Is Hollywood Lacking In "Manly" Men?

Illustration for article titled Is Hollywood Lacking In Manly Men?

Are there any tough guys left in America? Over on Entertainment Weekly's PopWatch Blog, Mandi Bierly links to a piece in Variety written by Anne Thompson, in which Thompson asks, "Where have the manly movie stars gone?" She claims the Hollywood machine has churned out nothing but boy-men. Johnny Depp? "Fey." Brendan Fraser? "Goofy." Keanu Reeves and Tom Cruise? Just not macho enough! When a studio wants a real manly type, they turn to the UK, Australia or Europe: Christian Bale, Gerard Butler, Hugh Jackman, Ewan Mcregor, Javier Bardem, Jason Statham. [Eric Bana! -Ed.]Ms. Bierly points out that Ms. Thompson thinks some actors are "seasoning well" (Will Smith, Matt Damon, Leonardo DiCaprio, Brad Pitt, George Clooney) but the studios still "outsource" "rugged" roles. But a post over at Sugarbutch Chronicles questions the American vision of "masculinity" itself. Does being "male" mean "strength" and "brawn"? Just as we would probably dispute any argument which equates femininity with softness or weakness, shouldn't we also pause before believing that a "real" man is brawny and tough? Sugarbutch blog has a video by Sanjay Newton (posted below) examining masculinity in Disney films. These are movies that kids watch over and over; and the "real" men have huge biceps, aren't afraid to fight, and dominate their opponents easily. Male characters who are fat or skinny (and not the brawny ideal) are comic outcasts; male characters who refuse to fight are pathetic. So instead of wondering where all the "manly" men are, shouldn't we just accept that what it means to be "masculine" is changing? Do you think American actors aren't "macho" enough? Would you rather see rugged, square-jawed imports like Clive Owen instead? (I think I already know the answer to that!)

This Just In: American Actors Not Manly Enough [EW] U.S. Short On Tough Guy Actors [Variety] Masculinity Depictions In Disney Films [Sugarbutch Chronicles] Sexism, Strength and Dominance: Masculinity in Disney Films [You Tube]

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