All of the biggest male movie stars used to be from the good ol’ USA. Now American kids are swooning over Liam Hemsworth and Tom Hardy. Where have all the American idols gone?
—Sigh, via the inbox
Oh, knock it off. If you look at the top 10 or so male stars of the moment, you'll see that Taylor Kitsch comes from...oh, wait. He comes from Canada. Well, there’s Ryan Gosling! He's...oh, scratch that. He's Canadian, too. So what is going on here? I dug deep, and I found the one person you can blame for all this...
Take a look at IMDB’s top 20 stars of right this very second. Then narrow it down to just the men. The list includes the aforementioned Kitsch, Hemsworth, Hardy and Gosling, plus Josh Hutcherson, Johnny Depp, George Clooney, Armie Hammer, Channing Tatum, Leonardo DiCaprio and Liam Neeson.
Of those 11 criminally beautiful souls, five come from outside these United States—the U.K., Australia or Canada, to be precise. The other six salute the Stars and Stripes.
Why so many foreigners? And why specifically from the U.K. and its historically linked offshoots, Oz and Canada?
If you'd like to blame this invasion on Robert Pattinson, you have the permission of casting directors such as Bonnie Gillespie. Gillespie recently cast the new FearNet series Bite Me, and has her finger on the pulse of major casting trends.
"There's definitely a cycle that's passing through right now," Gillespie tells me, and that cycle includes high demand for (a) hunks with British or Australian or Canadian accents and (b) pasty hunks with British or Australian or Canadian accents. And, Gillespie adds, there’s a good chance that the fever first erupted right around the time that Pattinson got cast in a certain wildly popular film franchise.
"That probably opened people’s minds," Gillespie tells me. (Cut to 2012, and the media is still obsessed with that subset of pasty British actors, such as Eddie Redmayne and Toby Hemingway.)
"That doesn't mean that tastes aren't going to swing back around," Gillespie adds. "It's just that, right now, there are certain looks that people are excited about."
Once that fever hits, "it's like fishing," Gillespie says. Casting directors and producers "are going to drop the line in that area where there are fish that people are most excited about."
One interesting note: Of the top six American hunks of the moment, half of them come from the same state of the Union: Kentucky.