The most interesting men in the world

You’ve probably seen the Dos Equis commercials that feature The Most Interesting Man In The World, a dapper, salt-and-pepper-haired gentleman who “received a standing ovation from a juror’s box” and “taught canaries in the art of falconry,” among a Bible-thick list of other impossible accomplishments.

This Dos Equis-drinking gent is only a fantasy, but in real life, people like him exist — and we found 20 of them.

Brian May is a rock 'n' roll legend who's also an astrophysicist and animal rights activist.

Real men don't eat meat. When Queen's lead guitarist Brian May learned about the cruelties of factory farming, he gave up eating meat and became the voice of the voiceless.

He's still an active supporter of four-legged creatures (especially badgers), as well as a doctor of astrophysics.

May was pursuing a Ph.D at Imperial College in London, but when Queen took off he quit to write and play for one of the most influential rock bands of all time. He returned to Imperial College in '06 to complete his degree, and worked as visiting researcher in astronomy, and then chancellor emeritus, at the school. He has co-authored two books: 'Bang! The Complete History of the Universe,' and 'A Village Lost and Found,' the latter of which was inspired by his passion for 3D stereo photography.

Billionaire Tesla founder Elon Musk is the inspiration for 'Iron Man.'

Like the movie hero he inspired, Elon Musk thinks up seemingly impossible inventions and makes them possible.

Musk started an all-digital payment system, PayPal, and sold it for $US1.5 billion. He started a space transportation company. He built luxury electric cars and solar panels. He conceptualized a high-speed travel system between LA and San Francisco, and aspires to colonize Mars.

But Musk is known for his lavish lifestyle almost as much as for his ideas. He owns a 20,000-square-foot home in Bel Air, California, and one of the cars from a James Bond film, which he bought to convert into a submarine. And when (or if) Musk has down time, he loves playing video games and reading.

Blake Mycoskie travels the world while running a company and giving out free shoes to kids in need.

Blake Mycoskie and his gorgeous wife take a selfie with a parrot.

A long-time businessman with an entrepreneurial spirit, Mycoskie has started five businesses -- the latest of which was inspired after coming within minutes of winning CBS's second season of 'The Amazing Race.'

It was during 'The Amazing Race' that he first went to Argentina. On a subsequent return trip there, he was inspired to launch his shoe company, TOMS, which donates a pair of shoes to someone in need for every pair purchased. TOMS now also sells one-for-one sunglasses and coffee.

The Texas native is whip-smart and well-read, despite having never officially graduated from high school. The 38-year-old CEO may look a bit like a hippie, but he's secretly preppy on the inside, having admitted to a weakness for clothing by Ralph Lauren. He's also crazy buff, and keeps in shape by playing polo and golf, circuit training, and practicing yoga. He's also in the midst of launching a brick-and-mortar coffee shop in New York City.

Douglas Hofstadter is a Pulitzer Prize-winning scientist, poet, composer, artist, and dancer who speaks seven languages.

The son of a Nobel Prize-winning physicist, Douglas Hofstadter had big shoes to fill, but he outgrew them. Interested in how humans think, Hofstadter took a self-discovering cross-country road trip where, sleeping outdoors, he grew the metacognitive idea that led to his Pulitzer Prize-earning book 'Gödel, Escher, Bach: An Eternal Golden Braid.' He was just 35 years old.

The Indiana University professor, who has a penchant for funky-printed shirts, is also a talented visual artist, poet, and classical music composer. He's a devoted family man, a totally underrated role in today's day and age, who lost his first wife suddenly to a brain tumour. But just when he thought he'd never love again, in 2010 he took up, and dominated, salsa dancing, which is how he met his current wife (cue: aww!).

Hofstadter is a vegan and speaks multiple languages; he's fluent in French and Italian, but also knows Russian, Hindi, Dutch, Swedish, and Mandarin.

Eddie Huang has been a lawyer and celebrity chef, but now he's killing it with his brash, groundbreaking TV shows.

Growing up in Orlando, Florida, Eddie Huang identified closely with black culture, and was teased for 'acting black.' But, in so many words, he basically told everyone to suck it, and now he's a huge success.

After getting laid off from his law firm job, he tried his hand at stand-up comedy, and sold marijuana to make ends meet. But the layoff was a blessing in disguise because it meant Huang found his way to a career in the food biz, and he opened BaoHaus.

The food at BaoHaus drew a large following, and Huang exploded. His outspoken and unapologetic demeanour has also made him popular on social media and TV. His memoir, 'Fresh Off the Boat,' inspired the new ABC show of the same name. When he's not cooking in the kitchen, he's cooking up trouble on his online Vice show 'Huang's World.'

Dan Bilzerian is called the 'King of Instagram' for good reason: His photos are filled with Ferraris, wads of cash, and half-naked woman.

The 'King of Instagram,' as he's known, Bilzerian kicks arse and takes names. When he's not lounging on the beach, in bars, or on aeroplanes with bikini-clad women, he's uploading selfies that feature wads of cash, his collection of guns, and other evidence of his over-the-top lifestyle.

Bilzerian, who got much of his wealth from a trust fund from his father, never became a Navy SEAL, but he played one in the film 'Lone Survivor.' He drives a Ferrari, flies in a private jet, plays a lot of poker and, based on his Instagram photos of him jumping from high-up places, is an adrenaline junkie.

But despite his escapades, some of which involve the law and have even led to arrests, Bilzerian is an animal lover and treats his cat, and goats, with the utmost respect.

Artist Jeff Koons married a porn star and sold his works for record-breaking amounts.

Jeff Koons, the artist known for his flashy, larger-than-life sculptures, is larger than life himself. His 'Balloon Dog (Orange),' a 10-foot-tall, shiny, orange metal balloon animal sold at Christie's in November 2013 for $US58.4 million, making it the most expensive work by a living artist ever sold at auction.

His works are collector's items and centerpieces. They grace museums and galleries as much as the homes of art enthusiast billionaires. But when the eccentric artist was just starting out, he was married to an Italian porn-star-turned-parliament-member. Now remarried with seven children, he's planning to merge the two Upper East Side homes he bought into one mega-townhome.

But before you think all this wealth goes to his head, he also actively involved in children's rights.

Nick Offerman is just like his mustachioed, bacon-and-egg-loving character on 'Parks and Rec' in real life.

Nick Offerman is probably better known as the bacon-and-egg-loving boss, Ron Swanson, on the NBC show 'Parks and Recreation,' but after his breakout role, Offerman's loveable gruffness and trademark mustache have kept him in Hollywood's good light.

Offerman is a true man's man, and all of his fans love and embrace him for it. He loves whiskey so much that he sings about it. He's also a skilled guitar player, rapper, and breakdancer, often incorporating this in one way or another into his standup routines.

When he's not acting, you can probably find him building a boat in the woodworking shop he owns.

George Takei is a defender of the downtrodden who has an asteroid named after him.

George Takei's career really took off on the U.S.S. Enterprise, but the man we knew as Hikaru Sulu in the original 'Star Trek' series decided that space was not his final frontier.

A role model and crusader for the Asian-American and LGBTQ communities, Takei breaks stereotypes in Hollywood and in general. He's not afraid to make fun of himself, which makes him loved by both Trekkies and non-Trekkies alike.

Takei met his husband, Brad, while on a training run, and has since run five marathons. He also has an asteroid named for him floating between Mars and Jupiter. Takei is currently preparing to co-star in 'Allegiance,' the Broadway show inspired by his childhood in a WWII Japanese internment camp, and hosts a popular YouTube series, Takei's Take.

Quinton 'Rampage' Jackson kicks butt in the fighting ring and on the movie set.

Quinton Jackson is the man, and he knows it. He's known by his UFC fighter nickname Rampage and, wanting to make sure the name stayed in his family, gave all three of his sons the middle name Rampage as well.

His brawn and tough-guy demeanour made him a perfect fit for playing B.A. Baracus in the 'A-Team' movie remake alongside Bradley Cooper and Liam Neeson. Cooper even called Jackson 'the best B.A. there can be,' even though Jackson, after the movie, said he regretted putting acting over fighting because, in his words, 'acting is kind of gay.'

'You got all these people combing your hair and putting a coat over your shoulders when you're cold,' he told the LA Times. 'I don't want a coat over my shoulders! I'm a tough-arse!' A tough-arse who stars as the vigilante hero in a kids comic book.

Jonathan Miller is a knighted doctor who left the medical field to write, direct, and produce operas, comedies, and plays.

Sir Jonathan Miller got his medical degree from Cambridge University with dreams of becoming a doctor, but was 'knocked off course by comedy.' When a satirical show he concocted with three other comics found an unexpected host of fans, Miller found the requests for him to write, direct, and produce other things pouring in, so he quit the medical field to pursue entertainment (you know, every mother's dream).

He may be a 'grouchy old sod' to his kids, but he's a brilliant one. He went from writing and directing comedy, to theatre and even opera, which he excelled at despite the fact that he doesn't know how to read music. Miller was knighted in 2002 for his services to music and the arts, even though he would have rather been recognised for his contributions to medicine -- between writing, directing, acting, and producing, he completed a fellowship in neuropsychology and wrote a number of books, including 'Darwin for Beginners,' 'The Body in Question,' and a biography on Freud.

Neil deGrasse Tyson is a champion for nerds who was named the the sexiest astrophysicist alive.

Neil deGrasse Tyson is the poster child for both the astrophysics community and the world nerd population. The outspoken astrophysicist, who wrestled in high school, always fantasized being a superhero who could protect his fellow geeks from his fellow jocks.

Now that being a geek is considered cool, Tyson carries his geek card proudly. The head of Hayden Planetarium in New York, Tyson has a personal and professional interest in the universe. He's the author of 10 books, and the host of the podcast StarTalk Radio and, until recently, the show 'Cosmos: A SpaceTime Odyssey,' which was nominated for 13 Emmys.

Tyson is the recipient of the NASA Distinguished Public Service Medal, and was once named 'the sexiest astrophysicist alive' by People magazine.

Peter Dinklage's rise to fame on 'Game of Throne' is peppered with debauchery.

Peter Dinklage is a Golden Globe- and Emmy-winning actor, who also happens to be a dwarf. He's known for his role as the fallible hero Tyrion Lannister on 'Game of Thrones,' but also as a Broadway star.

Dinklage's rise to fame is peppered with bouts of debauchery, like the time he was performing a show as the trumpet player/rapper in a band called Whizzy, got kneed in the head, and went on with the show, even though the accident earned him a neck-to-eyebrow scar. Or when he spoke at his alma mater, and a student handed him a mace as he walked on stage.

Dinklage has become somewhat of a sex symbol for all he's done -- even 'GoT' co-star Lena Headey says he's 'super attractive.'

Richard Branson owns two islands, broke a world record, and is an entrepreneurial role model.

Richard Branson founded Virgin Records after dropping out of high school, and became one of the most successful entrepreneurs in the world, branching out into air and space travel, telecommunications, and philanthropy, just to name a few. Businessmen around the globe hang on to his every word, and his advice inspires millions to reach higher and do better.

Branson couples his successful business life with an equally wealthy personal one. He owns not one, but two islands in the Caribbean, where he lives and hosts parties. For a 64-year-old man, he's incredibly athletic. He's gone kite surfing with a bikini-clad woman on his back (and broke a Guinness World Record that way), and cites hot air ballooning as his favourite way to travel.

Story Musgrave fought in the Marines, travelled to space six times, and still found the time to get seven graduate degrees.

Story Musgrave has been driving trucks and tractors since he was 10 years old, and repairing them since he was 13.

Rather than finish school, a young Story Musgrave ran off to join the Marines in Korea, according to his bio, where he flew more than 160 aircraft and completed over 800 free falls as a parachutist.

Musgrave had always had an engineering mind, and ended up completing seven graduate degrees, in addition to being awarded 20 honorary doctorates. A degree in medicine led Musgrave to serve for a period as a trauma surgeon with NASA. An astronaut for more than 30 years, Musgrave has taken six space flights, including on the Challenger, where he took the first space walk from the shuttle, and on a mission to repair the Hubble telescope.

Now retired from NASA, Musgrave runs a palm farm, a production company, and a sculpture company. He works as a concept artist for Walt Disney Imagineering, as a landscape architect, and as a professor.

Viggo Mortensen is a badass actor with a soft side for horses, poetry, and photography.

Before Viggo Mortensen was known as Aragorn in the 'Lord of the Rings' trilogy, or the star of 'Hidalgo,' '28 Days,' or 'A History of Violence,' he was known for his poetry and photography. He started writing poetry while doing odd jobs in Denmark, still figuring out what he wanted to do with his life after college.

A lover of all things art, Mortensen founded Perceval Press, a publishing company that publishes his and others' prose and poetry. Mortensen has also recorded a number of jazz albums, and Perceval sells those too. All of this hasn't stopped him from maintaining a svelte physique.

You could also consider Mortensen a horse whisperer. He's a skilled equestrian who bonded with the horses he rode in 'LoTR' and 'Hidalgo,' and bought them after the movies were done filming.

Yanis Varoufakis is an unexpected finance minister who seems to have a sixth sense about trends in the Greek economy.

Yanis Varoufakis, a self-dubbed 'accidental economist,' was elected to Greece's parliament this past January. He's serving as the country's finance minister, having never been trained as an economist.

Deep down, he's a rebel at heart; he changed the spelling of his name from 'Yannis' to 'Yanis,' just to spite an old teacher he didn't like, and he dresses a lot more casually than most of his peers, often opting for a cool, leather jacket than a suit and tie. This same stick-it-to-the-man attitude comes through in the way he speaks for the Greek economy: His position seems to change on a daily basis, but he's got a clairvoyant-like accuracy for predicting trends.

The dual Greek and Australian citizen also served a stint in the Greek army, and previously worked as an economics professor. He's also a patron of the arts, working with his wife on a number of projects that blur the lines between art and politics.

Jonathan Goldsmith is the 'Most Interesting Man in the World' on TV ... and in real life.

If anyone knows what it means to be an interesting man, it's Jonathan Goldsmith, who portrays the Dos Equis 'Most Interesting Man in the World' in the beer company's commercials. But the TV title is well-earned in real life as well.

Goldsmith has rescued a climber with hypothermia on Mt. Whitney and a girl who was drowning in Malibu. He hand-feeds tigers as a proud supporter of the tiger-rescuing SABRE Foundation. He's also dabbled as an entrepreneur, from the successful (a network marketing business) to the less successful (a water-free car wash).

Born in the Bronx, New York, Goldsmith loves to chop wood and actually doesn't often drink beer -- he prefers scotch or a martini.

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