In director Ridley Scott’s colorful crime thriller “The Counselor,” which reaches theaters Friday,
That is, stealing nearly every scene he's in with an outré hairdo.
Sure, “The Counselor” arrives stacked with an all-star cast of Hollywood’s handsome and gorgeous:
If Bardem's latest tonsorial turn recalls (for entertainment industry-savvy viewers, at least) the look favored by Imagine Entertainment co-founder Brian Grazer, it's no accident. The actor set out to copy prolific producer Grazer's signature finger-in-the-light-socket cut and even warned the macher he'd stolen his look.
"I called him and said, 'He's going to look like you,' " Bardem recalled in Barcelona in June at a CineEuropa news conference.
But Bardem's Grazer-inspired coif is but one in an expanding canon of unforgettable follicular follies for the actor. Herewith, a guide to the ways and means of Bardem's greatest hair hits:
Film: "No Country for Old Men" (2007)
Hairstyle: Prince Valiant side parting.
What it says about him: As cunning but demented — and seemingly unstoppable — serial killer Anton Chigurh, the delicacy of Bardem's brunet bob is counterbalanced by his brutal efficiency with a pneumatic slaughterhouse tool, the bloodthirsty character's preferred method for offing his victims.
Hairstyle: Bottle blond, blow-dried comb back.
What it says about him: The Guardian UK noted that in portraying sinister James Bond nemesis Raoul Silva, Bardem "looks as if an albino polecat is draped across his head." The look, however, in no way detracts from the character's purring evil streak. En route to global domination, Bardem has clearly stopped off at the salon to subdue his hair at the blow-dry bar.
Film: "Goya's Ghosts" (2006)
Hairstyle: Salt-and-pepper, shoulder-length heavy-metal mop.
What it says about him: Bardem may be playing a conflicted man of the cloth in 19th century Spain, but the actor somehow manages to look more like Kevin DuBrow, lead singer of '80s lite-metal quartet Quiet Riot, than a pious man trying to balance his liberal impulses with church directives — more "Cum on Feel the Noize" than spiritus sancti.
Film: "Love in the Time of Cholera"
What it says about him: Aging five decades over the course of the 2007 adaptation of Gabriel Garcia Marquez's novel, Bardem goes from Charlie Chaplin-esque center part and ends up with perhaps one of the most questionable old-age bald spots — augmented by wispy white hair and a Yosemite Sam mustache — ever rendered in a studio movie. In addition to stealing scenes on its own, the actor's hair plays a strategic role in the narrative, illustrating his character's age and state of decrepitude.
Honorable mentions: Bardem's curly disco shag in "Before Night Falls," his balding gray in "The Sea Inside" and silver-fox side part in "The Dancer Upstairs."