Avengers: Infinity War has blown both audiences and box offices away, making $250 million in their opening weekend alone. This is not at all a surprise, considering the masterful buildup that Marvel Studios has been working on ever since The Avengers in 2010. The Avengers introduced an overarching villain to the Marvel Cinematic Universe, one that Marvel fans have been waiting to see on the big screen: Thanos, the Mad Titan.
Marvel has been slowly building its cast for their cinematic universe ever since Iron Man, and have been ever so carefully allowing cameos and short crossovers. These cameos and crossovers are intended to help audiences get used to the idea that their heroes live in one extended universe. With the success of The Avengers, Marvel was confident that they could successfully transplant and integrate all of their stories into one cohesive and ongoing narrative that would leave audiences wanting for more. More than anything, the star studded cast has helped to develop that.
These leads include the likes of Robert Downey Jr., Benedict Cumberbatch, Scarlett Johansson, Zoe Saldana, Samuel L. Jackson, and many more. These people are masters of their craft and easily convince their fans that they are indeed the mighty super heroes we watch on-screen. Some of these stars are even super heroes and super tough in real life. On the other end of the scale, some others are not so much, or at least are more prone to activities that are considered less than tough. Join us as we take a look at 10 Infinity War stars who are tough guys and gals in real life, and 10 who are not so much.
20 Tough: Robert Downey Jr.
Robert Downey Jr. is an A-List actor who has more than proved his acting abilities are not just for looking cool on-screen. His acting chops have shown again and again that Downey’s charisma, energy, and range can carry him and his movies no matter the genre or the character he plays. Unfortunately, it wasn’t always like this for the silver screen legend.
Making his acting debut in the movie Pound, which also starred his father, at five years old. Robert Downey Jr. enjoyed much success in his early years, starring in many coming-of-age style movies along side big names such as Molly Ringwald. In 1992, Downey starred in the biopic Chaplin as the movie legend Charlie Chaplin and even won a BAFTA award for his performance. His success came to a standstill in 1996 when Downey fell into trouble with the law, and was sent to prison and other various facilities for five years.
It was only in 2001 when Downey finally began to turn his life around that he started to have some success in Hollywood for the first time in years.
In 2008, he took on the role that he is best know for: Tony Stark, the snarky genius, billionaire, philanthropist. If there is anyone who had proven that you can come back from hitting rock bottom in a big way, it’s Robert Downey Jr.
19 Not So Tough: Chris Evans
Chris Evans has played plenty of tough guys in his career as an actor. As Captain America, he portrays one of the bravest members of Marvel’s superhero line up. He’s also played a powerful telekinetic in Push and a member of a highly trained group mercenaries in The Loser. Even with all that experience with big guns and big guys, it seems that the tough guy attitude hasn’t rubbed off on him.
What will surprise any Captain America fan is that his cast mates all agree that he’s a bit of a Nervous Nellie. He is reportedly the one on set who will worry the most about things going wrong. During the premiere of Civil War, Chris Evans and Robert Downey Jr. were slated to arrive at the event in blue and red Audi’s respectively. This didn’t sit well with Evans.
During the entire buildup to actually having to drive the sports car, Evans was reportedly on edge about having to drive such a fast vehicle, which are well-known to be very touchy when it comes to the gas pedal and steering. He was so nervous about his short drive that he apparently felt the need to have a smoke afterwards. This is in spite of the fact that nothing went wrong and the distance between getting into the Audi and the red carpet was quite short. Hopefully, poor Chris wasn’t asked to leave the way he came when it was time to go!
18 Tough: Tom Holland
The newest incarnation of Spider-Man has captured hearts everywhere ever since his debut in Avengers: Civil War. The web-head stole Captain America’s shield, and sailed straight to the top of the hype train in the process. During his short role in Civil War and his own movie Spider-Man: Homecoming, we see plenty of crazy stunts being performed not only by stunt doubles, but by Tom Holland himself. This isn’t terribly surprising considering the sort of education that Holland has received.
Growing up, Tom took up dancing, which he was very much bullied for when he was in school. When he was officially cast as Spiderman, he was made to do a tremendous amount of physical and acrobatic training as part of preparing for his role. His dance background actually helped him out during this time as he learned to pull off stunts such as flips and jumps. The discipline requires dancers to make their moves look fluid and graceful no matter what the choreography, helped him look like his every move look purposeful and natural.
Well, it looks like Tom is not only an acrobat on-screen, but in real life as well. During his time off, one of his main activities is free running. Free running is, more or less, how to get from point A to point B in the most interesting way possible, which includes climbing up the sides of buildings, leaping off ledges, and adding gymnastic flair to everything you do. It's an extremely tough and even dangerous hobby to have, but Tom loves to put his superhero skills to use by posting his exploits on Instagram.
17 Not So Tough: Scarlett Johansson
Black Widow is a tough as nails figure in the Marvel universe. Having survived an extreme training regimen as a girl and even being surgically modified to better fulfill her dark role to come, Natasha Romanoff is very difficult indeed to phase let alone scare. The only time that we ever see the spy genuinely terrified is when she is faced with the prospect of having to deal with Bruce Banner. Or more importantly, his infinitely more dangerous counterpart, the Hulk.
In fact, during The Avengers, we see poor Natasha have a nasty run in with the Hulk when Banner and Widow are blown out of a window and into a maintenance shaft. Banner does his best to stay himself but, in the end, he loses control and essentially makes Natasha’s worst nightmares come true. Natasha does everything she can to escape, only to be violently thrown into a wall and badly stunned and shaken. She does pull herself together, because the Black Widow is just that strong in terms of mental strength and courage.
Scarlett Johansson, on the other hand, appears to be not as tough as her cinematic role.
TV personality, Ellen Degeneres, loves to prank her guests. One of her favorite ways to do this is to scare them out of their skin. This is sometimes accomplished through her guests being scared by her or another guest in an outside hall. Sometimes, she has her guest scarer sneak up behind her victims during the interview. In Scarlett’s case, Chris Evans himself decided to help Ellen out with her prank. When he surprised Scarlett, she let out a shriek that surprised everybody.
16 Tough: Benedict Cumberbatch
It wasn’t too long ago that Benedict Cumberbatch was completely unknown on the Hollywood scene. Until his break out role as Sherlock in the BBC show of the same name. After that, his fame has skyrocketed and has only continued to do so ever since. His roles in The Hobbit, Star Trek: Into Darkness, The Imitation Game, and now as Doctor Strange himself have shown the world Cumberbatch’s stellar acting chops.
If there is one thing that he is well-known for is his gentlemanly demeanor seemingly, a side effect of his British upbringing. Cumberbatch is known to stand up for his fellow cast mates, even during interviews where one’s behavior is particularly under the microscope. While filming The Imitation Game, Benedict came to his co-star, Kiera Knightley’s, defense on two separate occasions.
During one interview with Cumberbatch and Knightley, one reporter observed that Knightley looked quite tired, which Benedict took offense to and let them know that that was not a nice thing to say to a beautiful woman. On another occasion, while doing an interview with film critic Mark Kermode, Ben “very lightly” punched him on air when he jokingly called Kiera Knightley “Ikea Knightley" as he thought that her performance was quite wooden.
15 Not So Tough: Vin Diesel
Vin Diesel is an iconic movie tough guy. With his signature deep voice and built bod, he makes fans swoon whenever he steps onstage. His role in the Marvel Cinematic Universe is that of the sentient tree Groot. Groot is a mighty elemental being with the ability to grow parts of himself and use his strength as a powerful weapon in any fight. He is often described as Rocket the bounty hunting Racoon’s muscle.
As each new movie featuring Groot has come out, we have witnessed him grow back from a baby sapling and to the equivalent of a teenager in Infinity War. No matter his size or stage of his development though, Groot has remained a formidable foe to any enemy of the Guardians. If casual fans knew what Vin Diesel’s favorite past time is, there’s a good chance that their opinion of him being a tough guy might change.
Of all the things for an action star to be into, Vin Diesel is an avid player of non other that Dungeons and Dragons. That’s right, the one game that almost every stereotypical dorky weak nerd plays and is a mega fan of, is also played by the same guy that the bullies of those nerds love to root for. There’s no word yet on whether anyone has tried to shove Vin Diesel inside a locker because of this fact.
14 Tough: Mark Ruffalo
Anyone glancing at a photo of Mark Ruffalo would likely agree that he is the last person you would have portraying any kind of a tough guy on screen. There are many who would think that he has never actually portrayed a tough guy on screen, considering that most people familiar with him these days know him as the newest iteration of Bruce Banner. Everyone knows that many interpretations of Banner usually end up with him being smart but, a relatively weak fighter and his only real super hero counterpart of the extremely powerful Hulk.
What they don’t know is that Ruffalo actually also did much of the motion capture for the Hulk, even if in The Avengers. The animators mostly used a 3D model, mostly in likeness of the original Hulk Lou Ferrigno. As Ruffalo has returned for more and more roles in the other movies of heroes of the Marvel Universe, it looks like animators are opting to slowly change the look of the Hulk into something that better resembles their current Bruce Banner.
Ruffalo is no slouch at handling tough situations in life. While he may not be an acrobat or prone to punching others to defend his cast mate’s honor, he’s had to overcome some heavy things on his own. After wrapping up the production of The Last Castle in 2001, Ruffalo was diagnosed with a benign brain tumor that was quickly removed but, caused facial paralysis for long while after. Nowadays, on top of his acting career, he spends his time campaigning against the harmful environmental practice of fracking.
13 Not So Tough: Elizabeth Olsen
The Scarlett Witch is one of Marvel’s most powerful characters. Being the child of Magneto and the sister of Quicksilver, Wanda’s abilities tend to be more plot relevant rather than entirely concrete. Unfortunately, even though X-Men is a property of Marvel and the mutants within are an everyday part of life in the Marvel Universe, Marvel Studios does not have the movie rights to use the concept of mutants in their universe, or at least not yet.
The in-universe explanation of Scarlet Witch’s powers is that they stem from extensive experiments using the Mind Stone, one of the six infinity stones that will be a major plot device in Infinity War. While Wanda was initially reluctant to join the ranks of superheroes. Eventually finds her courage when she realizes that the only way to redeem her actions was to join the other Avengers in their fight against Ultron.
Elizabeth Olsen, on the other hand, might not entirely be as brave as her on screen persona. At the very least, not while a camera is around.
Even though Elizabeth Olsen is actually a younger sister of the wildly famous Olsen twins, Elizabeth only got into acting recently. While certainly a capable actress, she has confessed that she actually suffered from being extra shy when the camera started rolling. It looks like she’s gotten over her fear now though, considering how many blockbusters that she’s been in as of late.
12 Tough: Dave Bautista
These days, it’s becoming less and less rare for WWE wrestlers and in some cases boxers and MMA fighters to break out onto the big screen. Even better, these individuals have ended up to be more than just silent muscle to get into a cool choreographed fight and then never be heard from again. Andre the Giant is one famous example of this, and Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson is a more recent star to join the Hollywood A-List.
It looks like Dwayne won’t be alone for long, as Dave Bautista has rocketed to the top of stardom with his break-out role as Drax in Guardians of the Galaxy.
Bautista’s character would be easy to dismiss and simple to perform. However, Bautista’s deadpan delivery and perfect comedic timing has left audiences belly laughing in theatres all over. As you can imagine, anyone who used to be a WWE wrestler must be tough both physically and mentally. Considering the punishing regime they follow to stay in shape and how their fights, while not real per se, can still cause a lot of unintentional pain that they may have to work through.
On top of this, Dave Bautista practices real-life fighting techniques. In his spare time, he trains in Muay Thai, a notoriously difficult martial art to master, and Brazilian Jiu Jitsu. While no one already would never want to go toe to toe to someone as buff as Bautista, the fact that he is highly proficient in martial arts makes him one tough guy.
11 Not So Tough: Paul Bettany
Paul Bettany has a delightfully soothing voice. It’s no surprise at all that Tony would want to use such smooth tones for his AI personal assistant. Throughout his stint as Jarvis, Bettany has gathered a great many fans who love his snarky yet calm demeanor in the movies. In Age of Ultron, audiences were horrified to watch as the kind intelligence was destroyed by Ultron.
Those same audiences were similarly relieved when Jarvis came back in the form of the powerful robot known as Vision. Vision is a wise, kind, but exceedingly powerful superhero in the Marvel Universe. He isn’t afraid to go out and get his hands dirty when need be, but his super intelligence often finds a way to avoid direct conflict in a more peaceful path.
Paul Bettany was not too pleased by the change in roles. Up until then, his voice was all that was needed by Marvel, and as he described it, it was a very nice arrangement. He would show up to the studio, do his lines in a recording booth, get paid and then go home. Now that his role is far more involved, he has wishes that his job was back to more simple times.
10 Tough: Chris Pratt
Chris Pratt didn’t start out as a with the super buff bod that we all know today. While co-starring on the TV show Parks and Recreation, he played the chunky, dim witted but lovable Andy Dwyer. Unfortunately for him, superheroes don’t usually have a lot of extra weight. Because of this, Chris endured rigorous physical training and a strict diet in order to take on the role of Peter Quill. Anyone who is interested in his journey can look up his various social media posts and videos detailing his hilarious struggles.
Pratt wasn’t always showered with success, unfortunately. Before he could land a steady acting job, he lived in Hawaii, and was even homeless for a time. He lived out of his van, a situation that nobody could call easy, even in a paradise like Hawaii. In his late teens, he ended up having a warrant out for his arrest.
While he lived in his mini van, Chris sold coupons out of his van to anyone who wanted to buy them. It turns out that it might not have been entirely legitimate, and he ended up with a hefty insurance ticket that he just simply couldn’t pay for. Due to him being unable to pay, a warrant was then issued for him to be brought in.
9 Not So Tough: Zoe Saldana
As a Hollywood superstar, Zoe Saldana has played many different kinds of roles. Many of them have been on the more action-y side of things. The role that would set her on the cusp of superstardom was playing Neytiri in James Cameron’s Avatar, a tough and capable huntress and warrior of an alien tribe. Her true break out role would as Uhura in the Star Trek reboot, where she immediately gained critical acclaim playing the historical fictional character.
Now that Saldana is playing Gamora and doing a fine job of it, it’s hard to imagine the actor as anyone other than tough. That isn’t the case, and fans will be surprised to know that Zoe describes herself as a “cool geek.” The way she sees it, she’s seen plenty of classic science fiction movies and TV shows which include Dune and Aliens. In her eyes, she has more than proven her nerdy side.
But irony strikes through one big glaring hole in her line up of classic media. Of all the things that she wasn't into, Star Trek was one of them. That's right, the actress that gave an amazing portrayal of the sharp witted communications officer had never at all seen the original material that her movie was based on. This, of course, brings up the question: did she have to hide this fact from her fellow cast members? It's hard to believe that they would let her live that down.
8 Tough: Pom Klementieff
Mantis is a brand new addition to the Marvel extended cast, and at this point is still considered by some to be a very minor character in the series, if a hilarious one. While Mantis is exactly a fighter herself, unlike her Guardian teammates, it turns out that the actress that plays her could consider joining up with them on their adventures, it just through toughness alone. For starters, during a scene in an earlier movie in her career, Pom Klementieff accidentally fell down the stairs where she was supposed to push someone else down them.
Pom allowed her director to use that take, but that’s not where her toughness ends. During that same movie, she camped outside hours from the nearest village. To top that off, the temperatures at night dropped as much as 30 degrees Celsius below zero. During filming, she also worked with real wolves, and swam with a horse in the cold water. On a more friendly side of her, Pom also befriended the nomads of the area. It’s quite funny to think that Marvel’s newest addition might be one of the toughest in real life.
7 Not So Tough: Bradley Cooper
While Bradley Cooper’s fame has cooled somewhat for the moment, it wasn’t long ago at that he was at the absolute top of the Hollywood A-list and a heartthrob to fans everywhere. While his good looks have certainly not faded, his signature striking stare will be nowhere to be seen in the Marvel Universe. His voice is very easily found in Rocket the Racoon.
Voicing a CGI character, especially one that doesn’t use your own voice, must be hard to put on a resume. Or easy, if you consider that future employers will be impressed by his effortless portrayal of the plucky little mercenary. It might be for the best that Cooper remains in a voice acting booth for the time being.
The actor recently admitting a rather bizarre habit of his: he doesn’t wear deodorant. Forgetting to put some on for a day or even a few day is (of course) forgivable, but anything else requires a lot of work to keep under control. If that's the life you want to lead, all the more power to you — to each their own. It's just a surprising revelation.
6 Tough: Josh Brolin
Josh Brolin has been a well known actor for quite sometime. The son of James Brolin, another movie star, Josh had never really been exposed to his father’s fame mostly due to the fact that he was raised on a ranch. That didn’t mean that he didn’t get into his own fair share of trouble. During his teenage years in Santa Barbara, he became part of a surfing friendship group that went by the name of the Cito Rats.
In his own words, the group was all about punk rock. According to Brolin, the group mainly consisted of rich kids with neglectful parents, or poor kids with neglectful parents. Their similarities brought them together, and he has yet to see another group of people like it since.
During his teen years, he became interested in acting through a high school improv class. It wasn’t the only thing he became interested in though.
When his friends started to become interested in less than legal things, Brolin followed suit, thankfully not nearly as deep as his other friends. In order to support their illegal past times, they stole cars in order to earn cash. Brolin has unfortunately lost as many as 24 friends to this unfortunate past time, and readily cautions others not to follow their example.
5 Not So Tough: Karen Gillan
Karen Gillan plays the antagonistic Nebula in the Marvel Universe. Making her debut in The Guardians of the Galaxy, the former Doctor Who star has shown her ability to play a downright terrifying villain in a big way. Karen has also proven that she is willing to go all the way in order to show that she is dedicated to her roles.
With a head full of long red hair, it’s hard for anyone to imagine someone cutting it all off for any reason. That is exactly what Gillan did in order to become the hairless Nebula. She shaved her head to make getting into her costume and character much easier. That doesn’t mean that Gillan is entirely the toughest girl in the galaxy. As a young girl, Karen had crippling stage fright. It’s hard to imagine that woman who can convince an audience that she is a terrifying super-villain could become so shy in front of a crowd. This is, of course, an impressive and powerful move for anyone to make — especially when it is so easy to simply use CGI and makeup to make these kinds of changes in 2018. Good work, Karen ‚ everyone is absolutely impressed.
4 Tough: Samuel L. Jackson
Samuel L. Jackson is one of the most recognizable figures in modern cinema. His acting and his style are iconic, and has inspired countless impressions from fans everywhere who love to reference his most famous lines. His entry into the Marvel Cinematic Universe as Nick Fury, the ultimate super spy, certainly caused some controversy and trepidation as many Nick Fury fans pointed out that the original character is white.
When he debuted in Iron Man 2, Jackson more than proved that he was perfect for the role.
He injected his trademark gruffness and sass into the role, which helped him deliver an incredible performance. Jackson’s toughness certainly doesn’t stop on the big screen. He used to be quite the radical activist on a quest for racial equality when he was younger.
After the passing of Martin Luther King, Jackson was not surprised, but still angry about the terrible situation. He joined equal rights protests in an attempt to facilitate a change, and in 1969, he did something particularly rash. He and several others held members of the Morehouse College Board of Trustees hostage to force the college to change racist policies. While the college did eventually change their policy, Jackson was convicted of unlawful confinement.
3 Not So Tough: Chris Hemsworth
Chris Hemsworth’s break out role was not as the mighty Thor, as some would believe. Instead, Chris’s big break was his very short role as Kirk’s father in the Star Trek reboot. Hemsworth’s emotional portrayal as the famous space captain’s dad cemented his hold on Hollywood, and it before long it was announced that he had snagged the role of Thor for the upcoming movie of the same name.
It may come to some people’s surprise that Chris Hemsworth is not American, but Australian.
This buff Aussie, surprisingly, has humble roots in terms of acting as well. Instead of starting out his career as an action star, Hemsworth began as a character on the Australian TV soap opera Home and Away.
Later on after his role as the God of Thunder began to take hold, he used his fame in a very surprising way. Heading back home, he used his star power to land a spot as a contestant on Dancing With The Stars Australia. Who would have thought that Mighty Thor would trade his hammer for a dance costume and choreography?
2 Tough: Tom Hiddleston
The fact that the Norse God of Mischief is played by a classically trained actor seems almost too good to be true. With an actor like Tom Hiddleston being the one in question, even dreams can come true. Hiddleston immediately captured the hearts of fans everywhere with his masterful portrayal of Loki in Thor, and will continue his role in Infinity War. His talents are most obvious in his ability to appear so sinister, and yet somehow so trustworthy.
The character of Loki has never been particularly thought of as tough. Similarly, Hiddleston has rarely stepped into the action spotlight before now. That doesn’t mean that he isn’t capable of taking one for the team when the moment calls for it. Even when said taking might not be entirely necessary. Of course, everyone knows that all physical hits in a movie aren’t supposed to be real. Actors and choreographers work together in order to ensure that the actors stays safe while delivering or receiving a fake punch that still making it look real.
A fake punch however wasn’t enough for Hiddleston when one was called for during a scene with Thor. Chris Hemsworth told interviewers that during this scene, Hiddleston repeatedly insisted that the much bigger actor actual hit him for real. Hemsworth was of course a bit taken aback by this request, but eventually agreed and struck Hiddleston.
1 Not So Tough: Peter Dinklage
Peter Dinklage has the incredibly inspiring story of starting from the bottom and working his way up to have a successful acting career. Though hard work and diligence he was able tp secured his break out role as Tyrion on the hit TV show Game of Thrones. Tyrion is the snarky, smart, but disgraced son of House Lannister, one of the most powerful families in the world of Westeros. Often ridiculed for his short size, Tyrion has had to grow a very thick skin indeed on his path to power.
The one thing that Tyrion is not skilled at in any way is fighting. Not only does his size often give him a disadvantage when facing his normally taller enemies, but he also has received relatively less instruction on how to fight in contrast with his brother. That means that whenever possible, Tyrion does what he can in order to avoid any direct fighting.
It would seem that Peter and Tyrion actually share this sentiment in some capacity in real life. Dinklage has stated that he’s never a big fan of fight scenes, where prop weapons are whirled about and accidents happen frequently. He feels that it would be all too easy to accidentally lose his sight with a wayward sword swing.