Editor of FilmJuice, Alex Moss, brings the hypothetical the Chivas Venture movie to the big screen by casting the great and the good from Hollywood, to play our 30 game-changing entrepreneurs.
Although Hollywood’s awards season has been and gone, the third installment of the Chivas Venture blockbuster is just getting started. In an era where comic book superheroes dominate the box office, the Chivas Venture finalists are the real deal; a group of entrepreneurs using business as a force for good.
But who would these modern-day caped crusaders - all of whom are helping to solve some of the world’s most pressing social, economical and environmental issues - choose to play them in a cinematic retelling of their life? We posed this hypothetical question to this year’s cast ahead of the live finals in La La Land, in July.
Box Office Heroes
Unsurprisingly many of the finalists looked to some of the biggest actors and actresses in the world to help bring their lives to the big screen. After all, you need a bit of box office clout to put bums on seats.
RecyclePoints’ Chioma Ukonu selected Julia Roberts to play her on screen. Roberts famously won her Academy Award for her characterful portrayal of the environmental activist, Erin Brockovich, the trainee lawyer who built a successful case against the Pacific Gas and Electric Company of California in 1993.
A list like this would be not be complete without 20 times Oscar nominee and three times winner, Meryl Streep. Dr. Son Preminger of Intendu says she “seems a strong and smart woman with a good and compassionate heart.” Who knows, playing Dr. Son Preminger could even lead to a 21st nomination for the talented Streep.
Following on the heels of Streep is two times Oscar winner, Cate Blanchett; someone B Y T’s Michelle Bang admires. “Cate Blanchett blazes a unique and creative path, she takes risks and plays different roles across a wide range of platforms; something I aspire to do every day.”
Following three of the finest actresses of their respective generations is arguably one of the greatest male performers of his; Tom Hanks. First Respond’s Robin Jun LU would love to be portrayed by the star of Forrest Gump, because he often plays a “hero with a steady mind”.
The revitalised career of Matthew McConaughey caught the attention of Daniel Dalet, founder of SoloCoco, who suggested the Oscar-winner manages to “portray a sense of self adjustment” that he can identify with.
Whereas Ernesto Rodriguez-Leal from WeaRobot chose box office favourite Colin Farrell, on the condition the Minority Report star underwent a Robert De Niro-like physical transformation. “He would have to gain 20 kgs or I would have to lose them. He would probably need to get a tan too, but I think we have similar expressions.”
A good laugh heals
Being able to not take yourself too seriously is crucial when you’ve been asked to cast yourself in a hypothetical retelling of your life. For that reason and for his easy-going demeanour, iDrop Water’s James Steere selected Chris Pratt as his potential cinematic doppelganger.
James said: “He typically plays characters that are well-meaning nice-guys and he combines the ability to find adventure with not taking himself too seriously. Pratt’s enthusiastic yet questionable dancing skills would also stand him in good stead when playing me!”
Livre’s Júlio Oliveto, cast comedy genius Ben Stiller as the man best placed to play him. Júlio believes Derek Zoolander “can inspire an audience with his joyful character.”
Meanwhile Xinca’s Alejandro Malgor chose Stiller’s long time friend and regular collaborator Owen Wilson, who is an “actor that always seems so friendly and cool.”
Sticking with the comedic theme, NOW Money’s Katharine Budd is often told she bears an uncanny resemblance to Brooke Shields. And yet she would much rather see Bridesmaids’ Melissa McCarthy portray her thanks to her “great banter”.
For some of the finalists their casting choices were informed not by box office draw but by those Hollywood stars that have taken on supporting — and sometimes starring — roles in activism; those bastion A-listers that have used their celebrity to make a positive mark on society.
Actresses like Harry Potter’s Emma Watson, which is exactly why African Clean Energy’s Judith Joan Walker selected Hermione to play her. “I really admire her voice for feminism and her work with the United Nations. Plus, if she was playing me she would have to hang out with me, and I’ve always thought we’d get along because she seems really lovely!”
Leonardo DiCaprio, who dedicated his first Oscar speech to raising awareness about climate change, was selected by Daniel Vach of SENS Foods and Beeodiversity’s Michael van Cutsem. Not for DiCaprio’s peerless performance in The Revenant, but for his work in drawing attention to worthy causes.
Vach said: “I have a lot of respect for his efforts to raise awareness about sustainability.” While van Cutsem admires, “his commitment in raising environmental issues and informing people about important global problems.”
Lauren Shuttleworth from Words With Heart is often told she looks Liv Tyler and Kirsten Dunst, who she points out look nothing like each other. And yet she’d rather be played by someone who inspires her and therefore selected former Neighbours actress Caitlin Stasey, because she “is an awesome voice for gender equality.”
Others selected their cast not upon the causes an actor or actress has advanced but based on the iconic roles they have played.
SoWat’s Al Mezayen selected Will Smith because the Fresh Prince has played so many “ordinary people who have accomplished extraordinary things,” while Siam Organic Co. Ltd’s Peetachai Dejkraisak was inspired by Mel Gibson, thanks to his role in the multi-award-winning epic Braveheart.
Explaining why the film inspired him, he highlights: “William Wallace had the endurance to fight because of his belief in the cause, belief in what he stood for, and most importantly, belief that everybody is born equal, and should therefore have the freedom and opportunity to live.”
Meanwhile, two time Oscar winner Sean Penn is the man for Sea2See’s François van den Abeele, because Penn’s protagonists often “defend causes” with “glory and guts”. Something that all of the Chivas Venture finalists have demonstrated at some point in their careers.
If some of the finalists made their selections based on celebrity activists, others found inspiration in fictitious heroes from the big screen.
Nuno said: “I’d like to see how Christian Bale would come out as an empowered eco-social ‘Batman’ fighting against all these jokers that think that this planet is their playground to reap and destroy at will.”
While Adam suggested Bale “had already helped the world a couple of times. He knows how it works!”
Sometimes you want a reliable actor who makes interesting choices to head up your mythical summer blockbuster. These are normally the actors who you grow to love thanks to their varied body of work. One such actor is Don Cheadle, who Will Chua and many of those at FOLO Farms came to love because, “I live and breathe basketball with the other co-founders of the farm and Don played Earl ‘The Goat’ Manigault, in the film Rebound.”
Tricia Compas-Markman from DayOne Response on the other hand finds her inspiration from TV star America Ferrera because “she is serious and focused, but still able to laugh.” A key combination for anyone in business.
With finalists from all over the globe taking part in the Chivas Venture there are a host of famous names with an international flavour to them. Laddroller’s Marios-Ermis Petrotos would like to see The Artist’s Oscar winning actor Jean Dujardin play him because “I like his style”. Sea Harmony’s Kornelia Dimitrova continued the international theme of by selecting Amelie star, Audrey Tautou.
Liang Wu, from German-based startup Green City Solutions, made a casting call that will surely please the yet to be called upon financial backers for this social enterprise epic, by suggesting he would cast the world’s most bankable star when the time came. Liang said: “The one Asian actor who has Hollywood supremacy at the time they make the movie, but I guess Ryan Gosling could also make it work!”
The stars of yesteryear
The constraints when casting a hypothetical film have no boundaries, meaning the acting talents available can be cast from a bygone era. Factelier’s Toshio Yamada, chose one of the silver screen’s most beloved and important figures; Charlie Chaplin. Toshio suggested the silent movie star was the perfect person to capture the social zeitgeist, because he was able to “laugh about it and turn the situation into a comedy. A great way to change society.”
Elsewhere Alvaro Vasquez of Bioestibas selected Chitty Chitty Bang Bang’s James Robertson for “his innate authority, his good humour, his common sense and his dependable personality”.
Sometimes there is no one to better to play you on screen than, well, yourself. Bruce Willis did it in Ocean’s Twelve and John Malkovich did it in Being John Malkovich. Tessa Cook from OLIO, not unnecessarily thrown away, explains: “A quick poll of my fiance and brother has drawn a complete blank; I’m unique!”
The cast of the Chivas Venture movie, as chosen by this year’s finalists would undoubtedly be the greatest ever assembled. A box office hit on the back of the dazzling array of stars alone. Now all we need is a director...
Follow @ChivasVenture on Twitter for all the highlights from the competition, and the latest stories, ideas and individuals that are helping to shape our future.
No endorsement or association is meant between those featured in this article and Chivas.