In a Variety article, writer Anne Thompson asks "where have all the manly actors gone?"
She cites that long ago we were given tough guy actors such as Steve McQueen and John Wayne and, over the decades, these action stars have turned into the likes of Keanu Reeves and Brendan Fraser.
Casting the titular tough-guy New York hero of his upcoming adaptation of The Spirit Frank Miller also had trouble finding the right actor.
“Hollywood is great at producing male actors, but sucks at producing men,” says Miller. “I found them all too much like boys.” (He hired New York TV actor Gabriel Macht.)
“We spend a lot of time in the industry talking about that issue,” says Robert Relyea, who produced movies for McQueen and wrote Not So Quiet on the Set: My Life in Movies During Hollywood’s Macho Era. “My directors always tried to seek out people who had ‘it,’ which does not exist today. You’ve got copycats trying to be McQueen. They don’t get it.”
Thompson describes how all of our action "stars" are more man-babies than manly men with Johnny Depp, Fraser, and Reeves being more defined by boyish charms and looks than tough-guy exteriors, thus, she deduces that studios are forced to look outside the US for their manly men.
“In a global culture, so what if the tough guys come from another country?” asks producer Sean Daniel, who padded the latest Mummy outing with Hong Kong action stars
This list includes Christian Bale for Batman and Javier Bardem as a sexy, manly artist in Woody Allen's recent flick.
"Even comicbook superheroes are boy-men," she writes. "
Two of the top rising action stars right now are both from the U.K.:
“We all wish there were five more guys like Jason Statham,” says producer
We also wish there were five more guys like Statham...