Here at The Don Complex we know we are part of a lineage of great Dons who have been and gone before us. We also know that being a Don is an aspiration, and something writers and directors have been trying to nail for hundreds of years. Here is a chronological rundown of five fictional Dons who have made a real mark. Model yourself on the best traits of each of these legends as you go about your business and you’ll do just fine. Model yourself on the worst traits, and you’re in trouble. Nobody’s perfect.
Pronounced key-ho-tay, this Don was the protagonist of Spanish author Miguel de Cervantes’s epic novel of the Spanish Golden Age. Long story short (and it is a very long story – 800-odd pages, depending on your edition), a Spanish nobleman decides to try and revive chivalry and essentially save the world from its ills. He hires prototype wingman Sancho Panza as his squire, and their adventure begins. Despite his lofty aims, Quixote is a dreamer, and struggles to keep his head in the real world. There’s a lesson in there for sure.
Leo DiCaprio couldn’t keep up with this guy’s antics. The original Casanova, before Casanova made the role his own, Don Juan is a wealthy libertine who devoted his efforts to seducing countless women, regardless of their age or status. Come one, come all for Gio. Quite literally. Playa.
Marlon Brando’s iconic character in The Godfather, he remains the benchmark for all aspiring mafiosi. Watch an episode of Cribs (is that still on?) and posters of Vito will outnumber posters of Scarface at least 3 to 1 in the homes of rap’s finest exponents. Says it all. Not bad for a man with a mouth full of cotton wool.
If you’re going to be a difficult teenager, you may as well look like Jake Gyllenhaal. Awesome indie film about time-travel, massive rabbits, and saving the world. Killer soundtrack too. And it was Seth Rogan’s film debut. What’s not to love.
This is our guy, right here. Handsome, smart, and charismatic. Incredible stamina on all fronts and the best wardrobe on TV. A self-made man, he’s the archetypal Don we all (not so?) secretly wish we were. Sure, he’s a man of his time. But what a man. Cheers Don – Cokes all round?