If you've turned on a TV within the past decade, you've witnessed Jonathan Goldsmith, aka The Most Interesting Man, deliver clever one-liners while promoting Dos Equis. But, when he stopped working with the brand in 2016, the 79-year-old actor switched to drinking a different beverage.
Now, Goldsmith is the Astral Tequila spokesperson, and just as fascinating. He's hung out with President Obama, recently undergone surgery, and has been a hero figure for young men and grown men alike.
In our one-on-one interview, read on to find out what one of advertising's most iconic figures (at least in the past 10 years) does on a daily basis, where he lives and his advice for guys who want to be like him.
Personal Space: What does being the most interesting man entail? What are your responsibilities, exactly?
Jonathan Goldsmith: I have no responsibility, because I’m no longer the Most Interesting Man in the World. They sent me to Mars, remember?
PS: What's the most interesting thing you've done this week?
JG: I had shoulder surgery — rotator cuff repair and bone spur removal. Probably resulting from all the horses I fell off in Hollywood. And, I had a long talk with my dog, Willy. One of those father-son things. Willy is an Anatolian Shepherd. He’s a therapy dog. I take him around to the local old-age home and hospital. He’s a beautiful animal: 150 pounds.
PS: What's the most interesting thing you've done, ever?
JG: There are three that would be in top contention:
- Going to Vietnam for MAG, Mines Advisory Group. We look for and expose and destroy unexploded ordinates around the world. That’s what we were doing in the DMZ area in Vietnam.
- Introducing Senator Leahy of Vermont and Senator Bob Casey of Pennsylvania at the Capitol Rotunda on the 25th Anniversary of MAG.
- I was the surprise guest at Camp David for a weekend of games when President Obama celebrated his 50th birthday. He had 10 of his best friends in the world going back to grade school and one surprise guest. I was chosen as the surprise guest because we developed a brief but good relationship. I was worried because I didn’t want to disappoint him, imagining he was expecting George Clooney, a friend and supporter as a surprise guest. It was wonderful. I spent a weekend with the President playing games: pool, archery, bowling, basketball and ate great meals. It was exciting seeing all of the history of Camp David, where Roosevelt and Truman were. Such a sense of antiquity and history. I also visited Obama in the Oval Office.
PS: What interesting New Year’s resolutions have you made?
JG: I will endeavor to be better on the telephone. I have a tough time on the phone if it’s family and loved ones. I don’t want to go into day-to-day stuff. Just want to say, “So good to hear from you. Love you, miss you, thinking of you” – very short and that’s not fair. I’m also trying to be a little less judgmental.
PS: Are you married with kids? Where is home? And what is life like there?
JG: I am married. I live in Manchester Vermont. I have two dogs. I have five children. I have collectively 19 grandchildren and great grandchildren. Everybody needs a hobby. One of my children lives in China, one is in Kingman, AZ, and the three boys are all in LA. The ones in LA love coming here more than I like going there. I spent 45 years living in LA, but right now — I’m looking right over the mountains and the serenity and tranquility is so welcome. Here, a slow-moving tractor is a traffic jam.
PS: We heard a story about a man telling you his son wanted to be 'the most interesting man' when he grows up. What was that experience like?
JG: It was an incredible compliment to think that this young boy, who was seven years old, wanted to emulate The Most Interesting Man in the World. I never really forgot that because with the celebrity and the fame and all the excitement and attention I got, I was very aware that there’s also responsibility. There have been wonderful compliments that I’ve been fortunate enough to receive and I have an obligation to help with the questions I’m asked, like — how do you become better with the ladies? How do I become more interesting? I take that responsibility very seriously.
My wife and I were getting off a bus in Manhattan when an older man in 80s stopped the bus and raised his cane and came over to me and said, “Sonny, when I come back I want to be you.”
PS: Any advice for boys – or men – who want to follow in your footsteps?
JG: As for advice, the most frequently asked question I get is, "How does one become interesting?" And that’s an interesting thing. You have to take yourself to a point where you listen more, where you are more aware of truths around you, particularly those that you can find in nature. You have to take yourself to the outer fringes of fantasy. You have to embrace the silence. Listen more, then talk. Observe. Become curious. Get lost to find yourself. So many people, some very close to me, panic when they're not sure where they are, but there is a beauty in discovering freshness and newness, and I think one has to embrace fears and doubts and look upon them not as something to be fearful of but to be aware of. Challenge yourself constantly mentally and physically. Expand your horizons.
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