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Forrest Gump, Erin Brockovich & Han Solo all make an appearance as your propane colleagues share what characters they most identify with

Too many choices for some of our responders, but they each found a way to come up with a standout example of a movie character that resonated with them. Films and memorable screen characters have affected all of us at one point or another. 

In this column, adopted from the familiar “Heard on the Street” format, we offer our responders a chance to answer the question posed in the title. These are their replies reported verbatim. 

Lights! Camera! Action! 

My fate is sealed with this question — the decision is out of my hands. I would most likely be a cartoon character! A few years ago, a Pixar film came out called “Inside Out.” It was a movie on the emotions of a young girl. My sister-in-law and I took the kids to the movie. There is a character by the name of Sadness in the movie — short, dark hair, glasses and pretty much always worried about everything. Those of you that know me are getting it — LOL. Anyway, it was a cute, funny movie, but somewhere in the middle of the movie I had this epiphany. I looked at my sister-in-law and said, “Oh my gosh! That’s meeeee!” Fast forward — I AM trying to work on more positive attributes, but I do live in Vermont. 


Judy Taranovich 
Proctor Gas Inc. 
Proctor, Vermont 

There are so many movie characters I’d like to be like; it’s hard to pick one. I just saw “The Equalizer 3” that stars Denzel Washington, and I would love to be like that character — amazing skills used for good to help those in need while delivering searing justice. On the other hand, I can relate to “Deadpool” as well! 

Boyd H. McGathey 
Energy Distribution Partners 
Parkville, Missouri 

One of my favorite characters is Walt in “Gran Torino,” played by Clint Eastwood. He is a simple man but defends his Asian neighbors from hate. He stands up to the gang taunting and terrorizing his neighbors because of his principles. Many people think he is just a grumpy old man. His appearance and actions did not show who he was as a person. However, he realizes the value of dignity in others and finds it in himself. We live in a world where most people are afraid to stand up for various reasons. People are conditioned to keep to themselves more due to potential backlash from social trollers. I was raised to “believe in yourself, treat others the way you would like to be treated and live with purpose and dignity.” Every person is one of God’s children and no better than anyone else. He was definitely a hero in the movie. 

Ed Varney 
Topline Management 
McKinney, Texas 

I really would like to be a combination of three characters: Wonder Woman, Scarlett O’Hara of “Gone With the Wind” and Vivian in “Pretty Woman.” Wonder Woman, of course, to have superpowers with great strength and speed, as well as wisdom, so that I might get everything done and done well. Scarlett for her headstrong and outspoken ways. I have also been known to make a belly dancing costume out of my kitchen curtains many years ago! Also, sometimes I say I “pull a Scarlett” and don’t think about something until tomorrow. As for why I would like to be Vivian, it’s simply because I’ve always kind of had the hots for Richard Gere! 

Paula Moore 
Blackburn Propane Service Inc. 
Durant, Oklahoma 

Erin Brockovich — a true hero who fights with determination and against all odds for members of a town that are sick from polluted water by a large corporation. I admire her tenacity in going up against insurmountable odds! Despite her own dire situation, she never gives up and brought people together to fight for what is right! And wins! I love that movie character and try to aspire to fight for what is right. 

Susan Peterson 
Rural Computer Consultants 
Bird Island, Minnesota 

What comes to mind is Sally Field in two different roles where she played a mother. One is in “Forrest Gump” and the other is in “Steel Magnolias.” In both of these movies, I see a mother who faced some tough life challenges. She was supportive, caring and wise — the traits that I would hope to exhibit as a mother! 

Rosie Buschur 
McMahan’s Bottle Gas 
Dayton, Ohio 

My all-time favorite movie is “Mr. Mom,” and from that movie I started to like Michael Keaton. He has played many different roles, from comedy to drama, superhero, etc. He seems like a well-rounded actor, and that is kind of what I hope to be in what I do. Not a bad thing that he is from western Pennsylvania, either. I think of “Night Shift,” “Batman” and “Beetlejuice” in addition to his role in “Mr. Mom.” I don’t know enough about him to say that I want to be like him but certainly want to be versatile like him in my daily doings. 

Tom Krupa 
NGL Supply Terminals Co. 
Richmond, Virginia 

This question stumped me a bit. I’m not a big movie watcher, and the ones I have seen recently have, for the most part, been kids’ cartoon movies. I ended up choosing a character from a movie I saw many times as a kid and have seen many more times as a mom: “Mary Poppins.” I’ve always loved her character. Mary Poppins is kind, but firm. She is true to herself. She has an incredible imagination but knows when to be more serious. Mary Poppins knows that it is a choice to see tasks we must do in life as a chore, or to choose to make it fun and enjoy yourself. She has so many desirable qualities, plus she travels by way of umbrella and has a bottomless bag that she can fit anything she could ever want or need in it. Who doesn’t want a bag like that? 

Lauren Clark 
Bergquist Inc. 
Toledo, Ohio 

As a movie character, I have always admired Forrest Gump. This character is constantly misunderstood and underestimated, yet he lives with unmatched character, positivity and determination. He is always willing to lend a helping hand and treats others with sincere kindness. 

Jessica Johnson 
National Propane Gas Association 
Asheville, North Carolina 

Harrison Ford as Han Solo — only as his character in the original 1977 movie, “Star Wars: Episode IV — A New Hope” (not his character in Episode V or VI). Definitely not in the recent “Solo” movie. Very dry, get-to-the-point sarcasm and tone (in the original). Also, Michael Beck as his character Swan in the 1979 movie, “The Warriors.” Again, dry tone and humor. Swan was a great leader and well respected. 

Richard Strycharz Jr. 
Walter’s Propane 
Sunderland, Massachusetts 

The movie character I would most want to be like would be Danny Ocean from “Ocean’s Eleven.” I love how he sticks to his plan in spite of critics and how impossible the task may seem. But most of all, he stays calm and collected throughout the entire process and has faith that the plan will succeed in the end. 

Sam Fung 
Emerson Fisher LP Gas 
McKinney, Texas 

This month’s question seemed tricky to answer. I think it was because of the sheer number of choices. Each movie character that I thought of had their own set of merits. The character that I picked was Bo (Bandit) Darville. He was played by Burt Reynolds in the “Smokey and the Bandit” movies. I would like to have had the excitement of what he did. Also, times were simpler back then. Even though he technically ran afoul of the law, nobody ever got hurt in the movies. Plus, let’s not forget about the car he had! 

Jon Shepard 
VK Inspections LLC 
Mercer, Pennsylvania 

4 Quotes About Movies 

“If you want a happy ending, that depends, of course, on where you stop your story.” — Orson Welles 

“When people ask me if I went to film school, I tell them, ‘No, I went to films.’” — Quentin Tarantino 

“Cinema is a matter of what’s in the frame and what’s out.” — Martin Scorsese 

“Acting is not about being famous, it’s about exploring the human soul.” — Annette Bening

Nancy Coop is an industry advocate. She is director of marketing at the M&A advisory firm Cetane Associates. Contact her at ncoop@cetane.com. Visit cetane.com.


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