were eating at a restaurant, and a dozen or so people came over and asked for pictures, and I always give pictures, and then the food was finally delivered, and a man and his daughter came over, and said "Excuse me" and i said "I would be delighted to take a picture with you, but our food has just come - if you wait a few minutes, I would be delighted to take a picture with you and your daughter." And he turned and said to his daughter "No, he's too much of a big shot, let's go honey." So there's somebody who will not think very highly of me and will probably tell people that I'm a jerk. But that happens. It's unfair, but it happens all the time. I feel very very lucky to be an ambassador of fun, and I feel obligated to my fans. And if I can bring a smile and a little joy into somebody's life that takes me just a moment, it gives me great pleasure.
Do you wear a tuxedo when removing landmines?
I wear a tuxedo all the time.
What are your dogs' names?
Willie and Zoe.
If you could meet anyone in history, who would you meet?
It says you can win a falconry trip -what exactly is that and how often do you do it? Do you need special equipment? Sounds like a cool thing.
Well, it's very beautiful. It's a very old form of hunting. And they have to pick up these birds when they are very very young and train them. And it's amazing, the relationship between the falconer and the bird. And it's quite a unique experience, to watch these birds of prey hunt. they actually hunt and bring back game to the hunter. I've done it. I don't do it often. But it is exciting. I don't particularly like the fact that animals are sought after by these birds, but to witness the exquisite beauty of a bird in full plummet after a game animal or a rodent - it's very primitive, it touches something primordial perhaps, but it's an interesting experience to share with a bird. Or with you. Enter here: http://www.prizeo.com/jonathan
What countries have you been to, and what is your #1 most interesting place in the world?
Well, I've been to many different countries, I'm not going to list them all - many diverse and distant lands. My favorite place of all is being in my backyard at sunset, and my backyard (for many years) was aboard a sailboat.
Do you (or did you used to) play videogames? What is your favourite one?
What's the most fun you've ever had?
I'd rather not make that public. But I would like to add: perhaps the most joy - I wouldn't call it fun - but the most joy I've ever was when I was 18 years old, and I worked at a summer camp for handicapped children that would come up from the inner cities, and to see a child who had never ben out of the concrete jungle run through the grass and drink milk - that was a very important time in my life. I actually wanted to become a cottage parent, working with kids that are in facilities, sometimes for their own protection or who have been abused, and be a psychiatric social worker when I was younger. And I got sidetracked by a psychiatrist that suggested I study acting, which I did, at a young age, and my life changed. I got involved with the theater and all of those pursuits, but I never stopped working as a volunteer. There were many moments that give me joy, which I guess is synonymous with fun, and that took place with an organization that is still in existence, and that is called Free Arts for abused children. They are based in California, they can be seen on FreeArts.Org, and what we did - the mission really - was to bring arts programs to children that were incarcerated or in protective custody, frequently from their own parents. And also in prisons, where I also taught. We provided a non-threatening environment, using art was a cathartic experience, as a way of unlocking personal pain and then working so that the therapists that did work with these children had insights. Teaching in prison and making a difference in their lives was one of the most joyous experiences of my life.
If you could tell us some reasons the real-life you is actually most interesting man in the world, what would they be? Obviously they must be stated in the style of the commercials.
I think to be an interesting person, you have to be interested In things.
I have always been a very curious person. I experienced things that - for instance, I like getting lost. That's an experience. It's an adventure. I find that people who go from Point A to point B to be missing something. I feel if I have any qualities that might make me interesting, it's my desire to experience the journey, the journey of life. I'm not particularly interested in flying over things, so to speak, but rather experiencing the hike, the journey, the flavors, the tastes, the feelings, of being involved.
I feel, for instance, that I guess i would put it this way: to me, life is a parade of events, and incidents. And most people watch them go by, living vicariously through others. I live for the experience.
Which is more fun, filming movies or taping tv shows?
I ask because there has been an argument as of late that movie actors all suddenly want to be on tv shows. Since you have been on many of both I thought I'd ask your opinion...
Well, it depends on which shows or movies - they can both be wonderful, or they can both a chore. It depends on the project.
Any truth to the rumor that Sean Connery is your stunt double for your commercials?
No, he was a little bit too old.
After filming so many Dos Equis commercials do you have the urge to go out and do some of the things "The Most Interesting Man In The World" has done? HAVE YOU ALREADY DONE ANY?! BTW drinking a nice Dos Equis amber here in about 4 hours in your honor.
Of course. I mean blowing up bombs, that was an interesting thing to do. I have met people that have done incredible, wonderful things for humanity - like these humble and wonderful people that risk their lives every day to find ordnance and destroy them. It's very very dangerous work, and I admire what they do greatly.
Where is your favorite place to travel to?
I guess I would say... a destination that I haven't been to. A new experience.
How many push-ups can you do?
It depends on the time of day, and if I'm eating or not.
Is there any particular book that influenced your life in one way or another that you might recommend?
Oh surely! I think one of the books goes back to one of my heroes - The Long Road Home by Nelson Mandela. And I find him to be an incredible, enlightened human being that has suffered such great inequities and pain and personal loss, and came through on the other side, surviving to be a man free of bitterness, and to go on and to lead people into a better life by his example. And the same with Gandhi. And Martin Luther King. People that have suffered so much, and given their lives to the service of others. People that are contributors, that give back, and inspire, and enlighten others to find freedom intellectually, freedom spiritually, freedom politically, freedom to enjoy the fruits and potential of life.