It’s fairly commonplace for actors to have their hair specially styled or don a wig for an acting role. What is much less common is actors allowing their own hair to be completely shaved off. Joseph Gordon-Levitt is the latest to do so in the cancer comedy “50/50.” He joins a fairly exclusive group of actors willing to chop it all off for their craft.
This list is going to feature actors who have shaved their heads specifically due to the requirements of a role. Actors who regularly shave their heads just because that’s their preferred look, such as Vin Diesel, will not be appearing on the list.
Natalie Portman — “V for Vendetta”
Portman played the role of Evey, a girl living in a totalitarian England who finds herself unwittingly wrapped up with a masked terrorist called V. In the film Evey is captured, interrogated, and has her head shaved before being locked up in a jail cell. Despite the tears that flow on her face during the head-shaving scene, it’s been reported that Portman was actually looking forward to the event. She’s said that she had wanted to try the look for some time but doing so on her own might hurt the kinds of roles she was offered.
Sigourney Weaver — “Alien3″
In the much-maligned third entry in the “Alien” franchise, star Sigourney Weaver underwent a rather drastic make-over. The film had her character Ripley crash landing on a prison planet with a killer alien in tow. The reason given for the shaved head was that there was a lice problem and all residents and inmates had to shave off all hair. The result gave a very stark look to Weaver which worked for her. However, having the entire cast be shaved bald made it easy to confuse the characters, especially during action scenes.
Mike Myers — “Austin Powers: International Man of Mystery”
Mike Myers has played a minimum of two roles in each entry in this spy spoof series. Right from the first film, the titular Austin Powers may have a Beatles-style mop-top but his nemesis Dr. Evil sports a completely bare head. Myers has shaved his head completely bald for all three films in this series in order to keep the character’s look. The bald head and facial scar were heavily inspired by the James Bond villain Blofeld in “You Only Live Twice.”
Timothy Olyphant — “Hitman”
Originally the frequently bald Vin Diesel was going to star as the titular assassin known as Agent 47. Diesel eventually decided not to star, though he did stay on as an executive producer, and Timothy Olyphant stepped up to the plate. Playing a video game character who didn’t have much of an outgoing personality made it all the more important to be sure the look matched that of the game. Hence Olyphant went under the sheers to show off his bald pate.
Kevin Spacey — “Superman Returns”
Oscar-winner Kevin Spacey re-teamed with director Bryan Singer to play the villainous Lex Luthor for this film. Spacey sported the character’s iconic bald head in all but a few scenes where a wig was used and played for laughs. What’s most notable here is that the last actor to play the role, Gene Hackman, refused to shave his head. He did rip off a wig to show a bald head at the very end of “Superman,” however that was done with make-up and a prosthetic skull cap.
Heading to the movies? Get an instant mobile coupon to use at select theaters for free popcorn!