By bad boys I don’t mean “bad” boys. I mean men that are rough and tough on the big screen. I look for masculine with a capital M. And I’m not talking Brad Pitt here. Too pretty. In “Troy” my favorite tough guy was Hector, played by Eric Bana. To me, he was the hero he-man in that movie.
My latest discovery is Jason Statham. Yeah. Yeah. Everything I discover is always several years late. But what a tough guy. And he did have a few movies without the requisite tough guy language, such as The Transporter series. Okay. So they got a wee bit far fetched at the end of these films. The ending of the second Transporter was so far beyond the realm of possibility it was almost cartoonish, but I loved the characters and the dialogue. Oh. And, of course, Jason Statham kickin’ the ever-lovin’ mess outta the bad guys. I mean, the evil guys. Statham can be tough and tender and funny without loss of any masculinity in the transitions. He’s my new action hero.
Before Statham there was (and still is) Gerard Butler. He’s a he-man hero, too. Loved him in several movies, but especially Phantom of the Opera. That gravelly voice made the character for me. The first time he came across my radar was in Reign of Fire, a great dragon movie. Haven’t seen him as Beowulf, which I think is this photo.
And though it’s almost a cliche, watching Bruce Willis in action is a real high, especially in the Die Hard series. Later he showed his acting chops in “16 Blocks”, one of my all-time favorite films. Which brings me around to his co-star in that movie, David Morse. Though David is a quieter type of tough guy — he’s still masculine with that capital M I mentioned. Sort of like Clint Eastwood. Neither of these men have to raise their voices to be heard. They speak and people listen. But when they do feel the need to raise those voices, I can see knees start knockin’.
Of course, there are also the earlier actors like the iconic John Wayne. It was some of his later movies, as an older man, that really showcased his toughness. But John Wayne was always a man through and through and became a role model for a generation (and more) of boys and young men.
I never did go for the pretty boy type. Even as a young girl I was a huge fan of Charles Bronson, who had the most gorgeous muscles. Not the too heavy Arnold Schwartzenegger type, But just the right ripple to make a teenage girl’s eyes bug out.
I also went for Yul Brynner, who was manly, virile, masculine — you name the synonym — anytime he walked in front of a camera. That’s why women went wild over The King and I. He was IT. He was the king of hearts, bald head and all. He didn’t just walk. He strode.
Of course, I don’t have them all listed. There’s been quite a few really tough, masculine men who strode across the stage and in front of movie cameras. One actor I haven’t put in the category of tough guy, though he’s plenty rugged, is Tom Selleck. That’s because the movie that showcased his true masculinity was Quigley Down Under. I’ve watched it several times and never tire of it.
So these are my manly-man choices. My sister Katie agrees with them, but most of the females I know will pick the prettier ones. The younger generation picks the dark-haired, dark-eyed vampires. Vampires??? Egads how we need John Wayne back again to stick a stake through their pretty black hearts.
So here’s to real men. Good husbands, good fathers, good brothers, and hats off to our soldiers, who lay it on the line every day. In their real world, there’s no musical score to accompany them during the lonely hours, or during the time when the adrenaline is pumping. We do see more of our military on camera now, but their training and orders and personal courage is the script they follow. Heroes all. Our soldiers both past and present.