Michael Douglas: American Actors Too ‘Asexual or Unisex’ for Most Movie Roles

Michael Douglas actors asexual
Eamonn McCormack/WireImage

Michael Douglas thinks British and Australian actors are taking American jobs because Hollywood’s current crop of stars aren’t masculine enough for most film roles.

“In the U.S., we have this relatively asexual or unisex area with sensitive young men and we don’t have many Channing Tatums or Chris Pratts, while the Aussies do,” he told the Independent. “It’s a phenomena.”

Douglas said U.S. actors are too obsessed with social media, which causes them to focus more on their public image than on honing their craft.

“There’s something going on with young American actors — both men and women — because the Brits and Australians are taking many of the best American roles from them,” he said.

“Clearly, it breaks down on two fronts. In Britain, they take their training seriously, while in the States, we’re going through a sort of social-media image-conscious thing rather than formal training. Many actors are getting caught up in this image thing, which is going on to affect their range.”

Douglas stars in “Ant-Man,” which hits theaters on July 17.

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  1. im trying to be a actor and my guess has to do with race in this country majority of this country is minority now and now we have to update our thinking when it come to roles.Alot of good things about me and many young people want to have our dreams become true.It just this new era is obsessed with image rather than talent.Also there’s not enough opportunities for young people to be heard so that’s what I’m not going to do avoid race and stupid median

  2. Amir talai says:

    “In my day we didn’t have all this snapchat and tweetbotting!”
    Wtf is everyone talking about? Social media has nothing to do with acting. There are plenty of great American actors. The difference is that British casting directors are willing to take risks on lesser known actors, giving them the platform to turn into stars. When it comes to casting something in America, the cd can choose between a British star or an American who is not a star. They take the safe choice.

  3. I have to agree as I’ve noticed for awhile that Australian actors seem to land many of the macho male type parts including the character of Thor, played by Chris Helmsworth, in a few action movies.

  4. danedame54 says:

    “Hollywood’s current crop of stars aren’t masculine enough for most film roles.”
    Said the man who swapped spit with (and played bottom to) Matt Damon.

  5. Nanny Mo says:

    The California Unions here (read SAGgy) make it hard too. It’s way easier to get a film made (and paid people fairly too) if you don’t have to play all the SAGgy games. If actors really understood how hard their union makes it on the people who hire them, they would reform their union. Oh, well, I’m off to find an Aussie!

  6. Bill B. says:

    He’s right, but I don’t really care as long as the best actors get the best parts.

  7. Cindy says:

    So ironic coming from him! It’s not like he’s the epitome of manliness!

  8. Mike says:

    I’m having trouble reconciling Mr. Douglas’ comments with the fact that he’s starring in a movie called Ant-Man. Seems that if he took himself and his craft so seriously he might choose his scripts a bit more judiciously…

  9. Jedi77 says:

    Gotta give the man credit, he’s right.
    Isn’t it weird that Walking Dead, Vikings, Game of Thrones, The Americans, Hannibal and Daredevil are just some of the popular shows led by non-american actors?

    The same for movies: in comicbook movies half the leads are non-american (more so in the x-men franchise (Jackman, Stewart, Mckellen, Fassbender, McAvoy, Hoult), than in the Marvel franchise (Hemsworth, Bettany, Elba), and DC is right up there with a British Superman and an Israeli Wonder Woman.
    The last Batman was Welsh.
    Fantastic Four: Bell and Kebbell, both British.

  10. Ifeyinwa says:

    As an actress who has spent years honing her craft, I would not put fault on the actors but on the industry. Agents, managers, producers etc. are looking for actors with media following. They are choosing not to develop actors as they did in the past but looking online for those with an active social media presence to represent or hire. There are many trained American actors but without a strong media presence, they are simply overlooked for youtube sensations.

  11. Michael Maloney says:

    Brits and Aussies can do brilliant impersonations of Americans, perhaps even uncanny ones, but they cannot represent American culture, history, be American like an American can!
    There is a myth that Americans aren’t up to it- don’t swallow it!
    American actors, and I watch them on screen every week, are the best in the world. Thanks for the entertainment, men!

  12. Phil Langley says:

    This is so spot on, today we have no equivalent to tough guy greats like Lee Marvin, Charles Bronson, James Garner, George Kennedy, James Coburn, Ernest Borgnine, etc. Other than the comic book style action actors (who can’t act) American movie stars look like wimps. Once in awhile one of these nancy boys goes into training, but toughness is instinct, attitude, and ubringing. This current class of “baby on board” wimps wouldn’t last 10 minutes with the tough guy actors of the past. Aussies, and Brits still have it though.

  13. Steve Rubin says:

    I think we need to encourage more veterans to go into acting. If you look at the acting pool that came out of Workd War II, it was a very manly, strictly American, two-fisted brand of male that filled the leading man ranks for years. A couple of years ago, I was doing research at the Motion Picture Academy and I came across the casting list for the army lieutenant role in director Lewis Milestone’s Pork Chop Hill. There were about 60 names on it and they were all Americans and many were veterans. Gregory Peck eventually took the role. Let’s encourage vets to consider acting as a career. They have the courage, the stamina and the patience.

  14. Mjkbk says:

    Since no one will ever question Douglas’s liberal bona fides, he doesn’t have to worry that these comments could get him in Dutch with the media and even negatively affect his career.

    If he’d been on the other side of the political spectrum however, they’d be readying the tar and feathers even as I type.

  15. Machiavelli says:

    Bold statement from the romancing the stone/ wall street actor to state American actors are more asexual to grab the meaty roles. First off I have to say there is a limited amount of serious meaty roles out there in the first place. If there were roles in which american actors could seriously put some bite into them ( for example .. Treasure of sierre madre/ red river/ days of wine and roses)…I am sure they would step up and transfor into what is neccesary but that is not the case. I wish I could state that British actors were getting the best roles but I have to agree with Dustin Hoffman… This is just a bad decade when it comes to filmmaking, period.

  16. I agree with him. Gone are the days of men on-screen who are handsome, debonaire and manly men. You either have some girly guy or some over-sexed brute. There are very few actors that draw you into the story because you’re CGI’d to death and they simply don’t need to hone their craft. I like Chris Pratt, Denzel Washington and after that, I jump directly into Colin Firth, Michael Fassbender, David Oyelowo, Benedict Cumberbatch and whole host of others. Younger American actors and actresses ARE too busy worrying about their social media image, walking red carpets, posing for magazines and such to actually bother with trying to act. So Americans have no one to blame but ourselves.

    • Guest says:

      Maybe on day those young male actors can be masculine and husky like you one day. We can only hope (/sarcasm).

  17. PETER says:

    The Brits, including Welsh, Irish, Scots, Aussies, even Canadians also grow up with extensive stage and Shakespeare training. Having to be in character and perform for several hours in front of a live audience seven times a week is grueling but the best discipline, so the results are Tom Hardy, Cumberbach, Fassbender, even Colin Firth and Farrell, Ewan Mc, Bale, McAvoy, etc. Compare them to the Wahlbergs, Matt Damon, Ben Affleck, Tatum, even Pine, Pitt, and Pratt. The Brits are hot looking, highly trained pros, and come cheap at first, even though some are heavy on the booze!

    • Donna says:

      Thanks Mr. Douglas as many of us have recently been talking about the young talented Brits and Aussies. And I agree regarding serious theatrical training in England. It makes it difficult to cast quality young American actors who are not A listed .

  18. Daniel says:

    Plus, Australians are all animals, so they´ll f*ck anyone.

  19. Coach L. says:

    No doubt about it Mike! It’s the Liberal wussification of America.

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