Congratulations to this year’s 40 Under Forty winners.
This year, members of our selection committee mentioned that it was especially difficult choosing among the hundreds of nominations that we receive each year. There’s a decent chance that many of those who were nominated this year but not selected will be chosen next year.
We’re always looking for ways to mix things up with the popular 40 Under Forty section. With that in mind, this year we dreamed up an off-the-wall bonus question, mostly to have some fun and to see what the reaction would be from our winners.
We asked: “If somebody made a movie about your life, which actor would play your character?”
Some of the responses were pretty fun:
From DJ Clark: “Hmmm. Freckled and balding actors are pretty scarce. Does (Don) Rickles have freckles? He’s bit older than me, but I appreciate his sarcastic humor.”
Ryann Callan, who was born in Canada, picked Ryan Reynolds, a fellow Canadian who is best known for his portrayal of super heroes like Deadpool and The Green Lantern.
Jarrod Weenum said Jimmy Fallon should portray him. He's also optimistic that they could become good friends if they ever met.
As a representative of the baby boom generation, I sometimes have trouble remembering the names of young actors. After Andy Austin suggested that Jason Segel could best portray him, I turned to Google. Oh, yeah. He has been in “How I Met Your Mother” and “Freaks and Geeks."
Barber Austin Schlosser, who frequently makes small talk with his customers, picked good-natured Ray Romano, star of the long-running TV series, “Everybody Loves Raymond.”
Dr. Erin Stevens suggested a member of Hollywood royalty, Drew Barrymore, to play her role.
From Aubrey Arneson: “I would say Jennifer Aniston. She is strong, positive, and influential. She carries herself with grace and determination; I have been told I do the same.”
Dr. Katherine Dietrich also selected Aniston, adding, “I wish!”
Not to cause friction with fans of Aniston, but Jake Penwell suggested that Brad Pitt, who dumped Aniston in favor of Angelina Jolie, would best portray his life story. “People confuse us all the time!” he said.
Russell Rice, tax manager for Eide Bailly, said Ben Affleck should play him in the movies. “He’s The Accountant after all,” Rice said, referring to a 2016 release in which Affleck plays a small-town CPA who does freelance work for some shady organizations.
One winner decided not to pick an actor who would play him. He said he would simply leave it up to the casting director to decide.
A couple of winners turned the tables on me, asking who would play the title role in my own film biography. My first choice would have been the great Don Knotts, but not just because I’ve been known to channel Barney Fife’s quivering mannerisms and sometimes resort to phony tough talk. You really have to see “The Apple Dumpling Gang” and “The Reluctant Astronaut” to appreciate the talents of the late Mr. Knotts. Perhaps the best modern actor to catch my spirit would be Aaron Ruell, best known as the tech-savvy Kip, brother of Napoleon Dynamite.