I read this article a few months back about how some Hollywood casting directors claim that American men, particularly the 20- and 30-somethings, aren't manly enough to play heroic leads. Here were some excerpts:
The Dark Knight and The Dark Knight Rises casting director John Papsidera, said: "The ugly truth is that American leading men just aren't terribly manly anymore. You look at the list of American leading men, and in their twenties and thirties, they're very boylike. Take Jesse Eisenberg: I put him in Zombieland, but he's not going to play Superman. He's much closer to what Dustin Hoffman turned into than John Wayne or Steve McQueen. It's hard to find movie stars that live up to the needs of the story."
And, speaking about Canadian, the English and Australia men, Papsidera added: "There, they're still raised as men. Heath [Ledger] was a man's man. Guys like Henry Cavill, there's an easy masculinity to them. But because of how predominant the sixties and the women's movement were here, guys in America talk about their 'feelings' far more than guys from New Zealand and Australia or Ireland."
United Talent agent Louise Ward also adds: "I believe there's been a certain feminization of the American male. As a result, there are a lot of 'mama's boys.' Kids are raised like veal. We're afraid to let them play soccer. That kind of nurturing softens what we're used to seeing on the screen. American men aren't men on the screen."
I think I can speak for many of my fellow modern American men when I say this argument is complete bullshit. It speaks more about the narrow-minded prejudices of the aforementioned casting directors than it does about the manliness, or alleged lack thereof, of American males. If they can't find manly American men, it's more likely they're not looking hard enough.
The Jesse Eisenberg quote is a perfect example. Sure, you may not see Eisenberg himself as a superhero, but what about his fellow American and "Social Network" actor, Armie Hammer, who played both Winklevoss twins? Here's a video of him and his work in the movie. I could easily see him as a movie superhero.
In fact, I just thought of a superhero he could play. Here's his best line in the movie: "I'm 6'5", 220 (pounds), and there's two of me."
What other current superhero is blond, athletic, 6'5" and 220 pounds and even has the exact same hairstyle as Armie Hammer?
Here's a hint.
Why, there have even been two of him on occasion.