Throughout the history of cinema, scores of legendary actors have graced the silver screen. Many of these greats had either an on-screen beard transformation, or they had to grow one for their role. We’re primarily looking at the former (with one special mention for an actor who grew facial hair beforehand).
Similar to bearded characters on television, these film stars are ferocious actors that left us awestruck with portrayals of both fictitious and real men. Their stories have stood the test of time and are a must-watch for connoisseurs of renowned cinematic classics.
Everyone knows Al Pacino for his roles in movies like The Godfather and Scarface, but during the early 1970s he played the lead in a biopic loosely based on a detective named Frank Serpico.
Serpico is a film that finds Frank Serpico uncovering the truth about a mass systematic corruption in the police force. He is meets with obstacles every step of the way. He sacrifices his safety and reputation while putting absolutely everything on the line.
One of the great things about this film is Al Pacino’s physical transformation. Frank Serpico is an undercover officer who needs to wear plain clothes to mix and mingle with the criminal underground. Throughout the film, Pacino slowly grows facial hair until he develops a full on beard.
The beard trajectory perfectly demonstrates his full blown descent from silent discontent to an outright rebellion of the corrupt system. Pacino, being the great actor that he is, even lived with the real Serpico to study his mannerisms and general philosophy. This tremendous film is a must watch.
This beloved character is a cinema classic and a great costume idea for beardos. Forrest Gump, for those of you that don’t know, (who are you?) is a tale about a dimwitted fellow who coasts through life with success. He’s always present during defining moments of history: teaching Elvis his signature dance, running through Vietnam, meeting President Johnson and so on.
For the majority of the movie, Forrest is clean shaven, then he decides to go on a run for a few years. The theme of running is a unique aspect of the film that should be paid close attention to.
After a rough patch, Forest goes on a mega running trek where he grows a truly wild beard. This epic adventure comes to it’s climax during a pivotal montage in the film. The beard serves as a great metaphor for Forest’s transformation, and the theme of running and has layered meanings.
There are a whole lot of Rocky movies. What started out as a standalone underdog fight of the century evolved into a sequel-laden fight fest starring Sylvester Stallone. Some of these films stand out more than others. Rocky I and II, for example, are great classics that compliment one another well.
These films pitted Rocky against a near superhuman boxer of exemplary strength and boxing prowess. Rocky made the montage such a staple in fight movies that it’s almost synonymous with this film series.
In Rocky IV’s montage, we see Rocky training like he’s never trained before. Out in the cold wilderness of Siberia, Rocky rocks what can only be described as the greatest revenge beard of all time.
Take yourself back to the 1980s… In a montage, Rocky cuts down trees wearing a badass leather jacket, picks up people in horse carts and fights a guy nearly twice his size. Note a few side effects from this film: gym motivation and the need to train in the Russian wilderness.
While there was no massive beard transformation on screen, this film still deserves a lot of credit. Leonardo DiCaprio (and the rest of the cast and crew), braved the wilderness to shoot this Academy Award winning film.
This was also Leo’s first Oscar after years of getting snubbed. Like everything DiCaprio does, he makes sure that it’s of the utmost quality. Tabloids and other news sources reported on his manbun style and beard during the film’s production.
Meanwhile, Leo was also shooting an amazing film about the environment, Before the Flood. It does seem fitting that after all these years DiCaprio would finally win his most coveted award when he grew out the beard.
These guys are some of our top metamorphosis characters in the cinematic fold. If you haven’t seen our fellow bearded brothers on the screen yet, then do yourself a favor and plop down on the couch to watch them in all their glory!