Filmmaker David Michôd has explained the reasoning behind Timothée Chalamet’s outmoded bowl cut, the much-derided hairstyle he sports for The King.
“There was no version of this movie I could imagine in which Henry V had anything other than some kind of a bowl,” Michôd told RadioTimes.com. “It was very important to me that he transform – physically, visibly, not just emotionally.”
The Beautiful Boy star plays the young monarch of England in Netflix’s adaptation of Shakespeare’s historical play Henry V. Apparently, the king’s monk-like curls were intended to accurately reflect the style at the time.
“I really loved the idea of taking that amazing kid from Call Me By Your Name and plonking him into the beginning of this movie in the 15th Century,” he added. “It was always clear to me that Timmy had to have the haircut.”
Chalamet had previously voiced his mixed feelings about the decision. Speaking to Variety at the film’s premiere, he said: “At first it was anxiety-inducing, but then it was like nah, this has to be done.
“Or else you can kind of see those period movies – without shading anybody – but where they didn’t fully know what they were going for, and hopefully this is not that.”
He’s not the only character in The King with an unusual hairstyle – Robert Pattinson appears as Louis the Dauphin, with his hair worn in long, blonde locks.
Michôd said: “I knew he would have fun with the character. And I liked just letting him drive the aesthetic qualities.
“We were both clear on the fact that, in a way, what he was playing was a kind of vacuous, dandy psychopath.”
The rest of the cast includes Joel Egerton (Red Sparrow), Sean Harris (Mission: Impossible – Fallout), Thomasin McKenzie (Leave No Trace) and Ben Mendelsohn (Captain Marvel). But at the moment it’s rising star Chalamet – and his unfortunate hair – that’s got everybody talking.
Interview by Huw Fullerton
The King is streaming on Netflix now