Entertainment Weekly created this featured video by assembling several male character actors who were in San Diego for Comic-Con. It seeks to draw attention to the diminishing numbers of Hollywood roles requiring a common look–that is, males who might have a receding hairline, or a large Adam’s apple, an imperfect jawline, who may have packed on a few extra pounds, or who present a lanky physique. Basically, they look like most men that you know.

With all the movies that are released, you’d think there’d be plenty of room for the variety of shapes, sizes, and eccentricities that one finds in mass quantities throughout the U.S.. But the statistics reveal an undeniable trend: the six major studios are releasing approximately 30-percent fewer films than they did seven years ago, and the movies they do produce focus on big-budget concept films or franchises based on existing intellectual property like comic books, movies from previous decades, and young-adult novels. Couple that with the fact that the American movie market now comprises less than a third of global box-office profits. As a result, the studios are tending toward films featuring massive explosions, doomsday storylines, and fierce car-chase scenes. And why not? These violent scenarios rake in the desired higher profits from countries like China, India, Europe, and Brazil. But likewise, these box-office bonanzas are almost certain to star strapping hunks with eight-pack abs. Think of the more recent top earners like The Avengers, Transformers: Dark of the Moon, Thor, and The Hunger Games and its sequel.

In the quest to cast the beefy roles, studios are increasingly preferring to take chances on lesser-known actors who come with a less expensive price tag than, say, Mark Wahlberg, Brad Pitt, or Christian Bale. Take, for example, Chris Hemsworth from Thor and Henry Cavil from Man of Steel, both of whom were less known in the industry. The mega-budget action movies are so expensive to produce that studios are increasingly looking to cut costs on the casting. In response to the collective trends, numerous actors are lifting weights and eating specialized diets to attain that ultra-fit A-lister look as that’s where the work seems to be. How long will this trend continue? It remains to be seen, but it seems clear that it will take a significant pattern of studio profits taking a hit before this paradigm goes away.

Until then, many actors, even the most gawky or portly, are capable of being transformed for a role if they have the will power to go through the intense physical training. But there are many actors who are not interested in transforming into beefcakes. Take Rob Huebel, Marc Evan Jackson, Donald Faison, Matt Walsh, Doug Jones, Rob Corddry, David Costabile, Silas Weir Mitchell, Anthony Head, and Donal Logue. They are looking to be cast in significant Hollywood roles based on their acting abilities–and regardless of the fact that their physiques are not Herculean.

What do you think? Do you wish Hollywood would heed their call and cast skilled character actors–even if they’re not brawny–in the next big-budget films? Or do you love the current action-hero movies, and like having a leg up on the competition because of your strong build?

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