With award season in jeopardy due to the writer's strike in Hollywood (as we went to press the Golden Globes had been cancelled), I've been thinking a lot about the movies and how hair can define a character. Case in point: Last year's No Country for Old Men starring Javier Bardem as a ruthless killer named Anton Chigurh. In an article written by Jenny Peters for fashionwiredaily.com, the actor admits that the hairstyle helped him to be "messed up" for three months because it was so weird, which, incidentally, happens to describe the character he played. While the directors, Joel and Ethan Coen, loved the idea of having Bardem wear a long bob that barely moved, not even when he was blowing someone away, they got the idea from a book about bars and whorehouses in Texas and New Mexico in the 1960s that co-star Tommy Lee Jones showed them. Bardem says he noticed that some of the patrons of these establishments were wearing the same hairstyle. "So thanks to Tommy Lee, I had to spend three months wearing their hair," he says. I was convinced that Bardem was wearing a wig, but according to him the cut is the work of the on-set hairdresser. "When I saw it," Bardem tells Peters, "I said, 'Wow, we got a character now.'"
As the demon barber of Fleet Street in Sweeney Todd, Johnny Depp sports a silver streak in his hair that's not unlike Glenn Close's Cruella de Vil. Hmmm, two unbalanced individuals, both with mean streaks. One's a demon barber, the other's name is a play on the word devil. That got me to thinking about other maladjusted characters who've sported similar hairstyles. There's Lily Munster, of course, who lived at 1313 Mockingbird Lane. Played by Yvonne De Carlo, Lily was the matriarch of a seemingly normal family, but let's face it, they were all monsters. Then there's the Bride of Frankenstein, whose hair turned white when she opened her eyes to discover that she'd been spirited away by a guy with bolts coming out of his neck. From what I hear, Megan Mullally, who's assumed the role on Broadway in Mel Brooks' Young Frankenstein, isn't sporting a mean streak. Then again, perhaps she doesn't need to. After all, she played Karen Walker, the queen of mean, on Will & Grace for eight years.
Javier Bardem's hairstyle is as weird as his character in No Country for Old Men.
The white stripes: Johnny Depp plays Sweeney Todd, the demon barber of Fleet Street in the Paramount Pictures release; Yvonne De Carlo as Lily Munster with husband Herman; the Bride of Frankenstein.
IT'S SHOW TIME
Don't miss Show Biz this month on page 162. We've got the latest news from IBS New York, where you can see the legendary Vivienne Mackinder on Main Stage, get up close and personal with celebrity colorist Brad Johns and catch Bennie Pollard's "The Shear-Shank Redemption." It all happens April 27–29. To order tickets, visit ibsnewyork.com or call 800/427-2420.