The movies are awash with heroes we’d all love to be. Whether they’re swashbuckling and daring like Captain Jack Sparrow, cool and sophisticated like Danny Ocean, or intensely intelligent like Russell Crowe’s John Nash in A Beautiful Mind, male audience members have their pick of aspirational characters to choose from. However, none of these characters make our top six list of male movie characters whose lives we’d happily swap for our own.
Maximus Decimus Meridius
Maximus Decimus Meridius, from the film Gladiator, is a fictional character thought to be based on a number of real life men. In 2000, when Russell Crowe strode into his role, he was as revered for his wordy delivery as he was for his muscle-bound body. From the moment he defiantly introduces himself with that fateful speech beginning “My name is Maximus Decimus Meridius, Commander of the Armies of the North”, and ends “I will have my vengeance, in this life or the next,” the audience knows that this is a bloke who means serious business.
When the first Star Wars film (Star Wars: A New Hope) was released in 1977, the character of Luke Skywalker captured hearts and minds the world over. Played by a fresh-faced Mark Hamill, the Jedi Master tries to secure safe passage with Obi-Wan Kenobi and soon joins forces with new friends Princess Leia and Han Solo.
Whether he’s skiing masterfully down a dramatic mountainside with a beautiful woman by his side or bravely taking his chances in the box office hit Casino Royale that grossed at over 550 million worldwide, James Bond is the smoothest man on the planet. Agent 007 started life in British novelist Ian Fleming’s acclaimed series of books, the first of which to hit the big screen was Dr. No in 1962.
Bruce Wayne is of course the alter-ego of Batman, that darkest and most brooding of comic book superheroes. In recent years, it is the actor Christian Bale who has breathed life into the role of ‘The Dark Knight.’ However, this year, Ben Affleck will tackle the part of the caped crusader – something Batman fans are looking forward to.
Invariably covered in filth, battered and bruised en route to the next adventure, Harrison Ford’s Indiana Jones was voted top film character of all time in a 2015 poll. The actor played the character four times, taking the archaeologist adventurer on quests to locate precious religious objects, rescue children from dangerous cults, return precious stones to their rightful place and find priceless crystal skulls.
With his curled lip, outsized shoulders and fast feet, Sylvester Stallone has played the Rocky title role a total of seven times, with varying degrees of critical approval. Whichever movie from the franchise you choose, there’s no way to deny that Rocky Balboa is a movie icon and someone male audiences will always seek to emulate.