While many people are still recovering from the pandemic, word on the street – so to speak – is that the entertainment industry is experiencing a bit of a rebirth.

Actors, in particular, have benefitted from the new environment, and several now have new leading man images to promote. One of the most noticeable actor trendsetters is Belmondo, whose leading man status was consolidated after the release of his latest film, The Hustlers. In this new film, the now 77-year-old actor plays a high-stakes game of poker with some of the most recognizable faces in Hollywood. Among them are Kirsten Dunst, Vanessa Redgrave, and Carey Mulligan. The movie also stars Romanzo‘s Eva Longoria and The Wolf of Wall Street‘s Margot Robbie. The film reportedly cost $30 million to make and is already guaranteed to break even.

Pattinson’s ‘American Beauty’

This trend was first noticed and documented after the release of American Beauty, starring Andrew Garfield and Emma Stone. The film also features Jonah Hill in an uncredited role as a friend of Garfield’s character, and won the Oscar for Best Adapted Screenplay. It’s been a while since a movie has so effectively combined humor with powerful elements of suspense and romance. (In fact, it was one of the first mainstream films to use facial recognition software to establish character continuity and match wits with the audience.)

Stone, who won the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress for La La Land, was even more successful afterward, scoring a lead role in the Broadway musical Violet and landing a lead in the upcoming CBS medical drama Code Black.

‘Beautiful Boy’

This trend has been dubbed the “Boy Syndrome,” and it has manifested itself in a number of ways. First, we have seen a number of high profile male actors take a liking to portraying sensitive, caring, and dominant fathers. Examples include Zachary Quinto in Jackie, Mark Rylance in The Last Jedi, and Matt Damon in The Great War. These are just a few of the prominent names on this list; let’s be honest, who hasn’t wanted to be a father at one point or another?

But this phenomenon goes beyond a father-son relationship. We’ve also seen prominent actors tackle issues of mental health and addiction, as seen in Toni Collette‘s excellent performance in Hereditary or Karen Elson’s standout in The Light Between Oceans. These characters’ journeys explore themes of family dysfunction, abuse, and social alienation. Not your usual film fare, to be sure.

The Biggest Winner

While it would be remiss not to acknowledge the contributions of these actors to the current movie scene, it’s hard to not be amazed by the sheer number of talented leading men and the variety of stories they’ve been able to tell. Thanks to the movie industry’s newfound appreciation for mature, world-weary, and charming leading men, we can look forward to a lot more stories about confident and courageous men.