What is a Working Class Hero, and how does Sean Connery fit?
I started writing about the “working class hero” type, but then my wanderings moved me to one of my favorite all-time actors – Sean Connery who was, in fact, a perfect example of a Working Class Hero.
I guess I should provide my definition of Working Class Hero – to me this is somebody who still has their dreams intact (fame, fortune, or whatever) but realizes the need to hold down a job to make ends meet until that fame and fortune comes along. Working Class Hero…to me…DOES NOT mean giving up on your dreams. With that in mind, how in the world does this apply to the man who is touted as “The Greatest Living Scot”? Simply because of how he grew up and got his start. Look at a quick synopsis of how he lived and tell me you don’t see some startling similarities between his life and yours.
- Born in 1930 as Thomas Sean Connery
- Son of a cleaning woman and a factory worker/truck driver
- Worked as a milkman
- Joined the military (Royal Navy) and was later discharged for medical reasons
- Worked as a truck driver
- Worked as a lifeguard
- Worked as a brick layer
- Worked as an artist’s model
- Worked as a coffin polisher
- Bodybuilding was an ongoing passion for him since age 18, competed in the Mr. Universe competition and placed 3rd.
- Accomplished “Footballer” and was offered the chance to play for Manchester United – he turned it down in favor of acting
I don’t think it would be wrong to claim that every person reading this blog (hopefully numbering in the bazillions) can look at the above odd jobs and identify with them. I was never good looking enough to be an artist’s model and I’ve never polished coffins, but I can certainly identify with somebody who does what it takes to “make ends meet”….you get the idea.
Sean Connery – acting career
It wasn’t until 1957 that he had a credited role in the movie “No Road Back”. From 1957 to the present time, he has made an incredible number of movies…some flops, mostly at least “very good”, several excellent. He played the James Bond role in 7 movies, won an Academy Award and Golden Globe Award for his role in “The Untouchables” (one of my all-time favorites), starred in critically acclaimed moves such as “The Hunt for Red October”, “A Bridge too far”, “Highlander”, and “The Name of the Rose”. He was knighted in July of 2000 and became Sir Thomas Sean Connery. He was voted the sexiest man alive in 1989, and then…at age 69, was voted the sexiest man of the century. His unofficial titles include “The Greatest Living Scot”, and “Scotlands Greatest Living National Treasure”. As a side note, he turned down the role as “Gandalf” in the Lord of the Rings movies – a role that would have netted him over $400 million dollars or so due to “not understanding the script”. He later accepted the role in “League of Extraordinary Gentlemen” in spite of claiming he didn’t understand the script…so in spite of decades of experience even he made mistakes!
Probably the highest praise an actor can achieve…Steven Spielberg said, “There are seven genuine movie stars in the world today, and Sean is one of them”.
Sean Connery – holding down a day job
Back to the “Working Class Hero” designation – here’s a young lad working his ass off at several different jobs while at the same time engaging in bodybuilding and football. His physical prowess gave him his first foot-in-the-door moments that eventually launched one of the greatest acting careers of all time. None of that would have happened had he chosen to not work – his work was his springboard for his ultimate success.
Enough with the Bromance – what’s your point?
The point in all of this bromance is simply that holding down a job is honorable and enables you to earn while you work on your dream. There’s nothing wrong with holding down a day job – it doesn’t mean you are giving up on your dreams. It does mean you realize your responsibilities, acknowledge them, but still focus on where you want to eventually end up. Chasing your dreams is tough without money in your pocket. I say it all the time – “Money equals choices”…and the more choices you have the more you can grow and be successful.