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Home » Justin Baldoni: Why I’m Done Trying to Be “Man Enough” (Transcript)

Justin Baldoni: Why I’m Done Trying to Be “Man Enough” (Transcript)

Justin Baldoni

Here is the full transcript and summary of American actor Justin Baldoni’s TED Talk: Why I’m Done Trying to Be “Man Enough”.


Justin Baldoni – American actor

As an actor, I get scripts and it’s my job to stay on script, to say my lines and bring to life a character that someone else wrote. Over the course of my career, I’ve had the great honor playing some of the greatest male role models ever represented on television.

You might recognize me as “Male Escort #1”, “Photographer Date Rapist,” “Shirtless Date Rapist” from the award-winning “Spring Break Shark Attack.” “Shirtless Medical Student,” “Shirtless Steroid-Using Con Man” and, in my most well-known role, as Rafael. A brooding, reformed playboy who falls for, of all things, a virgin, and who is only occasionally shirtless.

Now, these roles don’t represent the kind of man I am in my real life, but that’s what I love about acting.

I get to live inside characters very different than myself. But every time I got one of these roles, I was surprised, because most of the men I play ooze machismo, charisma and power, and when I look in the mirror, that’s just not how I see myself.

But it was how Hollywood saw me, and over time, I noticed a parallel between the roles I would play as a man both on-screen and off. I’ve been pretending to be a man that I’m not my entire life. I’ve been pretending to be strong when I felt weak, confident when I felt insecure and tough when really I was hurting.

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