Or perhaps two 'unsuitable role models' in one.
I was watching Cool Hand Luke again last night, and was overwhelmed by how profoundly it resonates with me, by the renewed realisation of how much I idolize Paul Newman and his role here as Luke.
Then again, you may ask what's unsuitable about Paul Newman? A formidable actor as well as being breathtakingly good-looking, with a stable and long-lasting marriage, also a talented racing driver and pool player, and having forged successful secondary careers as a motor racing team owner and the founder of a huge agriculture & food business. Who wouldn't be Paul Newman, if they had the chance??
'Cool Hand' Luke, on the other hand..... For all his inspiring qualities - courage, determination, stubbornness, charisma, independence - he is ultimately something of a loser: he doesn't know what he wants from life, and finds no place to 'fit' in the world; his instinctive rejection of authority condemns him to a perpetually marginalized, unsatisfied existence. I had forgotten (after a decade or more without seeing it) just how bleakly despairing the end of the film is, how suicidal is his final confrontation with the 'bosses'.
Yes, I too am perversely stubborn, irreverent, and rebellious, often self-destructively so. I too celebrate non-conformity, but occasionally rue the fact that this is what has left me drifting, rootless, impoverished and alone. I am, I fear, every bit as much a loser in life as poor Luke. I just wish I could be one-tenth as COOL.