The USA Today published a story today that shed a brief amount of light on a subject of great interest and intrigue: the displacement of the American film action star by the foreign born Englishman, Australian and German.
|Patrick Swayze and Charlie Sheen in Red Dawn. Is Swazye the last true white American action star?|
It is a rarity in films today to see a white American male protagonist in an action film that isn’t named Shia Labeouf, James Franco, Seth Rogen or some other insufferable actor that looks like the nerd you gave the long walk out of the fraternity house to on the first night of rush.
Why is it that the new crop of action stars in Hollywood have to be imported from Australia, England, Germany and New Zealand? Are there not any white American actors worthy of being tapped as the next great action star?
Watching The Expendables, a film where a bunch of near septuagenarians hobble around on camera, was brutal and a sad reminder that few worthy Hollywood action stars exist anymore. Bruce Willis, Sylvester Stallone, Kurt Russell and other actors have seen their best days. Nicholas Cage, when he isn’t having hair plug surgery, is running from creditors. Mark Wahlberg is intent on being a producer.
By continually casting wimpy white American actors that look like they spend their time shopping in J. Crew instead of hitting the weights and relying on tough, foreign white actors to carry the machismo-load does a disservice to aspiring thespians who haven’t been emasculated.
When was the last time you saw a 6’2 actor in a Hollywood film? Sorry, Jason Segel doesn’t count. Almost every movie made with American actors now has some combination of Paul Rudd, Jonah Hill, and the perfect example of a Stuff White People Like white person, Michael Cera (see Scott Pilgrim vs. The World).
The Black action star is virtually dead. Wesley Snipes is in jail, Will Smith is trying to buy proven movie franchises as vehicles for his feckless son and the current crop of Black actors grew up in a community that puts more faith in the “keep it real” ethos of Jalen Rose, spurning the Uncle Tom mindset of Grant Hill that consumers are more interested in paying to watch (I’d wager that 90 – 95 percent of Black people agree with Rose on the Duke basketball – Black players/Uncle Tom situation).
One of the horrible aspects about life in Black Run America (BRA) is that white males have been basically emasculated. Afraid to say anything that goes against the ruling zeitgeist for fear of losing a job, the inevitable social ostracism and, worst of all, having little appeal to the opposite sex for harboring views that have been labeled as seditious and offensive is the purported price of being among those who can see.
There’s a reason why such films as Fight Club and Boondock Saints resonate with this disenfranchised group of people.
The actors highlighted in The USA Today article include Tom Hardy, Chris and Liam Hemsworth, Andrew Garfield and Henry Cavill. All are white actors; none are American.
In reading the autobiography Patrick Swayze wrote shortly before he died, I found one portion of the book particularly interesting. He said that being a Southern gentleman would have been even better then being an actor (he got to play one in some 1980s miniseries).
You got the sense that Swayze knew he was born into the wrong century, the wrong epoch. That the ideals he embodied – heroic, idealistic, and gentlemanly – were no longer in fashion.
Finishing the article in USA Today on the new action stars between 20 – 35 (I’m right in between that age group) made me realize that I might be one of the few people to even notice that no white American was listed.
We don’t make anything in America anymore; we even have to import action stars. Perhaps this is because any authentic American action star would be a throwback to a time period when white males weren’t emasculated.
When a movie like The Searchers could be made.
It’s fitting then that Swazye might have represented one of the last true iconic white American action stars, for he uttered four words in Red Dawn that embody the essence of what it means to be an American: “Because we live here.”
That this view seems archaic is the reason BRA holds power in the first place.