I grew up with some great male role models in my life. My old man was a naval officer for around 40000 years and his head holds more stories than the bible. I once wrote a whole article for this magazine trying to do justice to a few of them. His best stories are, the time he pulled a man from the sea who had been holding onto an oar for two weeks and then revived him even though doctors said it couldn’t be done, the time he found a body in the Thames of a thirteen year old naval cadet and the time he discovered an underwater sea mountain and named it after our family dog.

But it’s not just him. My Step-Granddad was a test pilot in America in the 50s and 60s when test pilots where basically rock stars. He flew all the early jets, met Louis Armstrong and a president and wrote some diaries that read like a Boys Own comic. My actual grandfather was on this submarine when it went down, which was a pretty massive thing at the time. And it wasn’t just my family that was full of decent male role models. I went to school with this guy, had a bunch of ex-army teachers and a load of serious-minded, sportsmanlike school friends who prided themselves in being honest, conscientious, hardworking, diligent, team-orientated and organized.

Those guys were pretty big deals when it came to being men, and I think if any of them went in to talk to problem kids at an inner city school they’d have them ship shape and orderly in no time at all. Even though they’re all the kind of people who think motivational speaking is for gays, they’d do a million times better than Tom Cruise with a headset or some cripple who found God because they wouldn’t be trying to elicit sympathy or use a gimmick, they’d just be all “I do this because it’s the right thing to do by my family and friends, you should do it too”. It would be incredibly matter of fact and extremely successful.

However, there’s a certain type of person who doesn’t respond to these kind of characters. I’m one of them and I’m pretty sure if you’re reading this site you’re one of them too. I couldn’t really put my finger on why war heroes and hard workers didn’t make me want to be the same, but I often put it down to these factors; I hate sports, I’m lazy and I feel like I’m entitled to a good time all the time. Maybe it’s called being a spoilt baby, but it’s who I am.

So if there’s no one in your life you want to look up to, who are your role models supposed to be? My special real life heroes are mostly music guys like Elvis, Ian Mackaye and Nick Cave, but they’re real guys so they’re totally fallible. Elvis might have said that thing about ‘niggers only being good for shining [his] shoes’ (WHICH ISN’T COOL BTW GUYZ), Ian Mackaye is really un-fun and Nick Cave has that bratty model son who believes his own hype, ergo, all these guys could be dickheads. Also, I don’t actually want to be like any of them; Elvis was too corny, Ian Mackaye doesn’t like meat and Nick Cave is really just a big ol’ goth.

When you get down to it these actual living guys, with their casual racism, bad diets and errant sons, have got nothing on the made up people that exist in movies. I learned way more about being who I am from people in movies than real people, primarily because I’m a fantasist, but also because film guys don’t let you down by needing the toilet, or getting a mortgage, or having some shitty job grind them down into a pedantic square who phones talk radio to complain about road signs.

Here are my top 5 pretend guys whose personalities I try to copy because I’m really just a big dumb blank canvas with no soul. You’ll notice the common thread is that all these guys are low ambition, high relaxation, smart mouth, immature dickheads who I think are cool.

Crispin Glover in River’s Edge

First of all, I like the way he talks. His drawl is so self involved and defined, it really shows he has a lot of respect for himself and has taken the time out to consider it. I also really like the way how, just through the kind of raw charisma that bleeds into mental illness, he persuades/cajoles his friends to hide his buddy who has just murdered a girl, purely because he is so bored with small town life he needs to amuse himself. Combating boredom is a big thing for me, as is charisma.

Matthew McConaughey in Dazed And Confused

Is this one too obvious? Yeah, I guess it is kind of lame being the oldest guy still smoking pot and hanging out with 16 year old girls in your town, but look at the way he walks and talks! Look at the authority he has, and look at how much he knows about engines! He bangs loads of girls and has some cool turns of phrase that the younger guys respect him for. You can also see he is very relaxed in his own skin, which is an excellent and attractive trait.

Bill Murray in Ghostbusters

Well, I KNOW this one is too obvious, but when I first saw Dr Venkman use his position of authority to try and sleep with a girl I thought, ‘hey, maybe it is OK to be a mooching hack who’s only out to have a good time! I’m gonna give this a real shot!’. His whole way of being screams, ‘I’m in this for a nice apartment, a little fame, some pussy and a cool looking uniform’. He’s not like uptight Egon or hyperactive Ray, he’s just a relaxed guy who’s onto a good thing, and he’s riding it as far as he can. His voice is like a cat’s purr in this movie, it’s beautiful.

Justin Pierce in Kids

Casper is a great guy. He’s not really a major player among his pals, he’s just a stand up guy who knows how to enjoy summer and wear khakis and Chuck Taylors really, really well. He goes with the flow, which is important if you don’t want to ever break out of a cycle of drug abuse, skateboarding and sitting in the sun with Rosario Dawson. Every time I’ve ever had to sit inside an office on a sunny day I’ve thought of the bit where he sets his friends on a gang member in the park for telling him to mind out the way, steals a forty then acts like a dickhead to the shopkeeper and then sits in a bath singing a song about himself while high on ecstasy - all in the same day! He is my vision of summer.

Donald Sutherland and Eliot Gould in MASH

I’ve never watched the TV show of MASH cos it looks dumb, but the proper movie is essentially a lesson in how to mooch about and be disrespectful in the face of danger, war and general urgency – and that’s entirely thanks to these two guys. Their whole vibe is basically ‘fuck off guys, we’re trying to let off a little steam here’. They’ve got sexist pranks down to a t, they make time for themselves a great deal and even get a Korean boy to make proper drinks. That bit where Eliot Gould acts like the drink he’s given isn’t good enough and then produces olives to put in it even though they’re in a war zone is a little corny now but THAT’S COS HE WAS THE FIRST LOUCHE GUY TO DO IT AND EVERYONE ELSE COPIED HIM! These guys were relaxing before you were even born.