Whoever said that real men don't cry obviously haven't seen the following movies. With a reputation for toughness and masculinity, these burly actors clearly aren't afraid to show their soft side as they let loose a stream of tears in some of pop culture’s most renowned movies.
Some of these actors are better known for their prominent roles as sober characters who seem to be impervious to tears. Because of this, their more sentimental movie roles may come as a shocker to people who aren’t aware that these actors do, in fact, have a soft side.
In most cases, society considers crying for men as an indication of social weakness; however, new findings are showing that crying for men is becoming more socially acceptable.
Whether it’s tears of joy, sadness, or loss, watching these movies where grown men tear up can make you question the old adage that describes men to be stoic and unfeeling. After watching some of these movies, a viewer might come to the conclusion that, perhaps, real men do cry. These are 10 Male Actors Who Always Cry in Their Movies.
10 Hugh Jackman
This Australian actor has graced the screens since 1999 when he debuted as Wace in Erskineville Kings. Since then, he’s been known to play the role of Wolverine in X-Men. His other notable films include Kate and Leopold and Australia.
But Jackman isn’t just renowned for his film participation, People Magazine named him the “Sexiest Man Alive” in 2008, aligning the actor to the likes of Brad Pitt and Matt Damon who were past winners of the title.
The actor lives in Melbourne, Australia, and has two adopted children: Oscar Maximilian and Ava Eliot.
Watch Hugh Jackman cry a river in The Prestige, Les Misérables, and Prisoners.
9 Robert Downey Jr.
With a quirky sense of a humour, Robert Downey Jr. has been delighting the audience of film from a very young age. His father, Robert Downey Sr. was a filmmaker and it is from his father’s film Pound that Downey Jr. made his first debut.
At a young age, the actor was constantly surrounded by actors and actresses, with his mother Elsie—being an actress herself—instilling a passion for the stage in her son. Downey Jr. left high school at age 16 to focus on the art of acting, which later paid off when he starred in films such as Firstborn and Baby, It’s You.
Watch Robert Downey Jr. sob in The Soloist, Tropic Thunder, and The Singing Detective.
8 Leonardo DiCaprio
Despite his success in high-grossing movies like Shutter Island and Inception, DiCaprio has never won an Oscar to date. The actor has been nominated four times for the award but his nominations were fruitless, leading fans of DiCaprio to question if the deserving actor will ever set his hands on the golden trophy.
An A-lister, DiCaprio has enjoyed a prolific career in acting, having starred in 36 movies and numerous TV shows during his 24-year career span.
Watch Leonardo DiCaprio break down in Shutter Island, Titanic, and The Basketball Diaries.
7 Matt Damon
Perhaps most well-known for his role as Will Hunting —a brilliant mathematician working as a school janitor — in Good Will Hunting, Matt Damon has displayed an incredible capacity to showcase a wide range of emotion through out his career.
Damon attended Harvard University to study acting but later left the university to pursue his career in acting. Following this decision, Damon officially gained recognition in the late 90s for his roles in Rainmaker and Goodwill Hunting; in the latter movie, Damon won an Oscar for Best Original Screenplay.
Damon has consistently proved himself to be one of the pop culture’s most iconic action film actors.
Watch Matt Damon ball his eyes out in Good Will Hunting, All the Pretty Horses, and Saving Private Ryan.
6 Tom Cruise
Known for his roles in action films like The Edge of Tomorrow, past marriages to actresses Nicole Kidman and Katie Holmes, and affiliation with Scientology, Tom Cruise’s love for acting was sparked when a school teacher encouraged him to audition for a musical entitled ‘Guys and Dolls.’
His early films include Endless Love with fellow actress Brooke Shields, and Taps, where he co-starred with actor Sean Penn. After such movie stints, Cruise’s career took off after starring in Risky Business in 1983; the film had a total grossing of $65 million dollars.
After the birth of his first child, Suri Cruise, in 2006, Cruise has supposedly been engaged in recent controversy regarding custody battles over Suri with his ex-wife Katie Holmes.
Watch Tom Cruise show his soft side in Jerry Maguire, Magnolia, and Cocktails.
5 Sean Penn
After marrying Madonna in 1985, Sean Penn incurred a bad boy image during the years that followed. His marriage to Madonna lasted for four years, and was highly publicized due to the turbulent nature of the relationship.
His 34-day jail sentence in 1987 further augmented Penn’s bad boy persona when he physically assaulted a man who was attempting to photograph him. Since then, the actor has enjoyed a Golden Globe nomination for best supporting actor and has appeared in films such as She’s So Lovely, along side John Travolta.
Watch Sean Penn gush tears in Dead Man Walking, I am Sam, Mystic River, and The Assassination of Richard Nixon.
4 Brad Pitt
Reputed for his marriage to actress Angelina Jolie and brood of children, Brad Pitt has made a name for himself as one of film’s most bad-ass men. From roles in Fight Club to World War Z, this actor has enjoyed a variety of film opportunities where he has successfully portrayed his characters’ mettle.
However, early career aspirations did not include acting for Pitt. At a young age, Pitt aspired to become an advertising art director which lead him to enroll in college. After discovering his love for acting, Pitt dropped out of college to pursue an acting career in Los Angeles; he was two credits short of graduating.
Watch Brad Pitt cry his eyes out in Legends of the Fall, Se7en, and Babel.
3 Tom Hanks
Tom Hanks owes his career beginnings to the Great Lakes Shakespeare Festival, after performing for the company in 1977. He spent his summers acting in Shakespearian productions while simultaneously attending the California State University’s theatre program.
Some notable awards that Hanks has received during his career are the Cleveland Critics Circle Award for Best Actor, and an Academy Award for his role in Big. He later won an Oscar for portraying the lovable character Forrest Gump in the movie of the same name.
Watch Tom Hanks tear up in Forrest Gump, Captain Phillips, and Saving Private Ryan.
2 Mel Gibson
Film actor, director, and producer, Mel Gibson has starred in various brawny roles. Mad Max, and Braveheart serve as good examples of the actor’s strong on-screen performances of tough-as-steel characters. But the American actor does know how to shed a tear - and a believable one, too.
Sure, Gibson has sort of fallen off the map in recent years due to his public shenanigans that offended many people, including the Jewish community in the U.S. But that doesn't mean we don't appreciate his uncanny ability to make the audience buy into his movies.
Watch Mel Gibson weep and wail in Ransom, The Patriot, and Signs.
1 Robert De Niro
This Oscar-winning, versatile actor is a prominent figure in films like The Godfather: Part II. His stern features and tough-guy persona makes him a shoe-in for the gangster type roles he takes on in Goodfellas and The Godfather: Part II.
Born to Robert De Niro Sr. and Virginia Admiral, Robert De Niro has been reportedly smitten by movies starring Greta Garbo at a young age. He made his debut on the stage whilst playing Lion in The Wizard of Oz.
After deciding to drop out of school in order to focus on studying acting, De Niro enrolled himself in the Stella Adler Conservatory. He later had a brief stint with Lee Strasberg at the Actor’s Studio and landed his first role in Three Rooms in Manhattan.
Watch Robert De Niro shed tears in Raging Bull, Goodfellas, City by the Sea, and Analyze This.