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Rob Betts

33, Old Town

Real-life roles: Investment banker, former marine 
Starring in: Basic Instinct

Robert Betts, 2012? “I say what I think way too much to be a politician,” Betts says, chuckling. The West Hartford, Connecticut, native majored in history at Yale, joined the marines, became an infantry captain, and, in 2002, earned his MBA from Harvard Business School. But don’t get too caught up in his résumé, Betts says: “I just think everyone should do something that involves service.” Growing up, Betts was interested in military history; one day in college, he called 1-800-MARINES and signed up. Over four years, he led a 65-man mortar platoon and oversaw a military training school.

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Childhood nickname? Bettsy. It still is.

Name one embarrassing thing you hide when guests are coming over: I get paged at the office as Bettsy. Do you think I’d be embarrassed about something on my shelf?

If you could give someone a talking-to, who would it be? He lives in a white house.

Drinks before 5 p.m.: always, sometimes, never? Hey, if it’s 4 p.m. here, it’s midnight somewhere.

What song will be played at your wedding? The Safety Dance, by Men Without Hats.

In a dream world, who would you look like? A young Sean Connery. Write like? Hemingway. Dance like? [American Pie’s] Stifler. Cook like? My mom. And sing like? Harry Connick Jr.

What do you do every day? I read The Wall Street Journal, and either get in the gym or on the squash court.

Favorite movie hero? Sylvester Carrier in Rosewood.

Favorite movie line? “Hope we didn’t get dressed up for nothing,” from Braveheart.

Last movie that made you cry? The scene in Saving Private Ryan when they drive out to tell the mother that three of her sons just got killed.

Most recommended book? Atlas Shrugged, by Ayn Rand.

Name one thing that’s overrated: Frequent flyer status.

Who are you a secret groupie for? Kate Beckinsale.

When you’re alone, who do you play air guitar to? A lot of eighties music.

What’s your go-to homemade meal? Grilled steaks on the balcony.

Fill in the blank: Vacations are for adventure. Right now, I like to do things that I won’t be able to do later in life.

You pull a Ferris Bueller and call in sick on a beautiful July day. What do you do? I’m sailing on Lake Michigan.

What Chicago neighborhoods have you lived in? Bucktown, West Loop, and Old Town.

How long is too long to spend looking for a parking spot? About ten minutes. If valet is an option, then five.

Teacher’s pet or class clown? Unfortunately, I was more of a teacher’s pet.

What did you think you’d be when you grew up? A dictator of a banana republic or a lawyer.

Name one thing you have in your house from your childhood: I have a lot of things in my house from childhood. I have my mother’s kitchen table, and she’s always telling me it’s not a gift; it’s just on loan. I still have my little three-feet-tall golf club that my dad taught me to swing with at age seven.

Describe the state of your closet: When I get it back from the dry cleaners, I hang it up.

What’s your power outfit? Suit, French blue shirt, no tie.

How much is too much to pay for jeans? I have no idea. It’s been two years since I bought a pair.

What’s in your pockets right now? Cell phone and a wallet.

Have you ever collected anything? I tried drinking glasses from my travels. Problem is, when you’re backpacking around, they get heavy.

Last time you jumped up and cheered? When I landed in St. Martin a few weeks ago on vacation.

Last time you told a lie? No comment.

Worst advice you’ve been given? “Just do it. No one will find out.”

Do you have any tattoos? No.

But if you did? It would be on my shoulder. I think it’d be the American flag.

What time is your alarm clock set for? Too early: 8 a.m.

And how many times do you hit the snooze button? Can’t do that; got to get up. That’s what the house music is for.

Dive bar or nightclub? Nightclub.

What’s your remedy for a tough day? A good squash match.

Fill in the blank: I’d rather have a significant other who . . . I can handle just about anything in a girlfriend, except high maintenance or lack of intellectual curiosity.

How do you show someone you’re not interested? As a guy, it’s pretty easy. You don’t go after them, or you start talking to them about a girlfriend, whether you have one or not.

What did you do on your best date? Breakfast overlooking the ocean in St. Martin.

What makes someone a Chicagoan? Having lived in the Northeast and Southern California, I’d say people are pretty down to earth in Chicago. It’s one of the things I like about the people out here.

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