Film history is filled with all sorts of kingpins of crime. From Vito Corleone to Tony Montana, there’s a large number of characters whom Benjamin Bratt could have taken inspiration from when preparing for his role as the central villain of Tim Story’s upcoming Ride Along 2. What you may not expect, however, is that Bratt actually ignored these cinematic legends in favor of another much different modern pop culture figure: The Most Interesting Man In The World.
It was while I interviewed Benjamin Bratt during the Ride Along 2 press day down in Miami, Florida last week that I learned this interesting bit of trivia, discovering that more than just the actor’s performance was changed thanks to the influence of the famed Dos Equis spokesperson. The conversation started with me asking the actor if he looked to any big screen kingpins while prepping for his role in the sequel, and Bratt was a mix of proud and embarrassed by his answer. He explained,
You’re going to be surprised where the initial inspiration came from. It’s actually kind of embarrassing, but you have to find a way in from anywhere that inspires you! At the time when I got the call from Tim Story to play the character, on a loop almost there was a beer commercial running with The Most Interesting Man In The World.
For those unfamiliar with the advertisement campaign, The Most Interesting Man in the World is a role played by actor Jonathan Goldsmith since 2006. Seemingly influenced by the "Chuck Norris facts" that took over the internet in the mid-‘00s, the commercials suggest that the central figure is so powerful, smooth and experienced that the world essentially bends to his will. For his Ride Along 2 character, Benjamin Bratt felt that he should try and portray the same energy, and took it as far as getting the costume designer to use it in her work. Said Bratt,
Here’s a guy who is classy, elegant, well-dressed, beautiful women always around him, expert at everything. That’s not a far leap from who Antonio is! Here by all perception is a man who is a pillar of the community, he’s a playboy, has a $20 million yacht, a huge mansion. He’s beloved by politicians and policemen alike, as well as members of the community. And yet, unbeknownst to most of those people, he’s also a criminal – dealing drugs and guns. So that was a kind of starting point. I thought there was kind of a silver fox quality to him, so we talked about him with the costume designer, Olivia [Miles], and she said, ‘Yeah, let’s go with the silver/grey palette.’ So that’s how we worked it out!
You can watch my chat with Benjamin Bratt down in Miami in the video below:
Ride Along 2 comes out this weekend, so see if you can catch the influence in Benjamin Bratt’s performance… and join me in hoping that someday perhaps the two men could wind up coming face to face.