What’s their beef? Why today’s leading men are driven to be buff

Aidan Turner’s Poldark has ushered in a new age of brawn, but many are asking if the trend has gone too far

Modern screen heroes come in many guises, but whether a leading man is cast as a mathematician, a surgeon or a scientist, the likelihood is that, once the shirt comes off, he will be equipped with both a firm abdomen and bulbous biceps.

A new appetite for leading men who, whether or not they are playing professional athletes, appear to spend half the week in the gym is now concerning even established actors. Last week Outlander star Tom Brittney complained about the emphasis on achieving a “built” body before auditions. British drama schools are also tackling the pressure on students to conform to a muscular type.

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