11. Benjamin Franklin Gates (National Treasure)
This is another exceedingly odd choice but stay with me here. Wouldn’t you want to kind of breathless enthusiasm and love for history and adventure that leads Benjamin Franklin Gates (Nicolas Cage) to steal the Declaration of Independence, paint it with lemon juice, and go on a massive treasure hunt?
I mean, please, don’t steal the Declaration of Independence. You will be caught immediately and probably go to jail. Even if you were successful, something tells me that a centuries-old document and lemon juice won’t play together well. Unsurprisingly, this movie is not well known for its historical accuracy, to say the least. But that doesn’t mean you can’t take some lessons from the protagonist of National Treasure.
For one, Gates is dogged in his pursuit of truth. Yes, yes, there is certainly an element of treasure hunting afoot, but it often takes a backseat. You’re just as likely to see Gates using his intelligence and confidence to solve a mystery. Many times, he takes a seemingly impossible situation and finds a way out or through thanks to his vast knowledge of history and enthusiasm for the subject. Good thing he studied hard both in and outside of school, it seems.