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Film: I’m Available to be the new leading male star

By Henry P. Raleigh
ART TIMES December 2012

Drawing for I'm available essay

There’s a rumor that Hollywood is looking for a new leading male star, someone with that unique, distinctive, “IT” appeal that once defined the actors in the old days of movies—the Cagneys, Gables, Grants, Bogarts—you know the kind. Cruise, Clooney, Affleck, Bale, McConaughey and company are, I guess, getting a bit long in the tooth and besides it has finally become noticed that current male leads are often too pretty and tend to resemble each other in appearance. Even Leonardo DiCaprio must be getting somewhat threadbare about now. And hasn’t Jeremy Renner replaced Matty Damon in the new “Bourne” franchise probably because he’s younger and just as short?

It does seem that some newer actors including Jake Gyllenhaal, Ed Norton, Josh Hartnett have had their tryouts and looks like they just can’t cut the mustard. The best contender of the moment and he’s getting a lot of push is Channing Tatum. But I don’t know how far he will get after playing a stripper in “Magic Mike” with three other guys that look like his brothers who look like a dozen other male actors. 

It’s been a long time since moviegoers would refer to a film as a “Gable” or a “Bogart” movie. Nowadays we speak of a Spielberg, Lucas, or Cameron epic. There’s the problem, you see. So I’m suggesting Hollywood might think outside the box and look for, say, an older AARP type, a man with a good deal of character nestled there in those facial sags, a fellow that has clearly been around the block a few times and is exhausted. IF Hollywood would be interested, well then, I’m available.