I’ve written in the past that perhaps the greatest sign of Hollywood’s racism is the deeply boring white actors it gives chance after chance when compared to the wildly talented black actors it refuses to aggressively promote and develop. But the industry is determined to keep giving these fellows chances. So not to get all Regina George about it, but here are five boring white dudes I wish Hollywood would stop trying to make happen. Because to some degree or another, it’s never going to happen. I’m not saying these men don’t deserve to find work, or that they’re bad people (with one exception). But if Hollywood has limited capital and advertising dollars to spend, it could be spending it more interesting places.
1. David Lyons: There is no penance too great to be done for The Cape, NBC’s epically awful attempt at a superhero story. There’s nothing wrong with trying to make a show that looks and feels like old-timey comics, but it doesn’t work when a stump is standing in for your lead actor. But Lyons is getting another shot, in the J.J. Abrams show that people are still insisting is about “a world where all forms of energy have mysteriously cdased to exist.” I guess from one ludicrous premise to the next?
2. Alex Pettyfer: Need a generic-looking dude for your adaptation of a book that came out of James Frey’s Young Adult fiction factory? For your silly remake of Beauty and the Beast? Pettyfer is your dude, as long as you don’t mind him acting like a diva on-set (or the rumors that he stalks his ex-girlfriends). Bland handsomeness is a dime a dozen. If only Hollywood was willing to jettison the bland jerks, and recognize that they can get bland personalities to match, and at least get to neutral.
3. Jason O’Mara: To be fair, Terra Nova had problems other than its totally generic leading man, including expensive special effects paired with a total lack of careful thought about what to do with its promising concept. But O’Mara didn’t exactly bring anything special or original to the party. But never fear: of course he’s getting another shot, this time, in a new show from CBS about former Las Vegas Mayor Ralph Lamb.
4. Sam Worthington: Perhaps the most egregious example on this list, Worthington’s the face of two franchises — Avatar and the Titans movies, despite an utter lack of a personality or much in the way of a range of facial expressions. Neither franchise is particularly dependent on Worthington’s performance, but man I’d like a more interesting actor to get at least a bit of the credit for carrying them.
5. Zac Efron: Yeah, I know, there’s the teen and tween factor. But strip Efron of his trademark swoop of hair and the opportunity to sing overblown songs on the Disney channel, and it’s not particularly clear what his appeal is or his talents are. Sure, there’s a viable romantic comedy market out there, but people like Channing Tatum, who have actual personalities, might have an up on Efron there. We ladies? Not stupid.