For an actor, physical transformation often comes with the territory. Hell, some people win Oscars entirely because of it. But there is transformation, and there's reinvention... and then there's violation. For Hollywood's baldest and brightest, choosing to don a hairpiece can be construed as a shameful capitulation - even an act of blasphemy.
Some bald actors, of course, weave in and out of hair and non-hair roles without a hitch. No one knows, for example, what Nicolas Cage and John Travolta's real hair actually looks like anymore. But for many a bald thespian, baldness has become an inseparable part of his identity - even his legacy. The patron saint of the bald actor is, of course, Telly Savalas, who chose the bald look and stuck with it - undeterred - for the entirety of his career. For too many others of his ilk, however, the temptation of a full head of hair is, sadly, just too much to pass up. Be the bald, gentlemen. Be the bald.
Vote up the unexpected hairpieces that truly changed the way you saw - and respected - the actors wearing them. Then take a look at the flip side of the equation.
What the hell is this? This moussed widow's peak - and accompanying sideburns - appears on the head of the erstwhile Dominic Toretto in Sidney Lumet's Find Me Guilty, in which Vin Diesel stars as Jackie DiNorscio, a charismatic real-life gangster who served as his own legal representation in federal court.
Hair Analysis: It's bad enough that he's wearing a suit. But the hair? That's a bridge too far. Diesel's dome is his most expressive quality as a performer. No one pays their hard-earned money to see him walking around in this grand deception of hand-sewn synthetic fibers. Imagine the Muscles from Brussels, but without the muscles.
With hair, this is just Mark Sinclair from Alameda County. Without the hair - and only without the hair - he's Vin Diesel.
1,051167Is this wig a blasphemous lie?
- Age: 53
- Birthplace: New York City, USA, New York
What the hell is this? This thin, floppy creation found itself glued to the head of Michael Chiklis in High School, an indie stoner comedy in which Chiklis stars as a school administrator dealing with a potentially volatile drug scandal.
Hair Analysis: Vic Mackey is scary. High school principals are scary. Vic Mackey as a high-school principal? Somehow, not scary at all. Which means there is only one possible culprit: That ginger rug, which transforms the most dangerous man on the Los Angeles police force into a harmless-looking authority figure. Remember that episode of 30 Rock when Jack Donaghy tries to convince Pete to wear a toupee because it makes him look "younger, and more confident" and that it will unlock his full potential? Yeah, this is the opposite of that.
795157Is this wig a blasphemous lie?
- Age: 52
- Birthplace: Lowell, Massachusetts, United States of America
What the hell is this? This rug appears atop Jason Statham's head in the 2006 film London, in which he plays a coked-up banker giving bloated pseudo-philosophical advice to a volatile, heartbroken younger dude played by a pre-Marvel Chris Evans.
Hair Analysis: Frankly, Jason? How dare you. This flat, short-cropped 'do strips the once and future Transporter of the rugged masculine potency that so effortlessly won our hearts and minds in Snatch, The Italian Job, and the Crank franchise. Every shot of Statham in London makes it look like he's cosplaying as a 9-year-old boy cosplaying as a grown-up. The hairpiece somehow winds up being the most embarrassing thing in a movie that also features the acting talents of Dane Cook.
762354Is this wig a blasphemous lie?
- Age: 53
- Birthplace: Shirebrook
What the hell is this? Jeffrey Tambor's famously unadorned head gets an unwelcome guest in Armando Iannucci's savage political satire, The Death of Stalin, in which Tambor stars as Soviet politician and one-time Premier Georgy Malenkov.
Hair Analysis: The argument in the wig's favor is that, at the very least, The Death of Stalin means to make Tambor's Malenkov look like a desperate, ridiculous neurotic. Still, it's unnerving to see our beloved Hank Kingsley and George Bluth Sr. - without the comic juxtaposition of a hippie twin brother whose hair never fell out - strutting around with a full head of dark brown, camera-ready hair. It's no wonder why the proudly bald Nikita Khrushchev - played by Steve Buscemi - outwitted the hapless Malenkov.
517408Is this wig a blasphemous lie?
- Age: 76
- Birthplace: California, United States of America