Don't just call him a copper-red mullet. Behind the 1980s cut of the protagonist of Luca Guadgnino's latest film there are specific meanings, which will make the character of Lee better known (and loved).
When it comes to Timothée Chalamet everything always has to do with something trendy. Specifically, for Bones and All (Till the Bone), Luca Guadagnino's film, winner of the Silver Lion for Directing at the Venice Film Festival 2022, the actor gave birth to a new nuance of his now famous 'chalamania'. This time, however, it is not about bold red carpet looks, rather the actor's hair. In the eighties-flavoured film, the story – based on the 2015 horror-drama novel by Camille DeAngelis – about cannibal love and an on-the-road journey to freedom across America, Timothée Chalamet's dishevelled, curly mullet is what stands out.
The film's hair designer, Massimo Gattabrusi, explained the reason for the choice of the bleached and toned tips in a copper red tending to strawberry, which many of Timothée's fans have already suggested to their hairdresser. The character's radical transformation came about in a dialogue between the stylist and the director Guadagnino, who agreed on wanting to give the film a mood somewhere between gore and fantasy, while still sticking to a haircut and colour that could be a real cue for today's youth. "For Timothée, Guadagnino was looking for something iconic and very different from the actor's usual look. Red gives empathy and energy but has nothing to do with blood. I was inspired by rock stars, like Cindy Lauper, who in the Eighties era played with these very shades to give her character even more character,' he explained. What he has recreated is a cut that will quickly become as epic as Chalamet himself.
But why the colour red?
The bleached hair with visible bright red locks is a cinematic expression of the emotional odyssey of his character, Lee. In addition, there is the great phenomenon of generation Z who, on social platforms such as Tik Tok, feel the need to express their personality also through their personal look. This specific hair colour, in fact, could be the perfect transposition of the vortex of this generation that likes to express its story or its opinion through details, such as its hair.
And so the stylist's choice fell on the bright red mullet, which is neither an accident nor a nice marketing thought. Rather, it is a way of helping Chalamet himself get into the mind of his character and interpret his story in the best possible way. And it is no accident that the red changes hue throughout the film. The hair, in this precise case, is a means to better narrate Lee's evolution, and this explains why at certain moments the hue is softer and in other scenes it is bolder.
"It's something imperceptible, that you feel in context. More than seeing it, you feel it," said Gattabrusi.
If you want to achieve this look, you must have curly hair, which is ideal for giving movement to the cut and enhancing the sharp colour break between the brown and the tips that have been bleached and then toned red. To achieve this, especially if you start with a dark base like Chalamet's, you will need to arm yourself with patience. It is in fact a multi-volume decolouring, which is then completed by applying a semi-permanent red colour, to be re-tinted at least once every fortnight or after a month at the latest.
The hairstylist, in order to find the perfect shade, made several attempts with pigments, eventually arriving at an intense copper red that implicitly tells the story of the character's choices and evolution. And, in your case, that will tell a little more about your personality, if you are as passionate (though not as cannibalistic) as Lee.
Written by Michael Zippo
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