Javier Bardem Joined ‘No Country for Old Men’ Because of His Character’s Haircut

by Taylor Cunningham

Javier Bardem wasn’t sold on playing his Oscar-winning role in No Country for Old Men—until he got a peek at his rather silly haircut.

When the Coen Brothers first asked Bardem to star as Anton Chigurh in their 2007 hit, he didn’t think he’d accept. Not only was Anton’s dialect far from his own, but Bardem also wasn’t a fan of playing such a violent person.

But despite all of that, Javier Bardem agreed to give the movie a chance. So he headed out to the studio to meet with the casting director and give a formal audition. And the hesitancy to play Anton Chigurh stuck around until he visited the makeup trailer and got an eye full of what the character would look like.

“I went to New Mexico,” the Being the Ricardos Star told Screen Rant. “And I sat down in a makeup trailer. And they came with a photograph of a brothel on the border with Mexico in the ’50s or in the ’60s with a guy photographed with this haircut and two prostitutes.”

In No Country for Old Men, Anton Chigurh is a psychopathic hitman who dons a haircut that can only be described as a mix between a Beetles do and a classic bob style. The end result is a bit comical. But it worked perfectly. The style gave Anton an unforgettable look and created an even creepier persona.

Javier Bardem Thought That the Haircut was ‘Such a Coen Brothers Look’

As the actor continued to tell Screen Rant, he was confused by the picture at first. He didn’t understand why the stylists were asking him to study it. But once Bardem understood, he had to be in the movie.

“And they said, ‘well, we want you to look like that,” Bardem remembered. “I said, ‘okay.” And then the hairdresser, Paul, [who] passed away recently, amazing hairdresser, in a second, with my own hair, he made [imitates snipping]. And I saw it and I said, ‘Yes, I have to make this movie.'”

“I mean, this is such a Coen brothers look,” he continued. “And, because it was funny, it was ridiculous, it was fun. Then that in comparison with what the character is would make a very good Coen brothers character to play.”

The role ended up making Javier Bardem a bonafide A-lister. He won an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor. And though Bardem was originally unsure about playing violent characters, he found a place in the world of blockbuster villains.

Since starring as the hitman, he went on to play the bad guy opposite of Daniel Craig in Skyfall and Johnny Depp in Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales.