The Aviator: Howard Hughes [ISTP 5w4]

Function Order: Ti-Se-Ni-Fe

Hughes is the ultimate innovator and creator, a man who cared more about innovation for its own sake (and the beauty of it), and on being a ‘visionary,’ than generating any profit; he spends millions acquiring projects, tinkering with them, test-flying his planes, and in investing in momentary purchases (such as an airline, which he is forced to sell when it becomes clear they can’t profit off it). His personal financier is always asking him to dial back his spending, but he feels compulsively driven to go after opportunities. This means he winds up sinking money (and losing it) in a Herculean plane built to fulfill needs in the war effort by fueling planes in midair and carrying tanks; by the time it’s built to his specifications, the war has ended. He dabbles in U-Boats and supply ships. He also spends years working on the same movie, trying to get it ‘exactly right,’ despite delays that cost him hundreds of thousands of dollars. He finds it more enjoyable to tinker with and experiment and test-fly his inventions, than to be concerned with their profitability. He likes to push the boundaries of censorship with his films, and then argue the censorship board into allowing his movies to pass with a low rating. Hughes is extremely picky about his aesthetics, his home environment, and his movies—he’s angry about the lack of clouds not giving depth perspective, so he wants to commit to reshoots with the ‘ideal conditions’ and demands to borrow every single camera of a specific kind to make it happen (he gets annoyed when he isn’t allowed to borrow them all, since his project seems more important than other studios shooting films at the same time). Hughes is eager to do things for himself; in his most famous crash, he test-flies a plane which crashes in a spectacular fashion, almost killing him in the process. He pursues beautiful women and sexual relationships constantly, but remains somewhat emotionally distant from them. He is hell-bent on making sure everything conforms exactly to his vision of it, right down to camera angles. He can be unrealistic in his expectations, and because he has unlimited money, he isn’t afraid to throw millions of dollars after his pet projects. But his inferior Fe is weak. Howard cares what people think about him, but doesn’t know how to connect to them. He can become impatient and angry under stressful situations and lash out at people. He marches up to people and demands things from them, rather than appealing to them. He also struggles to connect to others on an emotional level. Though he falls in love with Katherine Hepburn, he spends more time on his pursuits and passions than with her, causing her eventually to leave him, because she has fallen in love with someone else (and he hasn’t seemed to notice).

Enneagram: 5w4 sp/sx

Howard has some fantastically unrealistic ideas, but hangs his hat on all of them as being the answer to the world’s problems, and goes above and beyond what is rational in his pursuit of them. He is also anti-social, hates to have anyone get too close to him, neurotic about doing things his own way, doesn’t like to feel hemmed in, goes out of his way to avoid being dependent on anyone (or having them dependent on him), and hates crowds, loud noises, and being around people. He minimizes his interactions as much as possible, is extremely socially awkward and uncomfortable socializing with other people, doesn’t know what to do with his (or anyone else’s feelings) and becomes more and more eccentric at times passes. He withdraws so much from others, from public life, and gives into his anxiety disorder that he becomes a total recluse, living in complete isolation but still dreaming big.

The Aviator: Katherine Hepburn [ESTJ 1w2]

Function Order: Te-Si-Ne-Fi

Katherine is incredibly straightforward, from the moment Howard first meets her – she sizes him up and sums up the Hollywood scene in frank terms – as soon as you get too old, or they don’t know what to do with you, you’re “dead,” and “box office poison.” Oh well, she deems, we must get on with our lives, mustn’t we? She believes that the theater is preferable to the cinema, because it’s more “real” and she can better connect to the audience and innovate as she goes. She also thinks many people are shallow, because there are “more important things to discuss than movies,” such as the threat of Mussolini. She’s quite political and opinionated, and also doesn’t believe in beating around the bush with difficult conversations – “It’s best to just come out and say it.” She is quite fond of her family and falls back into her old routines the minute she gets home, takes an interest in everyone they know and what’s been going on around the place. Katherine enjoys bantering with her family around the dinner table, but also forgot to warn Howard about how they can be – combative, fast-moving conversations, and intense opinions, due to her lower Fi not remembering to factor in his feelings when introducing him to her family.

Enneagram: 1w2 sx/so

Katherine complains that movies have gotten so dirty in Hollywood, and they are “too violent” when remarking on how times have changed. She has a matter-of-fact way of addressing problems as they arise, and doesn’t beat around the bush when talking to Howard about the fact that she has fallen in love with somebody else. When she has been smoozing out in public, she feels bad about having left Howard on his own and not taken better care of him and apologizes for it, as if she feels bad for having drawn attention away from him to her own self. Her 2 wing is prominent in how carefully she looks after and cares for Howard during their relationship; she wants to be the center of his world, and takes good care of him in return – looking after his physical needs, helping him deal with his panic attacks, and trying to smooth the way for him with other actors, producers, and even her own family. But she needs to be needed, and when she feels neglected, goes in search of love somewhere else. She’s also very angry about what she feels are the violations of the press, such as sending reporters to take photos of her family at her brother’s funeral (“there’s no decency to it!” she huffs). She also calls herself a vain, preening idiot.