Tough Guys

Tough Guys - Variety August 28, 2008 U.S. short on tough...

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Variety August 28, 2008 U.S. short on tough guy actors Filmmakers turn to U.K., Australia for action stars By ANNE THOMPSON Where have the manly movie stars gone? Not so long ago, Hollywood’s male stars were men’s men. Think John Wayne, Robert Mitchum, Humphrey Bogart and Steve McQueen. Over the decades, that generation has given way to the likes of Johnny Depp, Keanu Reeves, Brendan Fraser and Tom Cruise. 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, 36.) “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.” These days, studios are hard-pressed to find home-grown traditional male leads to carry their pictures. Their star rosters include countless boy-men who even after they turn 40 are less than credible macho movie stars. Depp powered the “Pirates” franchise with a fey perf that was more fussy Marlon Brando than athletic Errol Flynn. Even with “The Matrix” series behind him, Reeves is still often defined by “Bill and Ted’s Excellent Adventure” and other wayward youth roles. He was less than believable as a doctor in “Something’s Gotta Give.” That’s because he’s a boy-man. So is goofy Fraser, who aged from a boyish “George of the Jungle” to a boyish mummy-
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Tough Guys - Variety August 28, 2008 U.S. short on tough...

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