Hollywood’s 15 Manliest Men

There are guys, then there are guys’ guys. There are men, then there are manly men. Hollywood is full of guys who will be guys, regardless of politically correct agendas. These are guys who will slug beers, talk about cars, motorcycles, sports, women and then shrug off the stereotype with a perfectly timed one-liner. In fairness to the following guys, they’re exceptionally well-rounded dudes (for the most part), and definitely manly. Tipping the cap to the dwindling era of chauvinism, here’s to Hollywood’s 15 Manliest Men.

15. Ewan McGregor

What? Ewan McGregor is a manly-man? You best recognize. It’s easy to be duped by the emotional accessibility of an actor, and believing they’re extremely sentimental; however, a guy who can cry easily on screen doesn’t equate to a lack of manliness. There’s that whole… make believe world they’re living in at the time. In reality, Ewan McGregor is an avid motorcycle enthusiast, and has trotted the globe on a motorcycles twice, calling roadside camping digs home. Whether trekking through Siberia or Africa on two wheels, there are few activities that could qualify someone for such a list with such ease. And the guy is Scottish… those two variables lock him in even before considering his three stints as Obi-Wan Kenobi.

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14. Josh Brolin

Josh Brolin is quite the skilled make-believe artist, but considering his past, his role in No Country For Old Men may not have been much of a stretch. The beer-guzzlin’, gettin’ shot at, runnin’ from the law and the lawless, Llewelyn Moss, was a Texas version of Josh’s life as a teen in California. Josh is no stranger to such roles, having played the alpha male since he was a teenager in The Goonies, but he was once pretty rough and tumble in real life. Growing up in Templeton, CA, just outside of San Luis Obispo, Josh was easily categorized in the file labeled “boys will be boys.” From surfing to stealing cars in order to afford drugs, Josh lived a life of misadventure. Fortunately, he lived to tell his tales, and has cleaned up quite well.

Photo by REX

13. Vin Diesel

Vin Diesel once worked as a bouncer in New York City, and made a little side coin performing as a B-Boy at Columbus Circle and in Washington Square Park. Hey… it was the 1980s. Eventually, Vin got huge, shaved off his mini-fro, and became one of the manliest men in Hollywood history. His first major role came in Steven Spielberg’s Saving Private Ryan, and he served as the young stud (Pvt. Adrian Caparzo) of “Miller’s Men,” led by Tom Hanks to save Private Ryan. He then went on to become an action superstar, and an internationally accepted bada**. Add to it the fact that he’s one of the most beloved individuals in Hollywood, and everything is coming up Vin Diesel.

Photo by Rob Latour/REX

12. Dax Shepard

Dax Shepard needs to be in more movies. Dax is the guy that every guy wishes he were friends with. He’s a laugh-a-minute, is into fast cars, great music, social awareness and having a damn good time. Add to that the fact that Dax has access to all of those things and/or making them happen, and he’s simply “that guy.” Here’s a guy who had the opportunity to write, produce and co-direct a film, and decided to make a guilty pleasure. He and David Palmer wrote and directed Hit and Run in 2012, an adrenaline-fueled action flick starring Dax, his sweetheart, Kristen Bell, his buddy, Bradley Cooper, and some of the sweetest rides boasting more horsepower than should be allowed on public roadways. It gets a little preachy at times, but the film is a perfect example of the world according to Dax.

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11. Hugh Jackman

He can sing. He can dance. He can act. He can play Rugby. He can make women swoon. He can drink you under the table. If there is a man on this list who other dudes wish they were, it’s likely Hugh Jackman. He’s not absurdly large or lumpy, but he is likely the best athlete in this mix. He’s not androgynous good-looking… he’s every bit of a manly man. And he can grow some wicked-good sideburns for Wolverine. For those who have questioned his masculinity or sexuality without merit and merely due to some of his career choices, there’s a long-running joke between Hugh and his wife: he’s never allowed to work with Angelina Jolie. According to his wife of nearly 20 years, her husband is every bit of a regular dude when it comes to the temptation of working with beautiful women.

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10. Arnold Schwarzenegger

He smokes cigars, and drives six miles per gallon vehicles while cruising L.A. The fact that a man who was known for having the world’s most sculpted physique became an A-list actor (without any acting ability), and action superstar, then the Governor of California says it all. Does anything scream “old boys club,” more than his career track? The Austrian transplant has milked every bit of awesome from his American Dream, and he continues to rake in the cash flow, hand over fist. At 67-years-old, he’s still pumping out action flicks, and has remained involved in the political realm. Is this guy for real? Of course. If you don’t believe it, just ask him. This guy will strut with machismo and solid brass until the day he dies.

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9. Chris Hemsworth

Regardless of being named People Magazine‘s “Sexiest Man Alive,” Chris Hemsworth is cut from a different cloth — or perhaps “different metal” would be more accurate. He loves acting. He loves movies. He loves to work… but he pretty much loathes the Hollywood machine. There is no denying that Chris is aesthetically blessed, but his good looks didn’t count for much as a child, as he moved throughout Australia with his family, and spent a lot of time with cattle and buffalo. All the while, he enjoyed adventures with his brothers, Luke and Liam. Living in a land that lends itself so well to imagination, it’s not a surprise that three Hemsworth brothers became actors. At 6’3″ in height, Chris makes the average man look the size of a teenage boy.

Photo By: Michael Germana/Everett Collection

8. Tommy Lee Jones

You look at Tommy Lee Jones, and you know he’s a man’s man. In an age of “fix your face” Hollywood, it’s rather obvious that this man, pushing 70, would sooner die than have cosmetic surgery to “prolong” his career. Tommy Lee Jones has long been a character actor, nominated for four Oscars, and has recently put on his director’s hat to deliver some serious man-fodder in the world of cinema — true, independent festival darlings. But before Tommy got onto the stage, and in front of the camera, he was a Texas-raised, football lovin’, son of an oil field worker and a cop (his mom was the police officer), who went to Harvard on a need-based scholarship, and then went on to play for the football team.

Photo by Hahn-Nebinger/ABACAUSA.COM

7. Denzel Washington

Denzel Washington is 60. Is that believable? The man has an ageless quality — regardless of Internet memes attempting to paint a different picture — and the ability to inject pure manliness into any movie scene. The former collegiate basketball player got his start in acting after a friend suggested he give it a try. The friend having seen nothing more than Denzel perform in a talent show for summer campers. It has worked out well for the two-time Oscar winner, and he shows no signs of slowing down. From the despicable, dirty cop in Training Day to the unwavering and courageous black Civil War soldier in Glory, Denzel brings an unmatched bravado to each and every performance. Away from Hollywood, he doesn’t hang with the Hollywood types. He keeps his work and personal life separate.

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6. Mark Wahlberg

Mark Wahlberg is a definitive example of Boston born and bred. Tough, no-nonsense, resilient… and given to an early life of crime. It’d be fascinating to see him do “non-manly” in any given role, but even when playing the downtrodden, misguided Eddie Adams/Dirk Diggler in Boogie Nights, the best he could do was put a little more boy into the mix. Bottom line, it’s impossible to see Mark Wahlberg as anything but a hard-nosed tough-guy. He has a wonderful knack for translating his masculinity into the realm of comedy, but it’s still a shock to see him in a film when doesn’t physically punch something or aspire toward the alpha role within a scene. In real life, Mark loves to box, play basketball and do all that stuff dudes love to do.

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5. Robert Duvall

This man deserves a salute. It was no accident that he was cast in one of the most iconic war films of all-time, Apocalypse Now, playing one of the most iconic military officers in film history, Lieutenant Colonel Bill Kilgore — he just loved the smell of napalm in the morning. Robert Duvall did some legit time in United States Army before embarking on one of the most storied and critically acclaimed acting careers in cinematic history. He actually used his funds from the G.I. Bill to pay for his acting training in New York City at the famed Neighborhood Playhouse. The 84-year-old actor and director is still full of piss and vinegar, and still throwing down dynamic performances that garner the industry’s most prestigious awards and nominations.

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4. Bruce Willis

Is it his body of work, or the fact that he loves to work his ranch in his off time? Has Bruce Willis ever lost a fight in a movie? Well, there was that one issue with the asteroid, but he technically killed himself. He has been so manly for so long, he was even guest-starred in the sit-com Friends as one of the most intimidating fathers of all time, a couple years after he enjoyed his role in Armageddon… playing one of the most intimidating fathers of all time. Sure, Bruce Willis is all man, and he comes from what he describes as a long line of blue collar family members. He was born in Germany — military family — then moved back to the United States to be raised in New Jersey. And the bald head? Social studies have concluded that men with bald heads are perceived as being more manly. It’s science.

Photo by REX

3. Kurt Russell

Kurt Russell could deliver a pun as an action hero unlike any other in the business. From his turn as Snake in the Escape… films to his role as Jack Burton in Big Trouble in Little China, Kurt Russell has always been the coolest of the cool in the guy realm. But did you know… Kurt Russell was quite the baseball player back in his day. He was actually part of an independent baseball squad in the 1970s, run by his father, Bing Russell, and that was Kurt’s first love. He still considers baseball to be the “family business.” The documentary The Battered Bastards of Baseball is a perfect glimpse at the Kurt Russell that few people know.

Photo By: Dee Cercone/Everett Collection

2. Harrison Ford

Indiana Jones has been referred to as the most iconic character in movie history, and without Harrison Ford, there is no Indiana Jones. Harrison Ford has done all the stereotypical things that men do… like step away from the movie business early in his career to hand-build cabins. Then he came back to the world of cinema to play Han Solo and Indiana Jones, then many years later played Jack Ryan. The boots that Indiana Jones wears, the Alden 405 Indy Boot, are called Indy boots, because Harrison Ford insisted on wearing them during filming, because they were his favorite work boots when he built houses. This guy. And add to it all the random, out of left field, single ear piercing. In truth, that’s a nod to his dear friends, Jimmy Buffett and the late Ed Bradley.

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1. Dwayne Johnson

Do you smell what The Rock is cookin’? It’s manly. Probably BBQ flavored. Hollywood aside, is there a more manly man than Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson? Whatever that means? The former Miami Hurricane football player, turned iconic WWE wrestler, turned actor who owned the highest grossing films of 2014 is one cool dude. One of the things that makes Dwayne a real man is the fact that he is a gentleman, in every sense of the word. He’s not one to be pushed around — who would try! — but he is incredibly approachable and makes himself accessible to fans. He understands what he signed up for, where the money comes from and who to really thank. Time will tell how long he can continue being so manly, but the forecast looks promising.

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James Sheldon