Hero Origins Quiz

Do you know the stories behind some of Hollywood’s most memorable characters? Test your knowledge with our fun quiz!
1. TRUE OR FALSE… Literary legend Sherlock Homes, complete with pipe, deerstalker and razor-sharp logic, is a character author Sir Arthur Conan Doyle dreamed up.

2. TRUE OR FALSE... Norman Bates from Psycho is based on a real-life serial killer who also idolized his mother and liked to keep body parts of his victims around the house.

3. TRUE OR FALSE… Nacho Libre, starring Jack Black, is a whimsical tale about a fictional monk who follows his dreams to become a masked Mexican wrestler.

4. TRUE OR FALSE… Walter White from Breaking Bad was inspired by a newspaper article about a real-life drug lord who had a double life as a respected family man.

5. TRUE OR FALSE… Top Gun’s rule-breaking fighter pilot Maverick (Tom Cruise), whose ‘need for speed’ often got him into hot water, was based on a pilot called Duke.

6. TRUE OR FALSE… Don Draper (John Hamm) was inspired by Tony Soprano, which creator Matthew Weiner was working on when he wrote the Mad Man pilot.

7. TRUE OR FALSE… British superspy James Bond was inspired by Biffy Dunderdale, a SAS soldier, secret agent and friend of the character’s creator, author Ian Fleming.

8. TRUE OR FALSE… “Dirty” Harry Callahan (Clint Eastwood), was based on a San Francisco detective who’s also been immortalized in many other movies.


How did you do? Score yourself and find out the truth below…

Answer 1: FALSE. Doyle, who created Sherlock Holmes, has admitted that he based his super-sleuth on medical lecturer Dr Joseph Bell – right down to the long coat and deerstalker Bell was known to wear! Bell reportedly knew, and was rightly chuffed.

Answer 2: TRUE. Norman, who played the disturbed motel owner with mummy issues, was just one of many movie serial killers (including Buffalo Bill in Silence of the Lambs) who were based on Ed Gein, a murdering handyman and downright sick puppy. Gein also adored his mother, and liked to kill people and keep bits of their bodies as souvenirs. Ewwwwww.

Answer 3: FALSE. Director Jared Hess (who also wrote and directed Napoleon Dynamite) actually based the eccentric Nacho Libre on Sergio Gutierrez Benitez, a Mexican priest from the 1970s whose main motivation for wrestling was to win money to feed his orphans.

Answer 4: FALSE. We almost had you going there, didn’t we? Actually, Walter is a fictional character and the idea for the show came about when creator Vince Gilligan was joking with a friend about putting a meth lab in a RV, because they were short on work!

Answer 5: TRUE. Top Gun was reportedly inspired by a 1983 article in California magazine about real-life fighter pilots at Miramar Naval Air Station in San Diego. Reports also claim Maverick was loosely based on an instructor called Randall ‘Duke’ Cunningham. Cunningham later became a Congressman, but resigned after a bribery scandal!

Answer 6: FALSE. Although Weiner has admitted there are similarities between the characters, he has talked about how his influences were – believe it or not – personalities like Marilyn Monroe and the whole idea of a ‘false self’, of creating a persona very different to where you came from.

Answer 7: FALSE. While many reports suggest Bond is based on Biffy Dunderdale, Fleming has said on the record that his suave protagonist is actually an amalgamation of all the secret agents he came across during his career, rather than just one. And before he died, Biffy went to great lengths to downplay this particular rumour, too.

Answer 8: TRUE. Bullitt (1968) starring Steve McQueen, Clint Eastwood’s Dirty Harry and Mark Ruffalo’s character in Zodiac (2007) were all based around real-life San Francisco cop, Dave Toschi, who was famous for trying to catch the real-life Zodiac killer. (He never did.)


Image Source: [AMC]

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