Top 7… Actors who have shaved their heads for a role
This week sees the release of sci-fi flick Elysium, director Neill Blomkamp’s follow-up to District 9, in which its star, Matt Damon, shaved his head to get into character. But how does his chrome dome compare to some others in the trade who got the number one razor out before him?
7. Timothy Olyphant in Hitman
The most shocking thing about the wretched movie adaptation of video game Hitman is that it could have been even worse. Vin Diesel was originally slated to play Agent 47, but poor Timothy Olyphant (who I really like) got drafted in, had his hair whacked off and was ordered to bring some empathy to a non-character. Yeah, good luck with that.
6 .Natalie Portman in V For Vendetta
If you’re going to impress with your new short hairdo, it always pays to have it cut off on screen, as Natalie Portman does here in V For Very Crap Film. Has an actor ever shaved their head for a GOOD movie?
5. Tom Cruise in Minority Report
Yes, yes they have. I don’t think it’s wrong to say Minority Report is one of Steven Spielberg’s finest films. He released this in the same year as the equally wonderfully (and equally overlooked when it comes to most overviews of the director’s entire body of work) Catch Me If You Can. It looks like the barber caught up – and cut up – with The Cruiser here. It really is de rigueur to shave your head off in the future, huh? It really is de rigueur to use pretentious French phrases when you’ve nothing more imaginative to write too. C’est la vie.
4. Anne Hathaway in Les Misérables
I’m not sure Anne Hathaway deserved her Oscar for Les Mis. She shows up for ten minutes, sings a cover of a Susan Boyle song, then skips la ville. Nice haircut though, spawning a thousand articles and TV reports about how ‘the bob is back!’ No it isn’t. It’s just a movie.
3. Sigourney Weaver in Alien3
Sometimes getting your hair cut like a 10-year-old in ’80s Britain can (almost) pay off. Sigourney Weaver had a clause in her contract for the third Alien movie that should she have to get her head shaved twice during filming, she would receive a bonus. When the production demanded reshoots and her hair had grown back, a special bald cap was made to go over her bonce, this saving the studio some cash.
2. Demi Moore in GI Jane
Another from the ‘do it on screen’ file, although in Demi Moore’s case, it must have been a shock that those four words referred to a haircut. Not only does she do it, but she does it herself, in Ridley Scott’s much derided yet actually underrated US navy training drama.
1. Marlon Brando in Apocalypse Now
And now to the granddaddy of buzz cuts: Brando. Say what you like about old Marlon, he always gave good head. And gave as good as he got off screen too. He was a handful away from the camera in Francis Ford Coppola’s journey into the Heart of Darkness, but when finally in front of it – and once he got enough shadows in the frame to cover his girth – Brando put in a mesmerising and incomprehensible performance as Colonel Kurtz, suiting the film which contains it right down to the ground. Head boy.