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Hollywood: Men vs. Boys

When it comes to deciding the men versus the boys it comes down to this, whom do you feel safe and protected beside?

Do you remember when Sir Sean Connery was James Bond? Or when Steve McQueen and Marlon Brando ruled the big screen? When Connery was only 17 he enlisted in the Royal Navy. Even as a minor he looked more man than boy in photographs. Being a man has nothing to do with age. A man has a particular presence and displays a certain type of maturity.

While it may be difficult to describe what a man is, you know one when you see one. The best way to define a man is by example. Usually these are the kind of males that other men want to be like. Last I checked, more heterosexual men at my gym wanted to emulate Gerard Butler, Hugh Jackman, Tom Hardy, or Michael Fassbender instead of Justin Timberlake, Orlando Bloom, or Matthew Morrison.

For the last 30 years it appears that most Hollywood heartthrobs were boyishly charming and eternal adolescents in some way. Sometimes it had to do with mere appearance as the baby face of certain actors stay that way. For example, Matthew Morrison is 33 and Justin Timberlake is 31 but both give off a teenage vibe. Maybe it’s their voice. They don’t sound like they have an Adam’s apple. Bradley Cooper also has a soprano-tenor pitch that is no match for Tom Hardy, accent aside. Cooper still seems like an eternal college kid. As for action star Channing Tatum, well, same deal plus he is too pretty.

So here are the men: Gerard Butler, Michael Fassbender, Tom Hardy, Hugh Jackman, and James McAvoy. As for the boys, these lads are: Bradley Cooper, Colin Egglesfield, Jackson Hurst, Matthew Morrison, Channing Tatum, and Justin Timberlake. Although this is a subjective analysis of the representation of masculinity in Hollywood there are a few characteristics that have been used to determine these sample lists.

Let’s start with the men. Like I said, you know one when you see one.

Posted ImageGerard Butler

How telling is it that when Gerard Butler wears a kilt and is still the most masculine of them all? In 300, he made it all too clear that he was a typical predatory male. Even when he appears in romantic comedies he still has that testosterone rich presence. America hasn’t seen someone like this since Steve McQueen. Butler has been known to tell people that all the men in Scotland are like him. What does this say? Either the Highlands are a breeding ground for masculinity or there is something in how the men are brought up that allows them to transition from boy to man at the right age.

Posted ImageMichael Fassbender

One word describes him perfectly: Adonis. He may be lean but there is an inner strength to him still. He may not have the natural muscle of Butler or Hardy but something brews behind those piercing blue eyes. Fassbender possesses a confidence, virility, masculinity, and soft intensity that just wakes you up. He is another one who can get away with kissing a man on screen and not look any less masculine. The Argentinean bar scene in X-Men: First Class where he kills the Nazis displayed at cold lethal side that channeled Connery. His Teutonic chisel only makes him more XY to the nth degree.

Posted ImageTom Hardy

Between his roles in Bronson, Warrior, and Black Hawk Down, Hardy seems born to play tough guys. He has a sweet side which was displayed in Wuthering Heights. Even when Hardy revealed that he had dabbled in bisexuality as a teenager and had a romantic crush on Gerard Butler, it didn’t detract from his masculinity. In fact, Hardy got praised for his honesty and was still seen as manly. This proves that he is not only a strong contender for James Bond but that his sense of being a man is so strong that even loving another man doesn’t take away from his alpha status. Hardy did a U.S. solider proud in Black Hawk Down far more than Channing Tatum did in Dear John.

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Oh yeah! We know real men when we see them!! Funny how many of the real men wind up in the same movies together! They don't dare put boys in the same movie or the men will blow them off the screen! :pointy:


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