Beard or no beard? What sounds like a simple question was not always so. Throughout history, the beard has been forbidden, imposed, taxed, grown to hide injuries, it has been a symbol of courage, respectability, wisdom, virility, authority or has simply been shaved, sometimes voluntarily and others not. Today, for some people, it is more than just a look: it represents a way of living, an identity.
Iconic beards and moustaches in the film industry
The identity given by a beard or moustache is also essential when bringing a character to life. We have seen beards as carefully groomed as that of Jake Gyllenhaal and as unkempt as that of Robbie Coltrane in his role as Hagrid in the Harry Potter saga. But, a brief look at some of the iconic beards in movie history reveals a love of variety, and the question of beard or no beard comes up time and again, comparing stars with and without facial hair.
Goatees. Seen on Orlando Bloom in Pirates of the Caribbean, very similar to that of the always handsome Johnny Depp. Robert Downey Jr., in his role as Tony Stark, also shows his skill with a razor. In some cases, there are relatively unkempt but loved goatees such as that of Jeff Bridges in The Big Lebowski.
Beards: One of the actors who has been compared the most is Chris Hemsworth. The actor, considered one of the most attractive on the planet, is famous both with and without a beard, although some might think that his beard gives him what we don’t see when he is clean shaven: maturity and wisdom. Bradley Cooper gave us goosebumps with his fragility in A Star is Born and Russell Crowe in Gladiator, although the same cannot be said of Noah. They are two examples of how to show off a wonderful beard as we look back at the beards in movie history.
And we cannot leave out Hugh Jackman as Wolverine, who also had a very unique style. Jason Momoa usually has a thick beard which he tied up to play the character Khal Drogo. We don’t know what Viking beards looked like but Travis Fimmel in his role as Rathnar Lothbrok certainly knows how to pull off a beard that is very hipster for that era, at least at the start of the series. We have even seen Salma Hayek show off a beautiful beard in Cirque Du Freak.
Moustaches. There are iconic moustaches such as that of Chaplin, which is even more famous than other similar elements that also criticise society and politics in an eternally and internationally comical way, or that of Burt Reynolds, an example of virility among men of several generations. Viggo Mortensen in Jauja begins his journey with an impressive moustache very similar to that of Kurt Russell in The Hateful Eight, who also had a subtle beard on his adventures in the wild west.
To end, we will also briefly mention eyebrows which, as well as giving a lot to talk about, can also be worn with style. Take Luis Tosar, who proved that thick eyebrows can be attractive, or those of Jon Kortajarena, which create an almost perfect triangle. There are also eyebrows that forget to stop in the middle, such as those of the beloved Frida Kahlo or Andy Kaufman, but that definitely merit more praise than criticism.