Friday, March 23, 2007

Wanted: Mature Men

There was an article in a Canadian newspaper, The National Post, about Harlequin's decision to cease using modeling agencies when it comes to finding men for their covers. (Read the entire article here.)

The article quotes Deborah Peterson, a creative designer for Harlequin, who says, "We usually cast through modelling agencies, but... what we're finding is the models we're getting from the casting agencies are getting progressively younger and younger, and skinnier and skinnier."

I, for one, am glad they're making this change.

See, in my mind, my heroes are always at least thirty to thirty-five, sometimes even older. Given that I write a lot of medievals, I do tend to say they're younger, but I imagine them all as mature, self-confident men -- a confidence that comes from experience of the world and a certain amount of success; it comes with age.

So, and to use actors as examples, while I think Jamie Bamber and Ioan Gruffudd are good-looking, I don't want them on my covers. To me, they seem too young.

Here are some others I would put in the "mature man" category, in no particular order:

Gerard Butler

I don't know how old he is, but I thought he was a "mature man" the first time I saw him, in Timeline.

Richard Armitage

This guy puts the tense in intense -- in a good way.

Ray Stevenson, who managed to be both cute and frightening in Rome. He also made one heck of a strong, silent type in King Arthur. His character broke my heart with his interaction with the little boy.

Sam Neil

His portrayal of Charles II inspired me to write about Restoration England.

Other mature actors of note: Russell Crowe, Clive Owen, Daniel Craig, Gregory Peck, Basil Rathbone, Spencer Tracy, Humphrey Bogart

You'll notice that most of these guys aren't conventionally handsome. It's their attitude, their confidence, that I appreciate.

Rocky from Survivor should take note that most of these guys take roles that don't require them to talk a lot, either.

Truly self-confident men don't have to.


Anonymous said...

And don't forget Sam Sheppard. Now there's a man!!!


Anonymous said...

You really have to check out Richard in the new series of Robin Hood! I'm still trying to figure out why Marian prefers boy band Robin to all man leather clad Guy.

Margaret, you have great taste in men!


Margaret Moore said...

I would love to watch the new Robin Hood, and yes, give me the man over the callow youth, but alas, I don't get that channel! I'm just going to have to wait for the DVDs. :-( I have to wait for the second season of Rome, too.

I'm going to have to Google Sam Sheppard. The name's ringing a bell, but I'm getting a visual.

Amy Ruttan said...

GB is about 38 I think, so mature for what you picture your heroes, and I always picture my heroes like those fantastic men you listed here.

I am sooo glad that Harlequin is doing this. Brenda Harlen commented to me at Test the Nation about her book "Marriage Solution" and how child like her hero looked. It's true, he's handsome but he looks like a teenager to me.

For medievil, more mature is better. :)

Christine said...

I agree! I love a more mature looking hero. It actually bothers me a bit when the hero (or heroine) on the cover doesn't quite match my mental image when I'm reading. I know covers are really just marketing ploys, but come on!

Anonymous said...


Sam's an actor and writes plays.

He's married or involved with Jessica Lange many years). He's been in a few movies. He's got the neatest smile and a snaggle tooth. Sexiest bum in bluejeans...has a slow male burn that gets under your skin.


Kimber said...

I blame the current boy man craze on J.T. (Justin Timberlake). He is cute, sure, but too young looking to be sexy.

I don't usually look at the men on the cover. They are never how I picture the hero in my head. I tend to make them a bit more exotic looking (understandable considering my last name is Chin).