The leather jacket is the epitome of masculinity and manliness. Worn by the right person, the leather jacket becomes the be all and end all of all aspects of the fight between good and evil. The quintessential leather jacket was made famous by Dean Jones back in the ‘60s with his portrayal of the rebel without a pause. Over the decades, the leather jacket has become a prop not for rebels, but for tough guys and people who do not take no for an answer when they know that they are right. Of course, there are several types of leather jackets that have been made famous over the years, but our all-time favorite is still the biker gang leather jacket with two slits for pockets at the left and right and a wraparound button down at the neck. We take a look at five actors who have made the leather jacket proud.
Apart from the leather jacket, the other iconic action props are the racer back vests, made famous by Bruce Willis in Die Hard, the trench coat, which has had the misfortune of being always on the other side of justice and the iconic jeans. However, no other apparel and accessory has been as famous and visible as the biker gang leather jacket.
5 Steven Seagal:
Before Steven Seagal became overweight and could no longer be seen as an action hero material, he was the toast of the martial arts – American hero concept going strong in Hollywood. He has acted in some of the most high octane and martial arts laden action movies, and his most famous movie may be Hard Target. Steven Seagal is one of the many past martial masters who made the biker leather jacket famous. Many of his action sequences would begin with Seagal walking up to the gang, his palms into his jacket pockets, with only a brooding, angry look at his face.
Of course, the rest of the sequence would be him beating up his opponents with any of the many martial arts styles that he has mastered. Along with the leather jacket, Steven Seagal has also made famous the ponytail.
4 Liam Neeson:
Look at Liam Neeson and you will say that there is no action hero material here. Surprisingly, this person has acted in some very good thrillers. He has played the role of the father whose daughter is taken by slave traders in the movie ‘Taken’. He also portrayed the role of an assassin who takes his cover too seriously after he has an accident in Germany in ‘Unknown’.
In both the movies, Neeson has worn the traditional, classic leather jacket in black and it surely suits him, as he runs from pillar to post trying to save the assassination of a scientist, with an Arab who would be killed as collateral damage. The movie, of course, is extremely watchable, and not just because we have our favorite actor wearing a leather jacket.
3 Jason Statham:
Jason Statham has not just worn a leather jacket, but has actually driven a sports bike, complete with a hot chick at the back and a badass helmet in The Expendables. Jason Statham is one of the few martial artists who are actors too, and does his stunts and fight sequence himself. He has also acted in the Transporter franchise, where he is ex CIA, who has taken up a job as a driver, which of course leads to some interesting situations – which has spawned three movies till date. Jason Statham may be one of the most unique action heroes in recent times.
2 Sylvester Stallone:
Strangely, the man who created the concept of a lean and mean killing machine does not have many sequences of wearing the legendary leather jacket, except in an eighties flick titled the Cobra, and some of the earlier sequences in the Rocky Franchise. That is because most of his movies have him acting either barechested (Rambo), in costume (Demolition Man) and even as the brains of a fighting team (Tango and Cash). However, the Cobra poster, which has him donning the classic Ray Ban glasses, wearing a leather jacket and having a cheroot between his lips certainly added to the popularity of the biker gang leather jacket.
1 Arnold Schwarzenegger:
Think about leather jackets and the next picture that comes in your mind is Arnie riding a Harley Davidson, wearing the classic Ray Ban sunglasses, with a double barreled shot gun, and of course, donning a black biker jacket. The film poster is one of the most iconic posters in the history of filmed cinema, and is known for making the leather jacket very, very famous.
Arnold Schwarzenegger has rarely worn a leather jacket in his other movies. He is otherwise known for his portrayal of a barbarian warrior in Conan the Barbarian, and then in some action flicks like Predator, Raw Deal, and then comedies like Kindergarten Cop and Jingle All the Way, in which he did not get as many chances to wear a leather jacket as he would have liked to. His last appearance was wearing a full suit in The Expendables. He had hinted at a return to films, and had signed up for The Expendables 2, but with the current issues hounding his private life, we wonder how soon he will be coming back to the limelight. Till then, we have his reruns of Terminator and Conan to whet our appetites.
A man who can make a racerback look good would definitely do wonders for a leather jacket. His last action movie was Red, in which he did get a chance to don the leather jacket. He also acted in Sin City, where he wore an enhanced version of a trench coat. However, we will always remember for the racerback vest that he wore in most of the Die Hard franchise. Old habits are hard to break, you see.