6 Movie Monologues for Men

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Photo Source: Courtesy of A24

Films have been and continue to be a great source for actors on the hunt for an impressive monologue. More often than not the same monologues from classic movies seem to be favored and have lost their luster. Men looking for audition monologues need only refine their search to this last decade to uncover a gold mine of fantastic moments written to make a lasting impact in the character’s world and to the collective of fine cinema. 

Men are not written as stoic and reserved as they have been in the past. The movie monologues for men I’ll highlight as suggestions are turning up the heat in conflict and not hiding their personality in these high-stakes scenes that are felt long after the credits roll. Pieces like these, if done with the same vigor and truthfulness, can help you stand out when auditioning and give you the competitive edge needed to be remembered at the end of the day. 

Each of these actors gave career highlighting performances and accolades to follow. It’s possible for any actor to take on these characters and use their wants and needs to make these speeches come alive and command respect. 

1. “Moonlight”: Mahershala Ali as Juan
This scene is one of the most endearing moments in the film “Moonlight” which earned Ali a best supporting actor Oscar win. The character Juan has befriended a young boy who is most likely gay and in need of positive influences in his life. Juan in a touchingly genuine way offers some fatherly advice with transparent candor. This helps solidify the importance that Juan can have in Chiron’s life. Choosing this monologue can give you a refreshing piece to show natural film acting style ability. It’s a thoughtful moment that takes sensitivity and heart. A real treat to watch as it feels utterly truthful, warm, and accepting. 

2. “Skyfall”: Javier Bardem as Silva
A villain is always good for a thought-provoking speech. In this James Bond movie, Javier Bardem plays Silva with command and eccentricity. This monologue can give an actor a vehicle to own the room with humor wrapped in confident evil manipulation. Playing the psychotic side of a character is a fun and rewarding challenge for an actor. It’s sure to impress on many levels. The speech is simplified as a story about rats but makes a poignant remark and threat to Bond in a start to the impending adventures of the film. Adding interesting character nuances can enhance the humor or amp up the creep factor. The choices are abundant. 

3. “The Lighthouse”: Willem Dafoe as Thomas Wake
It’d be impossible to not be remembered for doing this piece. Willem Dafoe takes a trip on the crazy side. The classical crazy side even, reminiscent of the madness of King Lear.  A seafarer dialect is certainly a must in this tirade that the character Thomas Wake gives to his young co-star. The mood is undeniably creepy and can be played campy, leaning into the absurd humor of the writing and delivery, or it can be just plain terrifying with a commitment to character and the foreboding content intensely ranted in classical language with utter seriousness. I feel stage-trained actors will be drawn to this piece as it allows for a larger-than-life performance but comes to you from a modern film and an acclaimed performance from Willem Dafoe as inspiration. Wear the madness and make your mark with this speech. 

4. “Da 5 Bloods”: Chadwick Boseman as Stormin’ Norman
The late Chadwick Boseman had an unmatched intensity in his work. This monologue from “Da 5 Bloods” is no exception. Boseman plays Norman, a soldier in the Vietnam War. In this scene, he’s guiding his troop to hide gold they discover and to convince them of their authority to do so. An actor who wants to show power in cultural identity will want to take a stab at this piece. There is plenty of opportunity to get undivided attention by taking advantage of motivational silence and strong intention with persuasive words. The piece is a beautiful display of camaraderie and power instilling encouragement. 

5. “The Wolf of Wall Street”: Leonardo DiCaprio as Jordan Belfort
Leonardo DiCaprio electrifies the rise and fall of Jordan Belfort the dubbed Wolf of Wall Street. In this monologue, Jordan is motivating a floor of stock salesmen to live out their dreams of being rich by outperforming each other and skyrocketing a stock. The energy that DiCaprio brought to this piece was not only necessary to this pivotal moment in Belfort’s career but it was electrifying to observe. An actor using this speech needs to tap into the sheer testosterone and 1980s machismo to rally this room of men to do his bidding. The language is strong but warranted and even comically entertaining with the amount of gusto behind every curse word and pejorative. 

Why this monologue succeeds is how it exists under a limitless pretense—the more energy and motivation that can be infused than the higher the chance of success for this character. This is an opportunity for an actor to deliver a grandstand larger-than-life monologue that is still very connected to the moment and can not be overdone. The text begs for a swollen chest, hoarse throat, veins popping from the head in intensity to motivate this crowd of thirsty underdogs. What a fun opportunity to show comedic skills that aren’t necessarily going for a laugh but entertain with boldness the character requires. A very dynamic piece that’s for an actor wanting to raise the energy in a room or light a self-tape on fire. 

6. “The Joker”: Joaquin Phoenix as the Joker
If cinematic history has shown us anything it’s that getting into the head of comic book supervillain the Joker is a recipe for an award-winning beloved performance. In the film “The Joker,” Joaquin Phoenix has been given tremendous dialogue to play with. The speech in this scene is delivered by Joker when on a talk show. Joker in all his twisted logic and sympathy-seeking behavior goes on a rant about how he’s misunderstood and begs for pity even though he’s a feared man and proves his evil by killing the talk show host at the end of the speech. Writing like this and a character as complex as the Joker is a jackpot for an actor. It requires some deep character work and empathy-building to play someone this atrocious. Remember a villain can never be judged by the actor. The actor must find the commonality and justifications for the actions, no matter how inherently heinous. This is a challenge and if delivered well, with your own spin, it will be a showcase for character development.

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The views expressed in this article are solely that of the individual(s) providing them,
and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of Backstage or its staff.

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Corey Ralston
Corey Ralston is repping kids and young adults at Bohemia Group. He also runs a resource page for parents called Child Actor 101. Corey’s other 30 years of business experience includes being a former child actor, acting coach, headshot photographer, and theatre director. His varied and extensive experience in these facets of the Industry has prepared him to nurture and develop young actors.
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