Movies are great ways to highlight the nuances of personal traits. When a good actor or actress plays a part, they can really bring a character, and all their virtues and flaws, to life.
Movie characters are also very relatable. No matter what movie you watch, you typically find aspects of the key characters that resonate with you when you walk away. Maybe they were funny? Smart? Tech Savvy?
What about their relationship with money? Movies have always touched on money – sometimes directly and sometimes indirectly. We put together a list of some of the most notable characters and their interactions with money.
Which money movie character do you relate to the most?
Jordan Belfort, The Wolf of Wall Street
Jordan Belfort is the over-the-top Wall Street millionaire portrayed in one of the most famous recent money movies, The Wolf of Wall Street. Not only does he enjoy making money off of other people (and he has no shame in doing it), he enjoys the finer things in life. Along with that, he suffers from a variety of major vices, including drugs, alcohol, and his fair share of women.
Similar: Gordon Gekko Another famous money movie, with another powerful, passive aggressive, central figure.
Katniss Everdeen, The Hunger Games
Katniss Everdeen, from The Hunger Games, highlights life in a post-apocalyptic society. Her and her family (along with all of her District) clearly struggle to make ends meet, and rely on community and family to survive. She is very selfless, and does what she must to feed and take care of her family. She is also incredibly skilled – hunting with a bow and arrow to bring food home.
Similar: Aladdin Remember, before Aladdin found Genie, he had to hustle on the street and make ends meet any way he could.
Jerry Maguire is a great story about a guy who’s at the top of his game – or so he thinks – and then loses it all. Everyone turns his back on him and people he thought were friends suddenly don’t even return his calls. As he struggles through his money problems, he starts to figure out his own life, and works towards making things right. In the end, he earns his way back. Perseverance, resilience, and self-worth are all displayed here.
Chris Gardner, The Pursuit of Happyness
Will Smith plays Chris Gardner in this uplifting film about a father who works hard, for free at the beginning as a low level intern, just to get a better life for his son. Him and his son are forced to live in shelters, and he struggles to make ends meet. But he knows his hard work will pay off, and in the end he goes on to make millions by founding his own brokerage.
Laura Croft, Tomb Raider
Most famously played on the big screen by Angelina Jolie, this female heroine is very wealthy, but spends her time adventuring through the jungles on quests. If you know a millionaire who sets their life up for traveling (or if you are that person), or maybe you simply dream of constant adventure, then maybe Laura Croft is your money movie character.
Christian Grey, 50 Shades of Grey
Christian Grey is one of those success stories who made it work after dropping out of college and hustling. Beyond the sexy stuff, he left college, started landscaping, and networked and made connections. A few years later his company is worth over a billion dollars. Good job Mr. Grey. Without the BDSM stuff, there are a ton of famous college drop outs that went on to make billions – Steve Jobs, Bill Gates, Mark Zuckerberg.
Did we miss your favorite money movie character? Share it with us!
Robert Farrington is America’s Millennial Money Expert® and America’s Student Loan Debt Expert™, and the founder of The College Investor, a personal finance site dedicated to helping millennials escape student loan debt to start investing and building wealth for the future. You can learn more about him here and here.
He regularly writes about investing, student loan debt, and general personal finance topics geared towards anyone wanting to earn more, get out of debt, and start building wealth for the future.
He has been quoted in major publications including the New York Times, Washington Post, Fox, ABC, NBC, and more. He is also a regular contributor to Forbes.