Thursday, February 18, 2021

Seeking Examples: Have them show confidence

Alright, guys, thanks so much for your suggestions so far! Here’s one where there are hundreds of examples but I can’t think of good ones. This is actually a follow-up to one we’ve already looked, but I’m sick of talking about American Hustle. Can you guys help me with examples where heroes flex their confidence like it’s a super-power?

Give them confidence

In the Believe section, we saw how Irving’s elaborate combover ritual in American Hustle made him believable. In the Care section, we saw how his FBI handler then know that he can mess up Irving’s hair and hurt his hero in a way that would only hurt this hero. You would think, then that this guy is the opposite of bad-ass.

But, ironically, something that would seem to be proof of his insecurity winds up proving the opposite. A very attractive woman says of him in a voiceover: “He wasn’t necessarily in good shape and he had this combover that was rather …elaborate, but he had this air about him, and he had this confidence that drew me to him. He was who he was. He didn’t care.”

Cocky confidence is a superpower that can turn any liability into an asset.

More examples??


Nat said...

Not to be that guy, but Han Solo? He's cocky from the get-go (Comically Vain, as you point out in the first book) and it's definitely a superpower, as shown when he charges the stormtroopers on the Death Star and sets them running. (And again in RotJ when he tricks the imperials at the shield generator then gives them the legendary shrug.)

James Kennedy said...

Tom Cruise in The Color of Money?

Jordan said...

When Jeffrey Lebowski is overpowered in his washroom, he is outraged by the male urine they wizz in his domain. This leads to him invading other male spaces to reassert his male pride, even though all the males seem greatly broken-down. Maude recognizes his male superiority and tricks his into a sperm test and gets pregnant. (Trying to think like you Matt but not easy) Thanks

Matt Bird said...

Wait, now that makes me think of Maude from Harold and Maude! Why have I never done that movie??

Never try to think like me!

Jonas said...

I don’t think you can get more confident than Max Fischer in Rushmore.

Anonymous said...

Crazy, Stupid, Love: Jacob, the pick-up artist

Pirates of the Carribean: Captain Jack Sparrow’s entrance

Ferris Bueller’s Day Off: pretty much everything FB does

Thank You For Smoking: Nick who has "a bachelor in kicking ass and taking names"

Eighth Grade: Kayla’s confidence to post online videos about how to boost your confidence while in real life struggling with her own confidence

Jordan said...

Another look at confidence might be found in Being There where Chauncey Gardner is launched into upper crust society because he is unfazed by anything other than bad tv reception. I miss Peter Sellers like most people.

Anonymous said...

Will Smith: Hitch
Chris Pine's Kirk in Star Trek
Uma Thurman in Kill Bill
King Leonidis in 300
Matt Damon as Mark Watney in The Martian
Keanu: John Wick
Leonardo in The Wolf of Wall Street-so cocky!

Matt Bird said...

So many great examples! It's so funny I had a hard time coming up with these. My brain is fried at this point.

Anonymous said...

Snake Pliskin in Escape from New York
Woody in Toy Story
Porco in Porco Rosso
Lady Vengeance in Lady Vengeance
Oh Dae-Su in Oldboy
Clint Eastwood in the Dollar Trilogy

Joel W. said...

It would be interesting to see what tricks writers use to make their confident heroes worth watching. A confident hero can also be unbearable, or at least unbelievable, if handled incorrectly.

Must the confidence come with endearing insecurities (American Hustle)?
Does the confidence damage their relationships with friends & family? If not, are their relationships already under stress so we feel for the hero anyway?
Is the hero is surrounded by bad people?
Do we often first care about them before seeing them act too confidently? Why or why not?

etc., etc.

Actually, looking at the questions I just asked, perhaps you're already handling it: Writers handle this situation by making sure they also fulfill the "Believe" and "Care" conditions, in any way possible (some ways may be more effective, depending on the movie & characters). Usually, by the time all 3 conditions are satisfied, we have a hero worth watching.

...I guess that's why you're writing your book and posting these examples in the first place. LOL