Actors and actresses often play larger than life characters on screen. They play a wide range of characters and take on various roles. They’re sometimes associated with a character that they portrayed on the big screen. Sometimes they’ll become associated with a goofy character or a hopeless romantic. Then there are the action heroes that blow things up and get into wild fights. Action movies are generally fun and filled with car chases, explosions and intense brawls. These actors and actress have become synonymous with the action hero they portrayed.
Despite playing a fearless butt kicker, they’re just ordinary people doing a job. However, some actors are much more like their characters than some people might realize. At the same time, there are a plethora of actors that are nothing like the tough and mean character's they portray. Despite playing some of the toughest characters in film, many of these actors are the opposite. They don’t have the same skills and couldn’t survive a real fight. On the other hand, there are some celebs that are extremely skilled and could fight an army. Here is a look at 15 Celebs Who Are Total Softies (15 Who Are Actually Tough).
30 softie - Matt Damon
Matt Damon has starred in several critically acclaimed films. He’s such an incredible actor that he’s even been able to convince audiences he’s a tough guy. Damon has played a wide range of characters. He’s famous for playing former CIA operative Jason Bourne in the Bourne series. He’s played several other street-smart tough guys. However, Damon has very little in common with the characters he plays. He often uses a stunt double and focuses his energy on a large number of charities.
29 tough - Charlie Hunnam
Charlie Hunnam is best known for playing the role of Jackson “Jax” Teller in the series Sons of Anarchy. He rose to fame portraying a tough biker and some of that attitude rubbed off on him. Hunnam has starred in several action and thriller films. In 2017, he starred in King Arthur: Legend of the Sword, which was directed by Guy Ritchie. During filming, Richie taught Hunnam martial arts and Hunnam boxed in preparation for the role. It paid off since he was able to fight off two separate real life robbery attempts at his home.
28 softie - Lucy Lawless
Lucy Lawless is best known for playing one of the most famous heroine’s of all time in the popular series, Xena: Warrior Princess. Lawless portrayed Xena from 1995 to 2001 to widespread praise. The series was a massive success and Lawless became a household name. She’s also appeared in several action TV shows and films. However, she admits that she’s not the fighter that Xena was. She has no problems admitting that her stunt double did all the fighting and risk taking. Lawless always uses a stunt double when she takes on action roles.
27 tough - Caity Lotz
Don’t let Caity Lotz’s good looks and acting skills fool you. In a real-life fight, she could cause some serious damage and doesn’t need the help of the Green Arrow. Lotz is best known for her role as Sara Lance/White Canary in the CW’s Arrowverse. She’s often seen fighting alongside Arrow, The Flash, Supergirl and the Legends of Tomorrow. Lotz started her career as a backup dancer for Lady Gaga and Avril Lavigne. However, she also trained in martial arts and is trained in Muay Thai, Krav Mago and Taekwondo.
26 softie - Harrison Ford
Harrison Ford falls in the category of being a bit of a tough guy and a big softie. He’s known for portraying some of cinema’s greatest heroes, including, Han Solo, Indiana Jones, and Rick Deckard. In real life, he’s saved many lives using his helicopter. However, Ford struggles with talking to people in social situations. He had no problem performing but hated doing interviews. He publicly admitted that he has intense social anxiety and avoided the talk show circuit for as long as possible.
25 tough - Michael Jai White
Michael Jai White has appeared in several popular films. He’s best known for his roles in Spawn, Mortal Kobmat: Legacy and Tyson. He’s had a successful career portraying rough and tough characters. However, he’s just as rough and tough off-screen. In fact, White is an accomplished martial artist and began training at the age of 7. He holds black belts in seven different disciples, including, Kyokushin, Taekwondo, Wushu, Kobudō, Tang Soo Do, and Shōtōkan. In fact, he’s much more dangerous off screen than on screen.
24 softie - Samuel L. Jackson
Samuel L. Jackson has made a career out of portraying some of the toughest characters on the big screen. Hebportrayed Jules Winnfield in Pulp Fiction, Mace Windu in Stars Wars, Nick Fury in the Marvel Cinematic Universe and John Shaft II in Shaft. Turns out that Jackson isn't as tough as the characters he plays on TV. Jackson had some run-ins with the law but after he became famous he became a big softie. He now spends most of his day golfing and is known for wearing unique golf attire.
23 tough - Mark Wahlberg
Mark Wahlberg has starred in a number of popular films and often plays the role of a tough guy. It’s not hard for him to act like a tough guy since he is one. As a child, he had several run-ins with the law. As time went on, Wahlberg had to come to terms with various things he had done in the past, and now he is working on being better. But it doesn't take away from his tough guy attitude.
22 softie - Mila Kunis
Mila Kunis is best known for her roles in goofy and romantic comedies. However, she’s branched out into action roles, including, Max Payne, Jupiter Ascending and The Book of Eli. She openly admits that she’s not the fighter type. During an interview with Conan O'Brien, she revealed that she requires a stunt double but admits she’s great at giving a mean stare. During Max Payne, she required additional firearms training so she could shoot without blinking.
21 tough - Mickey Rourke
In the 80’s, Mickey Rourke was considered one of the best looking leading men in Hollywood. Underneath the good looks is one of the toughest men to walk through Hollywood. Prior to acting, Rouke was a successful amateur boxer with a record of 27 wins and 3 losses. After becoming a world famous actor, Rourke decided to enter professional boxing. In 2008, his career was revived after starring in the critically acclaimed film The Wrestler. Pro wrestler Afa trained Rourke in preparation for the role.
20 softie - Robert De Niro
Robert De Niro is widely regarded as one of the finest actors of his generation. He’s starred in several critically acclaimed films. He made a name in Hollywood portraying some of cinemas toughest characters in such films as, Taxi Driver, Raging Bull, Goodfellas and Cape Fear. De Niro has an incredible ability to bring these tough characters to life. However, De Niro isn’t nearly as tough as the characters he portrays. His friends describe him as being passionate but a somber individual.
19 tough - Steve Buscemi
Steve Buscemi is a world-famous actor that has appeared in a number of memorable roles. He’s taken on many roles but rarely plays the tough guy. He’s only portrayed a tough guy a few times but is a tough guy in real life. Prior to becoming an actor, he worked as a firefighter. After the 9/11 attacks, he volunteered to help with the rescue effort. He spent 12 hours a day helping people trapped in debris and rubble. He risked his life but refused to discuss his efforts in the media because he wasn't looking for any reward.
18 softie - Liam Neeson
Liam Neeson has a very particular set of specific skills, skills he acquired over a very long career. However, those skills are his incredible acting talents and not his ability to destroy a man. He’s best known for his tough guy roles in the Taken franchise, Batman Begins and The Phantom Menace. He’s such a great actor that he convinced everyone he’s fearless. However, Neeson is nothing like the characters he portrays. He openly admitted that he has an intense fear of heights. He even admitted that he can't stand on a chair to change a light bulb and once said he's a “wimp about heights”.
17 tough - sean bean
Sean Bean is famous for playing some of the toughest characters in movies and television. Turns out that off-screen Bean is tougher than the characters he plays. Once at a bar, Bean confronted a man who had unkind words for his date. The man got a little heavy with Bean, but he was able to avoid a huge fight, didn't need to go to the hospital, and was able to enjoy the rest of the night. Don't go up against Ned Stark!
16 softie - Ben Affleck
Ben Affleck has taken on many different roles. He’s starred in several action films and has played two different superheroes. In 2003, before the Marvel Cinematic Universe existed, Affleck starred as Matt Murdock/Daredevil in the film Daredevil. He currently portrays Bruce Wayne/Batman in the DC Extended Universe. Batman faces his fears and doesn’t mind flying in the air but Affleck does. When Ben was nine he was on a plane that was struck by lightning and caught fire. He's been scared to fly ever since.
15 tough - Danny Trejo
Danny Trejo appears to be one of the toughest and scariest men in the world. That’s probably because he is one of the toughest and scariest men. Trejo has appeared in several popular films and TV shows, such as, Heat, Desperado and Breaking Bad. In the 60’s and 70’s, Trejo had several run-ins with the law. He served several prison stints including in San Quentin Prison. It was there that he first started boxing and became the prison’s welterweight and lightweight champions.
14 softie - Kate Beckinsale
Kate Beckinsale has a wide range of characters she can play. She first found success in romantic comedies but proved to be more than just that. She branched out and took on several action roles. She’s starred in several action films, including, Underworld, Van Helsing and Total Recall. However, she’s admitted that she’s terrified of doing her own stunts. In fact, she admitted that she was even nervous to star in Underworld: Blood Wars and felt she couldn’t meet expectations. However, her ability to convincingly play a tough character proves how good she really is.
13 tough - Dolph Lundgren
Dolph Lundgren is a giant of a man that has made a career out of portraying the toughest and meanest characters in films. Technically, he’s not acting since he really is that tough and mean. Lundgren is best known for his roles in Rocky IV, The Masters of the Universe and The Expendables. He began training in martial arts as a kid and started lifting weights when he was a teenager. Lundgren has a 3rd dan black belt in Kyokushin karate. He competed all over the world and was a European Champion in the early 80’s.
12 softie - Sylvester Stallone
Sylvester Stallone is one of the most famous 80’s action heroes. He’s best known for his roles in the Rocky and Rambo franchises. However, Stallone isn’t nearly as tough as Rocky Balboa. Heavyweight boxer Earnie Shavers auditioned for the role of James “Clubber” Lang in Rocky III. During the sparing session, Shavers would only hit Stallone with a soft jab. Stallone kept asking for more so Shavers unloaded and Stallone hit the floor. He went to the bathroom and was in there for a long time. Mr. T ended up in the role of Clubber Lang.
11 tough - Jean-Claude Van Damme
Jean-Claude Van Damme was one of the biggest actions heroes of the 80’s. However, unlike many other stars he really was an action hero. Van Damm began training in martial arts at the age of 12. He would go on to have a successful kickboxing career. He later embarked on an acting career and starred in several films, such as Bloodsport. Double Impact and Universal Solider. His martial arts skills helped make him a major Hollywood star. Van Damm is tougher than the characters he played and he's portrayed a lot of tough guys.
10 softie - Hugh Jackman
For 17 years, Hugh Jackman portrayed one of cinema’s toughest and grumpiest superheroes. Hugh Jackman's best known for his portrayal of Logan/Wolverine in the X-Men franchise. Wolverine is known for being a tough guy that beats up everyone. However, Jackman is more than just a mutant that strikes fear into bad guys hearts. In fact, Jackman is an accomplished actor and Broadway performer. He’s appeared in several musicals and Broadway plays. Nobody has to imagine Wolverine in Les Misérables, it actually happened.
9 tough - Chuck Norris
Chuck Norris is excellent at portraying tough guys because he is a tough guy. He began training in martial arts while serving in the United States Air Force. He has a black belt in Judo and Brazilian Jiu Jitsu. He had his big breakthrough in the Bruce Lee film Way of the Dragon and later starred in Walker, Texas Ranger. Norris isn’t only dangerous on screen he’s dangerous off. He continues to train intensely and can easily defend himself. He also opened his own school of fighting, Chun Kuk Do.
8 softie - Steven Seagal
Steven Seagal has made a career out of portraying a tough guy. He’s best known for his martial arts skills that have certainly helped him in his Hollywood career. Between 1971 and 1973 he moved to Japan where he studied aikido and eventually received a black belt. However, he claims to have studied with Morihei Ueshiba but he died in 1969, which makes many question Seagal’s claims.
7 tough - Ronda Rousey
Ronda Rousey is now focusing on her acting and WWE careers. She often portrays a rough and tough butt-kicker. However, it’s not a stretch for her to play a tough character because she’s tough in real life. She’s also a dangerous and a skilled fighter. She began training in martial arts at the age of 11. She won a bronze medal in Judo at the Beijing Olympics and is former UFC Women’s Bantamweight champion. She was one of the most dominant fighters and won 12 consecutive MMA fights. She won 11 of those in the first round and 9 of those with an armbar submission.
6 softie - Tom Hardy
Tom Hardy is known for playing the tough guy role better than most. He’s portrayed a tough guy in several popular films, such as, Warrior, The Dark Knight Rises, Mad Max: Fury Road and The Revenant. However, he admits that he’s nothing like the tough guy’s he plays. In fact, he noted that he “mimics” tough guys on screen. He’s struggled with insecurities for years and avoided going to the gym. He felt intimidated by tough guys in real life and made up for that by mimicking tough guys on screen.
5 tough - Ed O’Neill
Ed O’Neill is best known for portraying Al Bundy in the hit sitcom Married…with Children and Jay Pritchett in Modern Family. He’s best known for playing comedic roles in sitcoms but don’t be fooled. Ed can cause some serious damage. For roughly 22 years, O’Neill has trained in martial arts and has a black belt in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu. In fact, he trains under the tutelage of Rorion Gracie of the legendary Gracie Family. It’d be wise to avoid any altercations with O’Neill. Al and Jay might seem like an easy win but they’ll surprise you.
4 softie - Jennifer Lawrence
Jennifer Lawrence is known for playing tough and fearless characters. She portrayed Katniss Everdeen in The Hunger Games and Mystique in the X-Men franchise. She’s often seen easily defeating her enemies. However, in real life, she’s proven that she doesn’t have the balance to actually hold her own in a fight. She admits to being goofy and clumsy in real life. In fact, she’s fallen in public on several occasions, most notably at the Oscars when she won Best Actress in 2013.
3 tough - Jackie Chan
Jackie Chan is an international phenomenon known all over the world. He's known for combining martial arts, risky stunts, and comedy. He’s widely regarded as one of the toughest people in Hollywood. He’s starred in a number of popular films, such as, Rumble in the Bronx and the Rush Hour franchise. He’s known for performing his owns stunts no matter how dangerous. He’s also trained in martial arts in several different skills, including, Hapkido, Jeet Kune Do, Karate, Taekwondo, and Judo. It’s safe to assume it’s a bad idea to test Chan’s toughness.
2 softie - Vin Diesel
Vin Diesel became world famous for playing no-nonsense tough guys. He’s best known for his roles as Dominic Toretto in Fast and the Furious and Xander Cage in XXX. He often plays a character that’s a skilled fighter that never backs down. However, behind the scenes, he’s a big softie and is nothing like the characters he portrays. In fact, Vin is a massive Dungeons and Dragons fan. He admits that he's not a tough guy in real life and more of a nerd. He doesn’t hide the fact that he’s a super fan and has been playing D&D for over 20 years.
1 tough - Gal Gadot
Gal Gadot currently portrays Wonder Woman in the DC Extended Universe. She’s been universally praised for her performances. Gadot has appeared in several actions films as well. She also worked as a model and won Miss Israel 2004. She doesn’t just play Wonder Woman she is Wonder Woman. Prior to her acting career, Gadot served two years in the Israel Defense Force. In preparation for her role as Wonder Woman, she trained intensely in sword fighting, kickboxing, Kung-Fu and Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu. In other words, do not challenge Gal Gadot to a fight.