Do you even lift? The absurd story of the muscles in the film

Darth Vader is one hell of a personal trainer. (We’ll get to that in a moment.) Back in the day, if you wanted a busty actor, you had to dig up a retired jock. Johnny Weissmuller and Jim Brown got into movies because of their intimidating bodies. But when you cast ex-wrestlers like Thor Johnson or Norbert Grupe (“Vigo the Carpathian”), it’s for the role of the idiot or the villain, not the role of the well-known ticket seller.

in a (n Interview with David Letterman In 1985, Arnold Schwarzenegger opened up about his struggle to get anyone in Hollywood to take him seriously about his proportions, yet he was confident his background would open doors for him in a crowded business. “You’ve got a weird body… Just go back to bodybuilding,” an agent in his 70s told him. Half a century later, the secret to hitting the gym and achieving the physique of Mr. Olympia to land yourself a huge payday is exactly the secret.

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Fifties old hunks like Burt Lancaster and Marlon Brando wouldn’t even stand out in a Hollywood audition, and if anything, they’d probably draw a few offensive comments for their lack of ab definition and lifting technique. The uncomfortable truth is that it’s probably gone too far. Dwayne Johnson doesn’t even look that tall today. If Die Hard was filmed today, Bruce Willis would be laughed at by the casting directors.

break the taboo

Christopher Reeve flies in Superman (1978)
Warner Bros.

Christopher Reeve, who refused to wear a padded suit, gained weight when he was pushed into the Superman role. It was a little risky, as audiences appreciated a fit male hero, but not one who could play Hercules. superman Director Richard Donner derided him for being too lanky. To ensure he had a hero to match, looking good in the blue and red spandex, Donner called David Prowse, the guy in the Darth Vader suit, to help Reeve get fit. “During the time I had him, I took him down from 170 pounds when we started and he weighed 212 pounds [pounds] when he put the suit on,” Prowse boasted. Sure, wily Stallone could hit the road in his personal gym to buff up for a while rambo In the sequel, he was already famous and specialized in action movies, but it was still exceptional.

See Also: Arnold Schwarzenegger Names His Most Underrated Movie

Perspectively seen when Stallone did it Rocky In 1976 he was considered an idiot, although by modern standards of an action hero he would probably be considered out of shape. If Saturday night live stand out Joe Piscopo was shredded People looked at him like a freak of nature. “Some people in Hollywood think I’m crazy about this bodybuilding stuff,” he said, predicting the end of his career. Yes, Joe Piscopo was a visionary ahead of his time. Quote us about it.

Back in 1998, the thought that Robert Downey Jr. — the guy who found fame with Charlie Chaplin, drug addicts and sloppy journalists — would save his career by getting a six-pack at 40 was utterly unimaginable. The muscle trend lagged only slightly behind the artistic curve: superhero movies. Take a close look at every screenplay changing hands in Hollywood and you’ll see fingerprints smeared with creatine.

jack up

Wolverine's first appearance in X-Men 1
20th Century Fox

Long before chubby comedian Kumail Nanjiani summoned his inner Giga-Chad for his role in eternal, Hugh Jackman really popularized the trend for male actors to put their bodies where their paychecks are. His first foray into X-Men Because Wolverine looks puny compared to his later films, it has been claimed that his ridiculous gains are the result of steroids.

Ditto for Tom Hardy, with the tendency for actors to aim for more muscle mass rather than settle for the mundane athlete’s looks. Chris Evans and Chris Pratt went from silly supporting characters to leading men via the most reliable method ever, doing leg presses and eating lots of protein bars. The next Best Actor winner deserves to thank his spotter and agent when he accepts the Oscar.

Related: Hugh Jackman’s training clip welcomes us to the new installment of ‘Becoming Wolverine Again’

After we’ve seen Robert Pattinson and Christian Bale go the Adonis route, will anyone ever accept a man like Michael Keaton as Batman again? Even Zac Efron has attempted to transform his personality from a prancing high school kid with a Justin Beiber haircut into a living Rob Liefeld drawing. Maybe he’s doing a biopic about Lou Ferrigno or something. One thing’s for sure, this guy is linked to the cashier at the local GNC by first name. There are no signs that the arms race will abate any time soon.

The other gender gap

Thor Love and Thunder trailer
Marvel Studios

Interestingly enough, tearing yourself apart is almost essential for a man to land a superhero role, but women don’t have to bother with it. When it was Mighty Thor’s turn, Natalie Portman let the CGI crew do the heavy lifting for her, digitally adding biceps and abs and attaching muscles to her body, which for any man who was under pressure to flex his body, Had to be a little annoying extra mile to get extra definition. She tried, but still needed a lot of help from the special effects to make her look imposing. According to the results, it could be the last time. There’s still no reason for her to put herself through that strain when the focus on muscular women is so minimal. Don’t expect that from Gal Gadot or Brie Larson either. The mesomorphic appearance is necessary only for men.

For whatever reason, be it personal preference or vanity, this one issue is in stark contradiction to the notion of gender norms. Because if you’re a young actor today, the chance of getting an appearance in an action movie with a body like Roger Moore or Errol Flynn is nil. It’s enough to make you nostalgic for the days of Jack Nicholson, when a guy with a receding hairline, a crazy laugh, and no torso could be a tough guy. Now, even an established TV star and 60-year-old author like Bill Odenkirk is forced to get his haircut to ever have a chance to star in a mainstream film. drama kids characters stand on the wall; Ditch the Stanislavski classes and grab some kettlebells before it’s too late.

Lindsay Lowe

Lindsay Lowe is a Worldtimetodays U.S. News Reporter based in Canada. His focus is on U.S. politics and the environment. He has covered climate change extensively, as well as healthcare and crime. Lindsay Lowe joined Worldtimetodays in 2023 from the Daily Express and previously worked for Chemist and Druggist and the Jewish Chronicle. He is a graduate of Cambridge University. Languages: English. You can get in touch with me by emailing:

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