Tired of boys ruling Hollywood? Get these real men to the rescue.

British and US press alike have been saying this over and over. Real men are but bygones in today’s Hollywood movies, as more and more boys dominate the box office. The biggest money makers of late are mostly under the age of 25! Shia La Beouf, Zac Efron, Robert Pattinson and Daniel Radcliffe have all beaten seasoned veterans like Russell Crowe or Tom Hanks in the box office lately. But are adult movie goers to blame? That’s what an MSNBC writer suggested, “[adult drama’s] disappointing returns are endemic of a larger cultural trend wherein youth is valued above all else and maturity is, well, boring.” That’s just a shame if that were the case. I for one think the reverse is true. The Daily Mail astutely observed that Hollywood leading men nowadays all look eerily similar: “androgynous, interchangeable, identikit men-boys.”

In the article “Where have all the movie men gone?,” one  female writer of MSNBC even went so far as calling older leading men such as Matt Damon and Ashton Kutcher as ‘too soft.’ They’re no match for movies’ leading lady such as Angelina Jolie, she went on. She used movie Wanted as an example, where “Jolie looked as if she could toss him [the very boyish-looking James McAvoy] across the room.” Ouch! Poor McAvoy, all that training to buff up his physique clearly wasn’t enough, as masculinity isn’t exactly something a man can train for, y’know? You either got it or you don’t.

In any case, my real issue is with the actual boys-actor, as boyish-looking is a rather subjective term. Now, I’m not against all of them per se, some young actors do have talent (case in point: BAFTA winner Jamie Bell, who has more talent than all of the Twilight boys combined), but more often than not, it’s the case of fangurls run amok! Regardless of their acting chops or sheer believability in the roles they’re given, girls worship them, to the point of spurring hatred towards their female co-stars. In any case, enough is enough. I long for the time my mother introduced me to Hollywood classics, where red-blooded men, not boys, dominate the silver screen. Clark Gable, Cary Grant, Charlton Heston, Gregory Peck, they all have what movie stars are made of. These men could eat boys like Pattinson/Efron/Radcliffe for breakfast!

Well, here’s wishing this trend wouldn’t last. If I had my way in the industry, I’d definitely keep my these real men plenty busy:

My leading men wish list
My leading men wish list
  1. Clive Owen – This Brit tough guy is as manly as they come, he’s also got the tender side to balance that no-nonsense exterior. He was my first pick as Bond before Daniel Craig was cast, but I guess I’d rather see him do other roles anyway.
  2. Rufus Sewell – With Rufus, it’s all in the eyes, they’re soulful and magnetic. Not sure why he’s always relegated to second or even third banana status as his looks and talent are definitely leading-man quality.
  3. Richard Armitage – A powerful yet mesmerizing John Thornton in the BBC miniseries North & South (not to be confused with the US civil war version w/ Patrick Swayze), Richard hasn’t made his foray in films yet. It’s too bad because we could use more of his intense leading-men quality. His turn as the brooding Guy of Gisbourne in the recently cancelled BBC series Robin Hood made me root for his character more than the title role.
  4. Daniel Craig – I was quick to judge him when he was first announced as the first blond Bond, but Craig totally won me over in Casino Royale. Sure he’s not as classically good looking as Connery or Dalton, but he exudes masculinity and no-nonsense ruggedness that Brosnan never quite emulate.
  5. Gerard Butler – I know, I know, after he did The Ugly Truth, you probably didn’t think he deserved to be on this list. But hey, I have a soft spot for the Scot, not only because of his rugged good looks but because I know he can act. I’m keeping my fingers-crossed that his upcoming Law Abiding Citizen will prove my theory. So I’m willing to give him another chance and hope he won’t continue to derail his career with any more obtuse rom-coms!
  6. Nathan Fillion – Fillion is currently gracing TV viewers in ABC’s Castle. But his looks & charming personality would be suited for a rom-com or dramedy. Isn’t it about time Matthew McConaughey retire already?
  7. Eric Bana – My fave Aussie actor of all time is the tall, dark & handsome fella with a sense of humor to boot! He was a former stand-up comic in his native Australia. Not only is he a great actor who can pull off  a comedy, rom-com and thriller without a hitch, he also has a very manly hobby of car racing. Check out his Love the Beast documentary trailer.
  8. Sam Worthington — Watch out, Crowe + Jackman, Worthington could be the next big Aussie import, especially with AVATAR out this year. I’ve mentioned him a lot on my blog and for good reason. I have only seen bits and pieces of him from a couple of films, but from what I’ve seen, I definitely would like to see more of him!
  9. Lee Pace – Most people knew him as the lead of ABC’s now-cancelled Pushing Daisies, but since I hardly watch any TV, Pace first came to my attention in the visually stimulating flick The Fall. The Oklahoma native (yes, the only American on this list!) impressed me once again in the sweet dramedy Miss Pettigrew Lives For a Day, pulling off a decent British accent as Amy Adam’s tender lover.
  10. James Purefoy – If you’ve seen HBO’s Rome, then you’ll know why he’s on this list. Now starring in NBC’s The Philanthropist, Purefoy’s got that twinkle in his eye and laid-back charm that makes him so darn watchable. If the show doesn’t last, I hope he’ll do more movies.

Agree with my list? No? Then let’s hear it.

73 thoughts on “Tired of boys ruling Hollywood? Get these real men to the rescue.

  1. mcarteratthemovies

    I’m glad to see Eric Bana and Lee Pace show up in this list. People only seem to remember him as the pre-Edward Norton “Hulk” guy, which is wholly unfair, or from his role in “Munich,” which is better. But he is funny, and I’m glad he got to show that side of his talent in “Funny People.” As for Lee Pace, well, he tends to be remembered as that guy from “Pushing Daisies.” But he proved his talent in “Soldier’s Girl.” He deserves more leading roles, and I hope he gets them.

    And Nathan Fillion! After “Waitress,” he should be a romantic comedy staple. I don’t know why he isn’t.

    M. Carter at the Movies

  2. rtm

    Hi M. Carter! Yeah, Pace’s definitely got range, he was really excellent in The Fall, too. I’d rather watch a dozen of his films than any Pitt/Clooney film any day!

    As for Bana, the failure of Ang Lee’s Hulk wasn’t because of him at all, in fact, he was the best thing of the film! The plot was just way too convoluted and weird for a superhero flick, not sure what Lee was thinking there.

    I gotta check out Waitress for Fillion’s sake. Sounds like a good one, thanks for your tip!

  3. rockerdad

    Great article! As Flannery O’Connor titled one of her famous short stories, “A Good Man IS Hard to Find”. Where indeed are today’s Robert Mitchums, Kirk Douglases, Henry Fondas?

  4. Bobby

    They all look extremely alike to me. I’d rather have a racial/physical variety of men under 25 than a pride of tall, dark anglo clones.

  5. NHK

    Based upon the list of “boys” you presented as currently ruling Hollywod and your list of 10 guys you would want to see take their rightful place as real men of the cinema, I would say another issue with Hollywood is that its still more white than than the actual population viewing its content. You yearn for the days of your mom’s Hollywood. I yearn for a Hollywood that’s more diverse. I respect all te guys on your list but I can only feel so much sympathy for them. They are after all white males which means they are in a better position to get roles in Hollywood films than any other demographic. For some of them its just a matter of time.

  6. Matt Lawrence

    I’d have to disagree with most of the statements in this. I mean I agree with all of the Pattinson/Radcliffe/Efron stuff because its true, they can’t act and they are nothing more than pretty faces for fangirls to drool on. But Angelina Jolie tougher than Damon? Come on?! Jolie is a weak actress who can’t pull off anything other than cheesy action flicks. Plus, including Ashton Kutcher is pathetic…HES A COMIC ACTOR!!!!!!! Also, when do looks come into play with acting? Sure its better when you have two attractive people in leading roles but its talent that makes the actor/actress. Finally, you missed a lot of great “real men” (whatever the hell that is supposed to mean) actors of today and replaced them with a bunch of decent but not great actors. For example(and I really don’t mean to sound cliche but these are the heavyweights of actors today)- Christian Bale, Leo Dicaprio (forget the teen heartthrob, he has proven himself to be a very good mature actor), Brad Pitt, Cillian Murphy(young but very solid), Chiwetel Ejifor, Djimon Honsou, Viggo Mortensen etc. The list goes on and on. The only person who I think is truly a good actor on your list is Clive Owen. Sorry to break it to you so harsh, but you’re living in the past with your ridiculously over-dramatic Gables, Grants and Hestons who barely chip the surface of what the above mentioned actors have done. One more thing about Jolie, she hasn’t done a decent film since Girl, Interrupted and I don’t think she’ll ever do another good one now that she has her “bad girl” rep.

    1. Hi Matt, thanks for your comment. Actually, it’s the MSNBC writer that called Damon as ‘too soft’ and comparing him with Jolie in “The Good Shepherd.” That’s why I said ‘boyish’ looking is a rather subjective term as I think Damon’s quite manly in the Bourne series, I just chose not to put him (as well as Clooney/Brad Pitt) on my TOP TEN list. I respect your point about Jolie, but I happen to think she’s a pretty good actress, it’s just her fame and certain reputation has eclipsed her acting.

      I resent what you said about living in the past just because I brought up those classic actors. I’m not saying I want them back in today’s cinema, but I seriously think masculinity is becoming sort of novelty these days. Nonetheless, I agree with you that acting-wise, today’s thespians have come a long way.

      I’ll check out your suggestion of Michael Pitt, I almost rented his movie SILK with Keira Knightley but wasn’t totally sold on the story.

  7. Matt Lawrence

    One more thing, if you want to see a good young actor who doesn’t fit the stereotype of the Pattinsons and Efrons. Check out Michael Pitt in Last Days and Funny Games US. Most people bashed Funny Games but Pitt is excellent and shows why he is rapidly rising in the business.

  8. Phantom

    Oh yes, yes, yes and YES! How can any of the boys we are condemned to these days compare to this fabulous catalog of real men. Amen to all that was said in this article, kind of read my mind!

  9. Alex

    Wow, great choices. I just saw Lee Pace and nearly did a cartwheel in my seat.

    He is a wonderful actor and should be getting leading man roles. And I really miss Pushing Daisies!

    Could not agree more about Nathan Fillion, Richard Armitage and Eric Bana. Great list!

  10. Sandra

    Terrif list and I WHOLEHEARTEDLY agree.

    I just had to pipe in that if you want to see Eric Bana *really* act, ya gotta check out “Chopper”

  11. Kristen

    I love your list, but where is Viggo Mortensen? He could be the Dane on your list!

    The part of Aragorn alone from “The Lord of the Rings” is enough to do it, but add “A History of Violence”, “Eastern Promises”, some of his earlier work (“G.I. Jane”, “The Indian Runner”), and the soon to be released “The Road”, and you’ve got a real man who can act with such emotion and depth!

    Plus, he is lovely to watch! Those eyes! That chin! That soothing voice!

  12. Jo

    Why does Hollywood insist on believing that all anyone cares about are the actors? The reason people don’t go to the movies anymore is because the movies coming out are god awful- and childrens’ movies are god awful, too, but they’re too young to know the difference so they ask to see such-and-such a movie and in these economic times parents take their children to see a movie before they leave Junior home and see one themselves. Especially when everything that’s coming out for adults is crap and they’re not going to pay $10 a ticket to go see it.

    Good stories are so much more important than actors and everybody refuses to believe it. “Star Wars” had a cast of unknowns. “Animal House” had a cast of unknowns. Yes, there are times when an actor is so good at picking he stars in a couple of good films- but that doesn’t necessarily make him such a strong actor that you give him a piece of crap story that he makes it into gold. Everyone is so surprised when an actor “turns out a flop”, like its their fault. The movie was good or bad before the actor ever reads the script. And the truth is, in those terrible flops their acting is just fine. It’s the STORY that’s the problem.

    Good actors are a dime a dozen but good writing is a needle in a haystack.

    1. Matt Lawrence

      Jo, I agree with you. Yet some movies with not so great scripts become good movies due to great acting. Take movies like The Wrestler, Brokeback Mountain, Capote. These movies did not have fantastic scripts. But they are some of my favorite movies because the leads are so powerful and the supporting cast do a really great job.

      I’m not a big fan of “classic” films because I believe they are all overly dramatic (not to say that modern films aren’t at times) and boring. Besides for Alfred Hitchcock and the horror genre, I believe movies keep getting better and actors/actresses/directors/screenwriters keep getting better as well.

      I would agree with what you said about children’s flicks nowadays. They are filled with lame jokes and dirty, sexual humor that’s just wrong.

      1. Jo – I completely agree that a well-written script is hard to find, and most of the time, the actors can only work with what’s given to them. But like Matt said, once in a great while, the actors can actually elevate the story. Like ‘The Soloist’ for example, the performances of Jamie Foxx and Robert Downey, Jr. made the movie better than it would’ve been given the weak script. The same with cult-favorite sci-fi ‘Equillibrium’ with Christian Bale and Emily Watson, their acting totally elevated the B-movie for me.

        Matt – have you ever seen Ben Hur? Perhaps you won’t be so quick to dis some classics, especially one that won 11 Oscars. The ‘over-dramatization’ was the norm in those days, but like you, I’m not super keen on those, either. But despite that, this movie is far from boring as each scene was meticulously crafted with poignant dialog and top-rate acting. You know what’s a boring movie? ‘Meet Joe Black’ – Brad Pitt is so overrated it’s not even funny, not even the great Sir Anthony Hopkins could save that one.

  13. Man do I agree with you!
    I’m 22, a kid and easilly young enough to like all those Boy-men you talk about. Unfortunately I just do not see the appeal.
    Real men are simply a heck of a lot nicer to watch on screen.

  14. E.S.

    I know what you mean. All I watch these days is Turner Classic movies because the movies there aren’t afraid to let their leading men (and women) act like grownups, even the ones under twenty-five. No forty-year-old virgins or thirty-five-year-old men living with their moms in sight (“Failure to Launch,” anyone?). I’m getting a little tired of the Hollywood trend of glorifying arrested development to pander to the underdeveloped tastes of adolescent viewers of all ages.

  15. I see your point. There is a trend in our films for wimpy boyish leading men. I actually like seeing James McAvoy with Angelina Jolie or Tobey Maguire in the Spider-Man movies. Why? Because for the twenty some-odd years leading up to the 21st Century, leading men were much more masculine, and me being a 5’6″ geek who’s more “cute” than “handsome”, I began to resent that.

    I will add that I’m tired of weak or awkward leading men like Michael Cera and Seth Rogen (admittedly comedic actors). We could use a little more assertiveness in our lead actors. But it is possible to go too far.

  16. The KoT

    Not all the movies coming out are crap! Just this year we have seen the likes of Up, Coraline, Ponyo (granted they are animated with no “stars” to actually see), The Hurt Locker (with the VERY masculine Jeremy Renner), In the Loop, Inglourious Basterds, (500) Days of Summer, Funny People, The Hangover, Goodbye Solo, Whatever Works, Moon, The Brothers Bloom, Drag Me To Hell, Star Trek, I Love You Man, Watchmen and others. Granted, some of those films are better than others, and not all have “manly” leading men (although Renner, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Bradley Cooper, Mark Ruffalo, Zachary Quinto, and Paul Rudd are all capable leading men).

    Plus this decade has seen the likes of Requiem For a Dream, Finding Nemo, Amelie, Lost in Translation, City of God, at least 3 great Coen brothers films, Collateral, Batman Begins/The Dark Knight, The Bourne series, Minority Report, The Royal Tenenbaums, In Bruges, Russian Ark, Primer, Wall-E, Tell No One, The Diving Bell and the Butterfly and many others.

    Sure, Transformers 2, G.I. Joe, The Ugly Truth, Seven Pounds and other big Hollywood money-makers tend to be underwhelming or outright awful, but don’t say that movies in general are just getting worse and worse, because they aren’t. You just have to go somewhere other than the big cineplex.

  17. Michael

    I think the real culprit in all of this is the studios and the current trend of what is making them so much money. Franchises are are seen as a bunch of dollar signs with the likes of Star Wars, Harry Potter, Twilight, etc. who have dominated the box office this decade.

    Regardless of how good or bad these movies actually are, they are filled with teens, and young adults . . . not manly men. Studios are looking for a solid investment with the biggest chance of a real profit and they know that tapping into the wellspring of popular book franchises like Harry Potter and Twilight means tapping into a very dedicated following of almost guaranteed moviegoers who will create hype on the internet and spread their anticipation to others like a disease.

    Writing and bad scripts are also to blame. We are living in a decade of dreadful romantic comedies with an always by-the-book formula and I finally think people are starting to get sick of it.

    Anything substantive and intelligent is sent to independent studios. The good scripts go there and the ones deemed dumb enough for the mainstream is created into the next bad romantic comedy starring whomever is popular at the moment.

    Lastly it’s the studios marketing department who are also to blame for this as well. Rather than take one of these well made independent films (or make it themselves) and spend millions like they do with Batman and Harry Potter, they don’t.

    Most serious actors looking to make good or great movies know that 90% of all of the good stuff these days are sitting in independent houses and not the big studios. It’s the movie culture we live in now. Independent got big in the last decade. Oscar winners like Shakespeare In Love if it were made today, would never have been a studio picture. It would have been made by Lionsgate.

    So to sum it all up, Lucrative Franchises, an aversion to gambling on a film not guaranteed to make big bucks, bad mainstream scripts and all of the good ones in independents are more to blame than “mature and strong men” being the “old thing”.

    Just to prove you wrong, here are some excellent and well recieved movies in recent years by good leading men.

    The Bourne Franchise (Matt Damon not looking very soft)

    Michael Clayton (George Clooney isn’t on your list?)

    Gangs of New York/The Departed/Blood Diamond (Leonardo Dicaprio is not the young gooey hunk from Titanic anymore, but a great actor in the last decade)

    These are just a few off of the top of my head and all of these I believe made money at the box office.

  18. Jess

    good list! how about another brit- paul blackthorne? he’s done a lot of guest/supporting roles, but i think he’d be a great leading man. and i’m such a sucker for tall, dark, and handsome types.

  19. TOTALLY agree with the inclusion of Chewitel Ejiofor on this list, and respectfully submit that most of the male actors coming out of Canada (Nathan Fillion, Tahmoh Penikett, Aaron Douglas, Callum Keith Rennie, Joshua Jackson, etc.) are more than manly enough to fill a marquee and have me buy a ticket.

    Right now the movies and television are so homogenized it’s hard to tell characters from each other, because they all look alike, including the women. Gone are the days of a show like 21 Jump Street, where everyone including villains had a distinct look.

  20. JM

    As a man, I agree with this article. I need some proper men to try and emulate. I’m only 19, and already I feel much too old for the likes of Zack Efron and Robert Pattinson. But I watched “To Kill a Mockingbird,” and I told myself that if I could be half the dad Atticus (Gregory Peck) was, then I’d die happy. That’s the kind of leading man I want to see.

    This list seems to be all good choices. My favorites are:
    Clive Owen (Inside Man, Children of Men)

    Daniel Craig–great as James Bond

    Eric Bana–Mesmerizing in “Munich,” both tough and gentle in “Funny People”

    Lee Pace–captivating in “The Fall” (though his costar, child actress Catinca Untaru, was even more captivating, and that’s saying a lot; every single one of you should watch that film!). He’s also a great leading man in “Miss Pettigrew Lives for a Day,” and one of my new favorite actresses, Amy Adams, loves him more than her other suitors, which represent the boy-men this article addresses. I think the supporters of this article would like that movie as well.

  21. Libby

    I agree with the list for the most part! SO glad someone has finally noticed Nathan Fillion’s potential! I have been a fan of his for years, and feel he is so under rated for his talent and range!

    Viggo Mortenson and Jeffrey Dean Morgan should definitely be added! Both are very talented and very handsom and manly!

    I agree with the above poster who said Leo Dicaprio is getting a bit more manly as well, plus he is very talented!

    I am personally glad that you didn’t include Brad Pitt or George Clooney on your list. They leave me cold!

  22. BSR

    The problem with Rufus Sewell is that he is tough to buy as a good guy. He played to lead in Dark City and we all know how that turned out. He will always be the second banana because he has to be the bad guy.

    1. PrairieGirl

      Rufus can play anyone! Good guy, bad guy, friend, husband, lover, he is totally convincing no matter what part he plays. Tristan and Isolde (hero, warrior, Lord, spurned-but-not-vengeful husband) Dangerous Beauty (royal and loyal friend and lover), Taming of the Shrew (adorable gad-about and shrew-tamer husband), Woodlanders (brooding, loved, lost and loved again). In several of his earlier works, like Cold Comfort Farm, Uncorked, A Man of No Importance, he plays ordinary men with sometimes extraordinary goals. Quite a range, if you ask me. See a few more of his films, and you’ll agree.

      1. PrairieGirl

        Oh, and don’t forget him as Dr. Jacob Hood in the now-canceled (unfortunately) CBS series Eleventh Hour. He was a hero in every single episode.

  23. tantrum

    As much as I love all the actors you have listed in your article, I resent the implication that there is a need for the depiction of strict gender roles in cinema. The idea of the silent assertive type is soooo pre-everything progressive. I know your idea wasn’t to politicise the matter, but I think its important to represent all sorts of characters on film. However, I wholeheartedly agree with your disdain for the tween heart-throb sorts like the zac efrons and the robert pattinsons.
    The problem is, I think, what one of the previous posters hinted at, there just aren’t as many great films to attract an adult audience to the cinemas anymore. Also, there should be something said about what people want to watch at the cinemas. It seems that they are more than happy to just leave their brains at home when they go to watch a movies and hence the rise of the likes of sex and the city, the ugly truth, shopaholic, the proposal and I can go on.

  24. Pedro

    Your list is ridiculous. Just another bunch of wannabes, except Clive Owen and Daniel Craig.

    The real men are already out there, and making movies. The problem is, your head is so far up your ass that you only notice the “boys”, meaning pathetic actors making pathetic consumer movies.

    That’s the meaning of all this, real men don’t put out garbage that sells like crazy. They couldn’t care less about money. They want respect, not MTV awards.

  25. vs

    you are forgetting Daniel Day Lewis XD he isn’t a new one in the panorama, but if you want presence and masculinity I think he can deliver at will.

    1. JackyBoy

      Clive Owen? Are you serious? He tries so desperately to play a leader by just pouting and putting up temper tantrums in his films ( the international…perfect example) and he fails, miserably. And how dare you associate matt damon with aston kutcher…?! Have you seen any of the bourne films….! Daniel Day Lewis, now that is an example of a leading man. This list needs some serious work.

  26. Citizen M

    Try blaming the real culprit: audiences. For as long as I’ve been alive, film about adult issues, adult romance, adult tragedy and adult responsibility starring adult actors have been on the fringe of Hollywood. The vast majority of my generation (30+) wants their entertainment safe, facile, inoffensive and politically correct. I have to fight tooth and nail just to suggest my social circle watch a film that doesn’t have a happy ending spoon fed in an easy to digest, homogenized soup.

    Not convinced? Simple test: when was the last time you watched a “romance” without the “comedy”? An action picture that wasn’t rated PG-13? An explicit sex scene where the actors were actually completely naked? A non-summer movie in which you weren’t the only one among your friends who’d seen it?

    We have an audience with childish wants, we get childish movies starring children. Start with a mirror and once you’re done, write a letter to the studios demanding the dismissal of the MPAA. That would be a start.

  27. gary mitchell

    What a cold and distant world this is. So far removed from sensitivity. No minorities on the list. It’s as though we don’t exist. Even though minorities make up a dominant portion of the movie going public. Thanks to these kinds of reporting, the easy way out, no questioning of the status quo. We are not photogenic enough. Wish you would at least find a couple of minorities stars. why should you? There are no minority writers!


  28. Ezri

    Two words:

    Hugh Jackman

    There isn´t anybody more comparable to the old stars like Cary Grant or Clark Gable than him. He is also very funny and down-to-earth guy. Something that many of the young wannabes will never be.

  29. Kcat10

    Nathan Fillion is a real man, all right. He’s extremely handsome, hot, sexy, and wonderfully funny. He’s got incredible talent and he is brilliant in everything he does. And he is the only man who is man enough to fill Harrison Ford’s really big boots as the next Indiana Jones!

    Yes, Nathan Fillion, Emmy Award-winning actor, deserves to be given huge movie star roles worthy of his manliness! He is simply the best!

  30. Glad to see Lee Pace on this list! He’s very underrated and hope he gets lots of work now that Pushing Daisies is gone and his schedule is clear. I’ll miss the show, but hope Lee Pace can transition to movies now. The Fall is a beautiful, well made film!

    For more of my thoughts on movies and the like, you can check out my blog. Just click my name!

  31. Abby

    Couldn’t agree more. Craig was such an inspired choice for Bond and Richard Armitage really deserves leading roles. His North and South Thornton was fab.
    Lee Pace is great but not sure if he’s quite as masculine as the others but Pushing Daisies was amazing.
    Can’t forgive Gerald Butler for The Ugly Truth. Or that 300 rubbish.

  32. Enelya

    I cannot believe you left out Viggo Mortensen!! Not only is he extremely goodlooking, he is also one of the most talented men on the planet. He acts, he writes, he sings and he takes photographs. He owns Perceval Press that publishes poetry.

    Apart from all this he is also politically active with great values and opinions. He is struggling for peace and justice. He also works a lot with charity, including saving the wild mustangs in america, feeding hungry children and fighting poverty.

    In my eyes, that’s a real man! Not afraid to show that he cares. 🙂

    1. I must admit I haven’t really watched a lot of Viggo’s films aside from The Lord of the Rings. But I just read an article about him on Men’s Journal and found him to be quite inspiring. It’s rare to see such a massively talented actor yet so down-to-earth. What a real man he is indeed.

  33. jw

    Christian Bale, Yuck
    Keanu, Djamon, Adam Rodriguez(worth watching CSI Miami for), David Boreanaz, Don Cheadle, Jon Cho, Daniel Dae Kim, and maybe in a crazy twist, pair them with a woman who is somewhere close to their age.

  34. Sam Worthington! For the longest time, I’ve been telling everyone how great he is and no one has heard of him! He’s the epitome of what a man should be, not like these other younger, wussy kids. Eric Bana’s hot too! That perfect, bad-boy 5 o’clock shadow…mmmm.

  35. Apathygrrl

    Yes, Nathan Fillion!! *hugs* I loves him!

    I also second the nominations for Chiwetel Ejifor, Djimon Honsou, Viggo Mortensen, Christian Bale, Ed Norton, Jeffrey Dean Morgan, Hugh Jackman, etc.

    I’d like to add a couple of my favourite names: Johnny Depp (Obviously!), Simon Pegg (just cuz I love the guy), Jim Carrey (also just cuz I love the guy), Bruce Greenwood (he was great in the new Star Trek), Jackie Earle Haley (he was great in Watchmen), Jet Li, Keith David, Patrick Stewart, Ian McKellen, Liam Neeson, Morgan Freeman, Ewan MacGregor, Ian Holm, Hugo Weaving, Denzel Washington, Ralph Fiennes, Christopher Lee, and on and on…

    but my absolute #1 favourite is Gary Oldman! He’s the best character actor alive! So talented!

  36. Thanks for all the comments, y’all. Sorry for the late response. I’m a fairly new blogger so I’m a bit taken aback by the slew of comments all in one day =)

    I appreciate all the comments, even those who disagree with my post. The race thing were brought up a few times. I respect your opinions, so I hope you respect mine, too. As a person of Asian descent (who didn’t even grow up in America), I happen to prefer Caucasian actors. I guess it’s because I grew up with American movies and TV show. So yeah, I enjoy watching British/American films more than any others, nothing wrong with having a particular taste in something.

    I’m not saying non-white actors are not ‘real men,’ in fact, the race thing didn’t even cross my mind when I compiled my list. Men of non-white races surely can be rugged and masculine, and by the same token, lots of of less-manly men happen to be white.

    I’m not going to apologize for my list. Love ’em or hate ’em, hey it’s a free country… but no need to dis anybody for their opinion. This is not a list of political candidates or world leaders, peeps, it’s just actors I’d like to see on screen OTHER THAN teenyboppers, so a little perspective would be great.


  37. NHK

    With all due respect, rtm, If you have grown up on American TV and American films as you say you would know that its not as if they use exclusively white actors (unlike England which has put a less diverse set of people on the screen). So either you were referring to the movies and shows of a long gone era (perhaps the Holywood your mom enjoyed) or you simply avoided all films that had substantial parts for anyone who wasn’t white. So I’m going to guess that your real and only reason for your list is that you simply prefer white actors as your pointed out. Which is fine. But if you had made that clear from the begining that you were going to be selecting exclusively from white candidates you wouldn’t had gotten as many responses about the lack of diversity on your list.

    1. I suppose I should’ve made it clear that the shows that I grew up with in my home country did have predominantly white actors. As I said before, the race thing didn’t cross my mind when I made the list, and I wasn’t aware I had to make a race disclaimer of my top ten preference.

      Just because these guys are in my top ten doesn’t mean I only watch movies with ‘white people.’ Pardon me if it came across that way on my post, but seriously, it was more about age group than race. Chiwetel Ejifor, Djimon Honsou, Daniel Henney, Russell Wong, Andy Garcia, Denzel Washington, Terrence Howard, Idris Elba, Benicio Del Toro, Eduardo Verástegui — these are just a sampling of my favorite non-white actors.

      Viggo Mortensen, Russell Crowe and Daniel Day-Lewis are definitely manly and capable leading men that would’ve been on my Top 20 list. Not Pitt/Clooney/Affleck/Damon though, I like some of their movies, but they’re just too… what’s the word, mainstream? Not that there’s anything wrong with that, I just prefer those who aren’t exactly household names.

  38. “androgynous, interchangeable, identikit men-boys.”

    Oh, I agree with that. LOL!

    What I don’t get is that baby boomers are almost completely ignored by Hollywood and yet they’re the biggest demographic, and they have more disposable income than any other demographic — at least in America; don’t know about other countries. So I can’t help but wonder why Hollywood never really markets to them? Oh, I understand wanting to groom tomorrow’s market, but it seems absurd to ignore such a huge part of the market while doing it.

    Love your list btw. Of course #3 is my favorite. 😀 But I love all of the others too.

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  41. skarrlette

    I don’t like alot of leading men in hollywood, they are way to small (short). There should be a height requirement to be a leading man. I don’t want to see a hollywood actor who is shorter than me. Its jsut a turn off. They are so strict on women now its men’t turn.

    I mean is it all gay producers in hollywood picking actors that remind them of small boys is that why they are all short?

  42. LULU

    Hi All, I am from the 60’s era, would you mind hearing a comment from me. I am an “Old Movie” Buff. I assume after reading several of these blogs that most of you are much younger than myself. In this case generations younger than I would say 30 yrs of age have really been ripped off/robbed /cheated in seeing and knowing the great film of Hollywood which started with the Silent Film Era(which I’m so thankful I found and saw before I die)films of the 20’s,30’s,40’s and some good in the 1950’s.Even the old hollywood film Directors have stated that Hollywood is no more. It is like every other Art; the great masons of the world are gone, the great painters are gone,the great Architects are gone etc. I grew up watching the greateset films that Hollywood ever produced, but during those days I didn’t know any better and thought the Silents were funny. Several yrs ago I began trying to get as many as I could find. Unfortunately alot of Old Hollywoor films are destroyed and cannot be enjoyed because in those days the directors were more concerned about making a big profit not about their films being enjoyed for next generations. An example is the Greatest Actor in Film: John Barrymore. Most of his great films are lost; And this is a loss to Humanity. I feel sorry for all the younger generations since they have really lost out on alot of great things one of which is seeing what great acting,set design,beautiful photography is all about. I can recommend some great films. I have looked at alot of sights and most people don’t recommend the goods one for people. One young woman had said she found the old films and says they are better than the newer ones. For any of the young woman out there. Would you like to see what a real man used to be like? I suggest watching some of Louis Haywards films and by the way he was claimed to be bisexual but he was more of a man than any man that I see on the street today. He was so handsome!!!!!!!!!! He was companion to Noel Coward (have any of you young people ever heard of him?)a very famous stage writer in his day. Noel was in some film also I think,I don’t know anything about him. One of Lou’s gettest films was “Man In The Iron Mask” the story of King Louis of France. He played a double role in this film and it takes a “great” experienced actor to do that. This film was made in 1939 so it’s not that old. Another great film he did was the Black Arrow made in 48. I know there are alot of fans of Film Noir so all of you would probably like another great film he made called “And Then There Were None.” This is also one of his great films. The photography was the best,the screnary was beautiful and the music was spectacular and unforgettable: Music Director was Charles Previn who was a conductor in Pittsburgh,PA don’t know if he still is there.This film was produced in 1945 and directed by Rene Clair a great french director. Louis was also in Anthony Adverse a tragic film and also tragic because they killed Lou off early in the film. I didn’t think I’d ever seen this one but I had when I was a young girl. Lou died in Palm Springs CA from smoking 3 packs of cigarettes a day. He can be seen smoking in this last film. He died at only 75. Hollywood was much different then I think its because of morality and peoples character. I have no idea who any of the people are who are in Hollywood today but I can only say. HOLLYWOOD IS NO MORE…………………………………..

    1. Lulu,

      I understand your angst, but I have to ask if you have ever watched Richard Armitage? No need to answer. It’s obvious you haven’t or you would be much happier.

      Of course I’m biased but for very good reason, and I notice “Ze Blogger”, rtm has a link to his IMDb profile. Check out ‘North and South’ first, and hey, it’s on Netflix instant play. What a deal!


      Love your blog piece, and I love this line from Allison Pearson’s article on RA:

      “You know, I wonder if being a late starter isn’t the key to Armitage’s vast appeal. By the time we first clapped eyes on him as John Thornton, he was already a proper grown man, in sharp contrast to all those snub-nosed pretty boys who pass for movie stars these days. Richard Armitage reminds you of those calm, classic leading men of the 1940s and 1950s – the men with the depths below the still waters.”

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