When Tough Guys Go Soft

An eccentric French shop keeper and amateur film maker attempts to locate and befriend Banksy, only to have the artist turn the camera back on its owner with spectacular results. Billed as “the world’s first street art disaster movie” the film contains exclusive footage of Banksy, Shephard Fairey, Invader and many of the world’s most infamous graffiti artists at work.

The true enemy for the action hero isn’t the mad scientist, the tyrannical politician or even the evil seductress, it’s the ever looming ‘type cast’ status that so many of them fall victim to.  That said, sometimes these Muscle Marys can’t help but try and escape their pigeonhole with varying degrees of success. So what do they do to escape their tough-guy, action hero status, here are some examples!


















Dwayne Johnson, aka The Rock, sheds his tough guy image in ‘The Game Plan’. How you ask? Well in his latest film, the former wrestler plays a hard-partying bachelor who finds out he has an 8-year-old daughter. Suddenly he’s soft as butter! The film gets its Irish release Friday, 14th March.



Well it worked for our man Arnie in the family movie ‘Kindergarten Cop’. Here the terminator plays John Kimble an undercover cop chasing a local drug trafficker. Some how he ends up disguised as a kindergarten teacher. Just describing Arnie in a role like this sounds odd, but somehow the Austrian worked it and Kindergarten Cop is one of the rare exceptions of ‘tough guys gone soft’ going good!


Here’s a tried-and-true career move for anyone wanting to escape Action-Hero-dom. Send up your hard-boiled image in a comedy and show everyone what a good sport you are. That’s exactly what Vin Diesel (The Fast and the Furious, XXX) does in ‘The Pacifier’, as a U.S. Navy SEAL named Shane Wolfe assigned to protect the Plummer children from enemies of their recently deceased father, a scientist who had created a top-secret weapon for the government (GHOST), and then hid the device in his garage.



Ever since ‘Gladiator’ Russell Crowe’s on and off-screen personalities have been associated with being tough. In some rare exceptions the New Zealand born actor has fought this image off with an accent, successful in ‘ A Beautiful Mind’  and desperately in ‘A Good Year’. In either he certainly didn’t appear tough!



He may be back in Rocky-Rambo form, but not so long ago the toned former porn-star Silvester Stallone was toning it down and playing his age in ‘Cop Land’. Stallone plays the quiet Freddy Heflin, the hearing-impaired sheriff of Garrison who admires his friends who are cops. Helfin had wanted to join the NYPD, but was rejected due to his injury. Although nominally the sheriff, Freddy’s actual authority is limited to handling minor civil issues. Endearing!


DISCUSS: Can you think of any other actors typecast like this, who is trapped in a world of tight t-shirt and bulging muscles, who escaped the macho cliché? Let us know!