Illustration by Thomas Fuchs
Benjamin Svetkey and Allison Hope Weiner
August 06, 2004 AT 04:00 AM EDT

Your invitation must have been lost in the mail, but last month Tom Cruise celebrated his 42nd birthday. Tom Hanks blew out candles this summer as well — he turned 48. These days, pretty much all of Hollywood’s most famous heavyweights (Meg Ryan, 42; Mel Gibson, 48; Bruce Willis, 49; Denzel Washington, 49; John Travolta, 50; Harrison Ford, 62) are ambling around their middle ages — or rapidly hurtling toward them (Julia Roberts is going on 37).

Not that there’s anything wrong with that. But it’s bracing all the same, watching this entire generation of actors — the generation that climbed to the top of the A list way back in the 1980s and has dominated it ever since — shuffling inexorably toward AARP eligibility. And it raises an obvious, unavoidable question: Who is replacing them? Who among Hollywood’s next gen of actors — the litter now in their 20s and early 30s, with names like Ben and Colin and Reese — has proven themselves huge enough to fill their enormous Uggs? Orlando? Keira? Cameron?

So far, the answer looks like a big fat None Of The Above.

You May Like