Movie stars, especially action heroes, are getting older. In 2015 the average age of an action star was 48.5. “Alpha” male stereotypes are no longer being bussed in to Hollywood and finding the younger generation of men (specifically “Millennials”) to fill these roles are few and far between.
Tomi Lahren, a 23-year-old political commentator for The Blaze, ended her show by raising the following question: “Is it just me, or have men gotten really soft these days?”
She has a point. Even other media outlets list “Hollywood’s toughest actors” with a vast majority of over 40 actors. Among the Esquire’s top 25 toughest actors are Jason Statham, known for his roles in “Transporter” and Transporter 2”. Statham, 49, continues to release action-thrillers. Another actor on the list is Tom Cruise, 54, for his roles in the Mission Impossible movie franchise.
The middle-aged man is now undisputed champion of the action movie role. What does this reveal about the state of the modern man? Perhaps we have changed our views as to what the prime of a man’s life has now become. This trend has been pushing forward for a good few years. Our icons of old-school action, Arnold Schwarzenegger and Sylvester Stallone, have fought their their way back into the spotlight and actor Liam Neeson continues to reinvent himself as an aging hero.
When it comes to the Marvel movies, the superhero roles are filled with a younger sect, but not by much. The mid 30s to early 40s male, dominates these characters as well. The same holds true for Sigourney Weaver in her action movie debut Aliens. Sigourney landed the role of Ripley at 30, and continued to play the character for the next 20 years, into her 50s.
When it comes to action movies, are we looking for the alpha male in his later years or have we grown so attached to the characters that we have come to know and love that we, the viewer, aren’t willing to see the younger generation of men filling those roles.