In life we all need someone we can look up to – someone to guide us and show us the way. And for those who are destined for greatness a mentor can be the difference between achieving that destiny and disappearing into obscurity… or possibly even turning to the dark side. Since sometimes the mentors don’t get anywhere near as much credit as the hero or heroine, I’ve decided to share my top 10 movie mentors.
Voiced by: Frank Oz
Films: V: The Empire Strikes Back (1980), VI: Return of the Jedi (1983), I: The Phantom Menace (1999), II: Attack of the Clones (2002), III: Revenge of the Sith (2005)
Mentee: Luke Skywalker (Mark Hamill)
Teaching: How to be a Jedi
Most important lesson: Do, or do not. There is no try.
“Yoda: Size matters not. Look at me. Judge me by my size, do you? Hmm? Hmm. And well you should not. For my ally is the Force, and a powerful ally it is. Life creates it, makes it grow. Its energy surrounds us and binds us. Luminous beings are we, not this crude matter. You must feel the Force around you; here, between you, me, the tree, the rock, everywhere, yes. Even between the land and the ship.”
Played by: Ralph Fiennes
Film: The Grand Budapest Hotel (2014)
Mentee: Zero Moustafa (Tony Revolori)
Teaching: How to be a concierge
Most important lesson: Don’t be afraid to stand out and always wear plenty of cologne
“Gustave H.: What happened, my dear Zero, is I beat the living shit out of a sniveling little runt called Pinky Bandinski, because if we’ve learned one thing from Penny Dreadfuls, it’s that you can’t be a candy ass; you’ve got to earn their respect. You should take a long look at his ugly mug this morning.”
Played by: Pat Morita
Films: The Karate Kid (1984)
Mentee: Daniel Larusso (Ralph Macchio)
Most important lesson: Don’t train to fight. Train so that you don’t have to fight.
“Miyagi: We make sacred pact. I promise teach karate to you, you promise learn. I say, you do, no questions.”
Played by: Mark Duplass
Film: Safety Not Guaranteed (2012)
Mentee: Darius (Aubrey Plaza)
Teaching: Time travel preparedness
Most important lesson: Be prepared for anything
“Kenneth: While I would like to maneuver through this world with an open heart and mind, sometimes it doesn’t gain you favor. So I just need to be equipped with the necessary skill sets, guns, training, weapons, fighting – in case I encounter any obstacles that need to be defeated.“
Played by: Chloe Moretz
Film: Kick-Ass 2 (2013)
Mentee: Kick-Ass/Dave Lizewski (Aaron Taylor-Johnson)
Teaching: How to be a superhero
Most important lesson: You don’t have to be a bad-ass to be a superhero. You just have to be brave.
“Mindy Macready: Act like a bitch, get slapped like a bitch.”
Played by: Woody Harrelson
Films: The Hunger Games (2012), The Hunger Games: Catching Fire (2013)
Mentees: Katniss Everdeen (Jennifer Lawrence), Peeta Mullark (Josh Hutcherson)
Teaching: How to survive the hunger games
Most important lesson: Remember who the real enemy is
“Haymitch Abernathy: I want you guys to forget everything you think you know about the games. Last year was child’s play. This year, you’re dealing with all experienced killers.”
Professor Albus Dumbledore
Played by: Richard Harris/Michael Gambon
Films: Harry Potter and The Philosopher’s Stone (2001), Harry Potter and The Chamber of Secrets (2002), Harry Potter and The Prisoner of Azkaban (2004), Harry Potter and The Goblet of Fire (2005), Harry Potter and The Order of The Phoenix (2007), Harry Potter and The Half-Blood Prince (2009), Harry Potter and The Deathly Hallows Part 1 (2010), Harry Potter and The Deathly Hallows Part 2 (2011)
Mentee: Harry Potter (Daniel Radcliffe)
Teaching: How to defend himself from Voldemort
Most important lesson: There is no greater power than love
“Dumbledore: No spell can reawaken the dead, Harry. I trust you know that. Dark and difficult times lie ahead. Soon we must all face the choice between what is right and what is easy.”
Played by: George Carlin
Films: Bill & Ted’s Excellent Adventure (1989), Bill & Ted’s Bogus Journey (1991)
Mentees: Bill (Alex Winter) and Ted (Keanu Reeves)
Teaching: How to fulfill their destiny and stop fucking around
Most important lesson: Just be excellent to each other
“Rufus: Hi, welcome to the future. San Dimas, California, 2688. And I’m telling you it’s great here. The air is clean, the water’s clean, even the dirt, it’s clean. Bowling averages are way up, mini-golf scores are way down. And we have more excellent water slides than any other planet we communicate with. I’m telling you this place is great! But it almost wasn’t. You see, 700 years ago, the two great ones, ran into a few problems. So now I have to travel back in time to help them out. If I should fail to keep these two on the correct path, the basis of our society will be in danger. Don’t worry, it’ll all make sense. I’m a professional.”
Played by: Philip Seymour Hoffman
Film: Almost Famous (2000)
Mentee: William Miller (Patrick Fugit)
Teaching: How to navigate the world of rock ‘n roll journalism while keeping your integrity
Most important lesson: Don’t make friends with the rock stars
“Lester Bangs: You CANNOT make friends with the rock stars. That’s what’s important. If you’re a rock journalist – first, you will never get paid much. But you will get free records from the record company. And they’ll buy you drinks, you’ll meet girls, they’ll try to fly you places for free, offer you drugs… I know. It sounds great. But they are not your friends. These are people who want you to write sanctimonious stories about the genius of the rock stars, and they will ruin rock and roll and strangle everything we love about it.”
Played by: Patrick Stewart/James McAvoy
Films: X-Men (2000), X-Men 2 (2003), X-Men: The Last Stand (2006), X-Men: First Class (2011), X-Men: Days of Future Past (2014)
Mentees: All the X-Men but particularly a young Magento (Michael Fassbender) and Wolverine (Hugh Jackman)
Teaching: How to use their mutations to help humanity
Most important lesson: Never give up hope or stop trusting in the better nature of humanity
“Prof. Charles Francis Xavier: Mankind is not evil, just… uninformed.”
I loved Philip S.H. in Almost Famous!
It’s not a massive role but it was one of my favourites of his.
Here, here to Rufus! Nice call there. Fun list, Abbi 🙂
Thanks! I love Rufus. Those two idiots need someone to keep them focused.
Great list! 🙂
thank you so much for including lester bangs.one of PSH’s best performances. Also, i didn’t know ‘mentee’ was a word. great list. i would add Jack Crawford from Silence of the Lambs, and – this might seem odd – Pacino’s character in Donnie Brasco.
I’m not sure mentee is actually a word but that’s never stopped me before. Great picks!
Yes, yes, yes. Several of these would be on my list, too. And I LOVE the addition of Gustave! He’s one I probably wouldn’t have thought about!
Thanks! I loved Gustave’s character so much I couldn’t leave him out. “Get your hands off my lobby boy!”
I’m with you on Dumbledore!
Thanks! I think he’s a great mentor both intellectually and emotionally.
Ah! LOVE the list! Great round up!
Yoda, Mr Miyagi, Rufus & Professor X! Hell yeah! Great choices once again! : )