I have received countless questions about playing a male character when one is not a male themselves. So, I’ve decided to make a post just focusing on playing a male.
Understand this is based purely upon my personal observations of men both in real life and in fiction through books as well as television/movies. I observe people more than I ought to, I think
Males and females vary great in the manner that they both present themselves, speak, act and general personality traits that differ from one another. Know that these are not qualities of all men as each person is vastly different. Be sure to adjust these according to your characters personality be it an original or a canon. The information provided is only baseline and will need to be built upon per person, per character.
- Manners of speech
It is important to know that men do not talk nearly as much as women do. However, men do tend to speak more when in the private company of other men, who they are comfortable with. Men tend to be less elaborate with words in general conversations, and in responding. Where an ‘absolutely’ may come from a woman, more like, a simple ‘yes’ or ‘mhm’ will come from a man. Men are more concise with words.
Mens’ voices are deeper than women. When men raise their voice out of anger, it is much more menacing than that of a woman’s due to pitch. Cats even tend to be more skiddish around men due to their lower pitches!
- Emotional Expression
It isn’t often that men talk about their problems. They will sometimes do it in the company of close friends or sometimes when they’re intoxicated.
Men can sometimes have difficulty expressing themselves properly, especially when it comes to getting the words out correctly. They may say one thing with good intentions, but it’s interpreted wrong. They know what they are going to say in their heads, but when they attempt to formulate it into spoken words, things can get muddled and flustered.
Thinking through their feelings can often be frustrating, as it’s not something men in general do. Women are emotional thinkers, men, no so much. Expressing themselves emotionally can prove to be a difficult task.
On the topic of being stressed, men tend to over analyze and over think more than women. This can tend to cause more problems that aren’t really there in the first place. It can cause unnecessary meltdowns, tiraids, angry fits and so on. Just because men are quiet and do not speak as much doesn’t mean there isn’t turmoil inside of their heads.
- Posture and Habits
While men do not touch their faces/body as much as women do, they do tend to have collective habits that are generally shared between men.
1.) Rubbing the back of the neck. This is usually associated with stress.
2.) Running a hand through the hair. Generally associated with nervousness/over thinking/stress.
3.) Rubbing the face stubble. Usually associated with thinking.
4.) Clenching of the teeth, jaw setting. Stress/anger associated.
Now for standing and sitting postures.
Men don’t like their hands to be idle at their sides. This gives them more incentive to cross their arms, put their hands in their pockets.
When sitting, men will either sit with their ankle atop their other leg, so that their higher leg is at an angle or with both their feet on the floor, leaning forward, elbows on the knees, hands together. This is usually in casual conversations. For professionalism, they will generally sit straighter, higher, to assert their masculinity.
Bow-legged men stand with their weight usually forward, on the front balls of their feet, or place their weight rather evenly. They tend to ‘rock’ their weight rather than shift. Shifting weight is for men who are not bow-legged. They will shift their weight more-so onto one leg and lean on that side, and after a while, will shift to another side. It is different for everyone, but everyone has a particular side that they lean on more often than the other.
When embarrassed, men tend to immediately look up or look down, slide their tongue across their cheek/inner lower lip. Sometimes, they’ll shake their head, as though they’re ‘shaking it off’ or trying to keep from blushing.
- THE BRAIN! Decision making, and the like. The psychology of a man.
Men have more ‘gray matter’ in their brains versus women, most often called ‘thinking matter’. The left section of the brain is what is most dominantly active for men, while in women, it is more evenly place between both hemispheres.
Because of this, men tend to be more internal thinkers rather than ‘talking it out’ as women have a tendency to do.
This also deals with the more mathematical and logistics.
Due to differences in the brain in a general sense, men are more apt to use depth cues in navigation such as east and west while women tend to use landmark cues such as a school or gas station to remember their location.
Women have a larger and more developed frontal and temporal cortex giving them a greater advantage in language skills and emotional decision making. It is more difficult for men to pick up facial expression and emotion cues unlike women, who pick them up more quickly. Unless it is verbally made clear, men often have a difficult time with this.
Testosterone plays a big part in the physiological aspects of men as well as their mental aspects. It is said that men with more defined jawlines have more testosterone and thus, can be more aggressive/have anger problems.
It also creates confidence in men, assertiveness. But again, when there is too much, it can create aggression.
Phew! Sorry for such a long post. I want everyone to know that not all men are like this/exhibit all of these items mentioned above. These are baseline generalizations I have made through both observations as well as psychology courses and material I have taken and read throughout my life so far. This does not include every little thing about a man, so do not hold close to this in that way. This is to help you get started in understanding males/playing a male character.
It is important to understand that if you are playing a character you are unfamiliar with, such as playing a male from a series, it is best to write down what you see them do often, how they respond in awkward situations, how they speak in causal conversations and when upset, how they walk, stand and sit. Recording this type of information about a canon character is going to help you achieve a better understanding of them to help you play them successfully.
Playing a male original character depends on what type of personality they’ll have and so on. Recording information of canon characters from television shows, books, and movies that are somewhat relative to your original character can help you better achieve the way that you are intending to play them.
Note that being able to play a character out of your comfort zone or something you’ve never done before will take time. Don’t over stress yourself with thinking that you aren’t capable of playing a male canon character well or not. Talk to your close peers and ask them for their opinion on how you can do better and build upon that. It’s not an over night process and you shouldn’t expect it to be.
I hope this post was really helpful! I tried to cover everything I thought would be important!