A Change of Face for the Leading Man?


With Hollywood’s once fresh, young faces aging with wisdom, experience and (for the most part) honorable careers, it’s safe to say there are limits to the roles Leo Dicaprio, Matt Damon, Ethan Hawke, Ben Affleck, Tobey Maguire and their seasoned comrades of this attractive graduating class will be able to snag. This inevitable ‘passing of the torch’ has been in effect since the start. 

As the next wave of Leading Men begin to penetrate the principal roles and step up to the plate, the “face” of our generation’s classic characters and the literal faces of the actors on the conveyer-belt to stardom remind me that of the changing “face” of the leading man in the late 1960’s, early 1970’s. A time in which the drop-dead mega hunks were replaced (or to be fair) challenged by a slew of talented actors who reached historic, awarded successes for their portrayals of cinema’s boldest, most memorable characters. Names like; Al Pacino, Gene Hackman, Woody Allen, Bruce Dern, Richard Dreyfus and Dustin Hoffman came neck in neck with the dreamy Robert Redford, Warren Beatty and Clint Eastwood, and for the most part, took on transformative, dark roles- the anti-hero, which I’m sure most of their alluring adversaries would gladly pass on for the chance to star as a more appealing protagonist


To keep in mind, for every gorgeous Ryan O’Neal, there is a budding Zac Efron and Robert Pattinson ready and willing to take on the painful position of being the next generation’s “dream-boat”. 

Could it be safe to say that todays young ‘Stars on the Rise’ such as Michael Cera, Jesse Eisenberg, Jamie Bell and Paul Dano may very well be the newest wave of daring, young talent here to rescue us from a brewing generation of vanity projects and mindless action flicks? 

Regardless of how much Cera and Eisenberg confuse me, eventually one of them will have to give it up and let the other be the reigning master of the lovable, bumbling “underdog”. For as is, there’s just too much sickening “cute” between the two. 

The Movie Fanatic’s list of The Top 50 Hottest Young Actors try to bring attention to both the looming pin-ups boys as well as the leaders in a movement that could once again revive the industry in a time of bulky brain-junk. 


Thoughts on the futures of these fresh faces?

And who’s shoes are they lined up to fill?

See TMF’s list:

Top 50 Young Actors

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I love your article! I'm probably one of the early observers that took note of the top 50 list from themovie fanatic, it is not the kind of list most celebrity sites would do where the emphasis is always on 'stars' as opposed to real actors.

when you mentioned the likes of al Pacino and Hoffmann and compared them to the 'dreamboats' like Beatty you validated what's been going on in cinema's drive to portray the ideal leading man, and so this 'tradition' continues…

great stuff!