If you work in i-banking, there’s probably a 30% chance you’re there because you were inspired by Gordon Gekko, the Wall Street character made famous by Michael Douglas.
(30% is based on the number of times Douglas says he’s had people come up to him and say, “Gekko was the person who influenced me and inspired them to go into investment banking.”)
But just like Oliver Stone had no clue that everyone who saw his movie would glorify Wall Street from that day forward, Douglas had no idea that he was playing Gekko as the “awesomely bad” guy.
He said recently that he continues to be “shocked” when people tell him they went into finance because of the character, a rich evil tycoon (who unfortunately ends up in jail).
“I was always shocked when so many people who saw Wall Street said that I (Gekko) was the person who influenced them and inspired them to go into investment banking. I’d say to people, ‘Well, I was the villain,’ and they would say, ‘No, no, no’, they didn’t see me that way, so it was all very seductive I guess.”