David Haglund, at Slate, writes about Tom Hanks, Jimmy Stewart, and their “Everyman” roles:
… Therein lies the problem: Tom Hanks is not an “Everyman,” and neither was Jimmy Stewart. What they both are is affable, handsome-but-not-too-handsome heterosexual American white guys with middle class backgrounds and largely British ancestors who generally portray good guys in the movies….
… That is a very specific thing! And it is no coincidence, of course, that these are the sorts of men that the word “Everyman” typically follows around….
So, my question to the rest of you is: Can you think of Everyman characters, in Hollywood movies, who are not affable, handsome-but-not-too-handsome heterosexual American white guys with middle class backgrounds and largely British ancestors? If so, name some of these Everyman characters. I’m asking because I’m curious as to how specifically, in the minds of a somewhat varied set of people, “Everyman” means the thing that Haglund describes.
Also let me know if you see any actor or actress other than Tom Hanks or Jimmy Stewart as an actor particularly good at playing “Everyman.”