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‘I Was The Kid At The Pool Who Didn’t Even Want To Take His Shirt Off’: Glen Powell Shares Honest Thoughts About Showing His Body In Movies

Glen Powell is on his way to becoming THE modern rom-com leading man. After starring in the Netflix hit Set It Up, his charm and charisma led him to pivot back to the genre for Anyone But Youalongside Sydney Sweeney. While he may seem like a cool and confident actor who has no problem showing off a little bit for a movie, this wasn’t always the case. The Top Gun: Maverick star opened up about being shy about going shirtless in films and how he got over his own apprehensions for his most recent movies. 

The leading man recently spoke with Entertainment Weekly in promotion of Anyone But You. Glen Powell talked about being the leading man in romantic comedies and what is expected of an actor to fill that role. At first, he wasn’t comfortable constantly taking his shirt off in movies but, over time, as he’s taken on more parts, he has grown to be confident in his own skin. He explained how he overcame his own insecurities, saying:

Over the course of my life and career, I’ve learned [to be comfortable with it]. I was the kid at the pool that didn’t want to even take his shirt off. As I’ve gotten older, I’ve realized that there’s a time in your life and your career where this is the moment to do those things. Because your body’s not going to look like that forever. In a rom-com, you know what you’re selling — and as a rom-com leading man, you are supposed to get taken down as much as humanly possible.

Some may find it hard to believe that the star had to get past such trepidation. Most would likely agree that he looked like a natural while partaking in that beach football sequence in Top Gun: Maverick. Nevertheless, it’s interesting to hear about his initial concerns as a young person, which make him even more relatable honestly.

He definitely worked hard to be camera ready for the shirtless scenes in Anyone But You, because the actor showcases his strong physique several times throughout the film. This hasn’t gone unnoticed, either. Glen Powell also flexed his muscles recently on the cover of Men’s Health Magazine, and Sydney Sweeney’s character even makes a joke in the film that he’s “hot girl fit.” It’s ironic that there’s a lot of focus on his body, given he’s someone who was originally shy about his bod. However, now Powell feels like it’s all part of the job, and an essential component for rom-coms, in particular. He continued: 

The whole purpose of being a rom-com leading man is to look as dumb and silly as possible. And part of that is to be naked and for bad things to happen to you while you’re naked. Am I going to be taking my clothes off in every movie? Absolutely not. But in a rom-com, I know my function in the universe.

He does have a point, as “bad things happening to naked romantic leads” does tend to be a trend in films that are part of the genre. Jason Segel’s awkward naked breakup scene in Forgetting Sarah Marshall (which made his mom cry) is one of the funniest, and most memorable romantic comedy moments. Also, who could forget the hilarious naked collision in The Proposal between Sandra Bullock and Ryan Reynolds (who posted posted about it). It may be a trope, but it works and has resulted in some iconic comedy moments. The Hidden Figures alum carries on the tradition for Anyone But You, and Glen Powell’s own nude scene was even more dangerous than expected. Anything for the scene, though!

While it may have taken a while for the star to build his confidence, it’s nice that he has embraced his body, the romantic comedy tropes and everything that comes with the latter. He looks incredible in the film and functions great as the leading man. Being in great shape and shirtless is one thing, but his sense of humor and charming, quippy personality isn’t something you can build at a gym. The Devotion actor is a natural talent, and he can probably expect to be offered many more rom-coms in the future. And if this means more shirtless scenes, I don’t think anyone will be complaining. 

You can see Glen Powell and his abs in the 2023 new movie release Anyone But You, which is currently playing in theaters nationwide. Fans of the actor can also check out his romantic comedy debut in Set It Up, which is now streaming for Netflix subscribers. 

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