Michael Douglas Thinks Hollywood Is Severely Lacking In Manly Men

Photo: Courtesy of Warner Bros.
Superman: Played by Henry Cavill, a Brit. Spider-Man: Played by Andrew Garfield, a Brit, and now Tom Holland, also a Brit. Young Magneto and Charles Xavier: Played by Michael Fassbender (German-Irish) and James McAvoy (Scottish). Thor: Played by Chris Hemsworth, (Australian). Point being: A lot of our best roles in the biggest blockbusters are going to foreign talent. Actor Michael Douglas doesn't see this as merely outsourcing to the person best for the job. He views it as a indication of a glaring problem with American actors. He addressed the issue, which he sees as a two-fold problem, in a recent interview with The Independent.

When it comes to the difference between Americans and our old British overlords, Douglas nailed down the problem to focus and work ethic. "In Britain, they take their training seriously, while in the States we’re going through a sort of social media image-conscious thing rather than formal training," Douglas told the paper. "Many actors are getting caught up in this image thing, which is going on to affect their range...There’s a crisis in young American actors right now. Everyone’s much more image conscious than they are about actually playing the part."

Now, when it comes to American actors versus those who hail from the land down under (the Hemsworths and Jackmans of the world), Douglas thinks there's a different issue at play. "With the Aussies — particularly with the males — it’s the masculinity. In the U.S., we have this relatively asexual or unisex area with sensitive young men, and we don’t have many Channing Tatums or Chris Pratts, while the Aussies do. It’s a phenomena."

There's certainly a time and place for machismo if a film calls for it, but Douglas' line of thinking feels rather old-school. Is there a problem with sensitive young men? Have we not evolved beyond overly masculine gunslingers and loners of few words who just need a good woman to warm their beds? Douglas' cut-and-dry stereotypes feel extremely oversimplified and generalized, especially in 2015.

For example, Channing Tatum's character in Magic Mike XXL has conversations with his friends about feelings and admits to being worried about his business and love life. We're moving past these one-dimensional character archetypes, and Douglas overlooked the many American actors who can play roles across the spectrum of masculinity and sensitivity. They don't have to be mutually exclusive — even superheroes and strippers have feelings. (The Independent)


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