>so now his entire personality is trying to be like them
I did something similar for much of my own life, I think, especially when I was a teen and in my early twenties. I looked to starving artists and people who instilled suffering with a sort of grandiosity that made them seem noble, special, and I suppose I saw that as a way for me to grab onto some dignity and purpose in my life by reframing my bad situation and my mental habits in a similar way, as something noble and special, rare and difficult.
I learned about myself by living that way, and I don't regret anything, but certainly there are more pleasant ways to grow up if you can somehow just really understand the danger of identifying with certain archetypes or cultural memes. I read somewhere before that you take on the fate of the archetype you identify with, and when you think of all the wannabe rockstars who kill themselves with drugs before they ever hit 30 you can see one of the extreme ways that people manifest their destinies via their beliefs and who or what they identify with.
As far as archetypes, role models, and heroes go, I think Zorba is probably a fine one. Live every moment, eat and drink deeply, dance, don't think too much, jump on every opportunity that presents itself and never say no to life, and never let a beautiful woman go home alone.