Just because someone portrays a tough guy in the movies does not mean they are, in fact, a tough guy in real life. Acting is funny in that we sometimes forget that these people are playing a part, not just acting as themselves on the big screen.
Action movie stars can fool us into assuming that just because they are built like a truck, and they can save the world, that they are the same person in the real world, but that cannot be further from the truth.
If you take away the acting, what kind of human being would some of these guys be in modern society? Would they still be the same tough guys we see on the big screen or are they big sweethearts instead?
How about we take a look at the 20 biggest tough guy actors that are not so tough in real life but are the sweetest guys in Hollywood.
20 Bruce Willis
When Bruce Willis appeared in Ocean's Thirteen, he played himself— literally. He has done interviews with people like Jimmy Fallon and Conan O'Brien where he confirmed that he was just being himself.
That was the first time we got to see the nice guy that Bruce Willis really was. He has friendships with people like Julia Roberts and his ex-wife Demi Moore that make him one of the most easy to talk to guys in Hollywood.
19 Ron Pearlman
Although he has had some issues with people in the past, Ron Pearlman is actually one of the nicest guys you will ever meet. There are many fans that can tell you he is much nicer in person than you would ever think.
The man that was the original Hellboy, and leader of a motorcycle gang, turns out to be a big teddy bear when not acting.
18 Jason Statham
For the past 15 years, Jason Statham has done film after film of him showing off just how tough he really is. He has earned a reputation from playing all of those roles as a guy who is not to be messed with in real life.
However, he has started to open up in the last few years about his personal life and things have started coming out that paints a different picture. He is actually a real sweetheart that is goofy and loves to make people laugh.
17 Steven Seagal
We just could not resist putting Steven Seagal on our list. This guy is 67 years old, has seven children, and even holds citizenship in America, Serbia, and Russia. He has received a negative reputation for being a jerk in real life, but we have heard nothing but good things about him.
A lot of people enjoy spending time with him since most assume he is going to be a jerk and do not approach him, making encounters with him rarer and more meaningful on a whole.
16 Liam Neeson
With such a high standard for being tough in movies, Liam Neeson is an obvious choice for this list. There is no possible way that this man is really the same on-screen tough guy that we see every single time he releases a new film.
But people assume he is because of how amazingly believable he was in Taken.
15 Matt Damon
For a majority of his career, Matt Damon has been considered one of Hollywood's nicest guys. Up until rumors started hitting the internet in recent years that he is actually not a good guy, we will continue to believe the people who have actually spent time with him over random internet junkies. There just aren't enough people who can claim Damon is a bad guy.
14 Harrison Ford
Harrison Ford is tough guy royalty in Hollywood after being Han Solo, Indiana Jones, and Jack Ryan. He has been playing tough guys since the late 70s and has continued to do so over the last forty years. But, behind the scenes, he is anything but tough.
Just ask Calista Flockhart, his wife for the past nine years, who has nothing but great things to say about the love of her life.
13 Tom Cruise
Just because of the whole Scientology debacle, his marriage to Katie Holmes, and his issues with his daughter involving her religious choices, people have put Tom Cruise in a box labeled "crazy." But he is no longer that guy he is rumored to be.
He is actually quite the opposite. He goes out of his way to be friendly with people and even spends a lot of time giving back to the rest of the world.
12 Sylvester Stallone
For a man as big as Sylvester Stallone, and the fact that he is Rocky Balboa, you just have to assume he is a tough guy behind the scenes, right?
But he is more about acting and playing a role as the tough guy on screen, not in real life. He is one of those celebrities that most of the time never even gets noticed for being a good person.
11 Tom Hardy
After playing Bane in Christopher Nolan's The Dark Knight Rises (2012), and Max in Mad Max: Fury Road (2015), Tom Hardy has taken the role of tough guy and turned it into a part of his craft.
In an interview back in 2014, with Esquire magazine, he explained how he is only acting tough on screen to play his roles. He admitted to being a nice guy in real life himself.
10 Hugh Jackman
Playing Wolverine changed Hugh Jackman's life for the better. It gave him the chance to become the international superstar that he is today. But as tough as Wolverine is in X-Men, Hugh is actually quite the opposite.
He is married to his high school sweetheart, can sing and dance, and is known for being one of the most versatile actors in Hollywood and on stage.
9 Brad Pitt
There is a huge difference between someone being considered nice off screen and being a wimp. Brad Pitt is a nice guy in real life, but he is not a wimp. He is one of the toughest actors in Hollywood but when he isn't acting, he is the nicest person you could meet.
He spends his downtime building literal cities for poor people in New Orleans, after all.
8 Vin Diesel
You are going to have to search long and hard to find anyone willing to call Vin Diesel a real life tough guy. He is one of the most well respected men in Hollywood because he has changed his life to be better when he really did not have to be.
He is the type of guy that you can approach in public and will gladly talk with you and even be interested in what you are saying, not just pretend to care. He actually does care about his fans.
7 Will Smith
It is kind of hard not to like Will Smith. He is one of those talents that can do just about anything they put their minds to. He is one of the biggest stars in Hollywood and just about every picture he appears in ends up bringing in a ton of cash.
But after playing all those tough guys on screen, he is actually known to be quite the nice guy in person.
6 George Clooney
Believe it or not, George Clooney is a tough guy on screen, and has been playing one since 1996 when he starred in From Dusk til Dawn as Seth Gecko. He would go on to play Batman too.
But even with all of his acting credentials, he has one of the cleanest reputations in the business. He is a nice guy that goes out of his way to be good and that says a lot for this man.
5 Keanu Reeves
Keanu Reeves was never considered a tough guy until he landed the role of Neo in The Matrix. He would then go on to star in several other action films like Constantine, 47 Ronin, and John Wick. All in which he plays a leading tough guy on the big screen.
But those films have not changed him at all. He remains one of the nicest guys in Hollywood, something that seems tough for anyone to accomplish.
4 Mark Ruffalo
Once Mark Ruffalo signed on to play the Hulk in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, his entire career changed. He went from being this lovable guy that everyone in Hollywood enjoyed working with to a lovable guy that everyone in Hollywood now wants to work with.
He has never changed and remains one of the most likable sweethearts you are ever going to find in pop culture.
3 Jamie Foxx
If you were wondering how Jamie Foxx makes a list like this, it hails from one incident. A few years ago, he witnessed a bad car accident in front of his home which ended with a car catching fire, trapping the driver inside.
Without missing a beat, he rushed outside and saved the person's life by dragging them out the burning car. One incident does not make a man a sweetheart, but this is one of the exceptions.
2 Johnny Depp
There are only a couple of names on our list that might be met with controversy and Johnny Depp is one of them. Although he has had troubles with his ex-wife Amber Heard, the rest of his career has been full of stories about how great of a person he is in real life.
Just ask Vanessa Paradis or Lori Allison, his previous long-term relationships before Amber Heard.
1 Chris Pratt
In 2013, Chris Pratt landed the role of Star-Lord in the Guardians of the Galaxy film. He immediately got back into shape and went from being a lovable funny guy to a ripped leading man.
He then landed several big roles including as the lead in the new Jurassic Park films. But even looking like a statue carved from stone, he remains the same nice guy he was all those years ago.
Sources: wikipedia.org, esquire.com, people.com