Why are all leading men British now?
I was reading an article in Vulture the other day about America’s lack of under-25 leading men.
If you think about it, almost all the big-screen superheroes are British now, e.g. Henry Cavill, Andrew Garfield, James McAvoy, Nicholas Hoult.
To quote Andy Samberg, “America’s suffering record unemployment and we outsource Spider-Man to England?!”
I’ve heard different theories why, like drama training in Britain blah blah, but Vulture whittled it down to three possibilities:
A. Young actresses are repeatedly paired with older love interests. Because women are gross after 30.
B. We live in a post-Twilight/Hunger Games era. It’s all about finding security in a YA franchise, no matter how sh-tty.
C. Acting’s like, too gay. According to a top talent agent:
By the time a kid reaches 12 or 13 in America, if he's displayed any talent for them, he's steered towards athletics in high school. Kids who want to do theater, or study acting, well, they're immediately labeled 'wimps,' or worse, 'fags.' Whereas in the U.K., that's absolutely not the case: It's not considered weird to act and play soccer over there, or to sing and play rugby. By the time some of the better-looking, more rugged American guys who've been, say, modeling decide maybe they're interested in acting, it's too late: The U.K. guys have had so much more and so much better training, it's not even a fair fight. Our guys don't stand a chance.
As someone who’s lived in the US and the UK, my impression is that Europeans are way more comfortable with their sexuality. My guy friends can literally kiss each other on the lips without having to remind everyone that they’re straight. In the US, boys seem to be more precious about their masculinity.
Obviously that’s just my opinion. I’m sure the case can be reversed depending on what area of the US/UK you’re in.
Not to say that the States don’t have any young talent to offer. Miles Teller and Michael B. Jordan are technically over 25, but they can definitely carry a movie. Although I’m not so sure about Nat Wolff and Ansel Elgort’s longevity.
Header image credit: DC Entertainment