Character: Charlie Bodell, high school sweetheart of Kathleen Turner’s time-traveling Peggy Sue
Hair: rockabilly hair helmet (see: Conan O’Brien for additional reference)
What it says about him: Shellacked by hairspray into a hurricane-proof pompadour, Cage’s hair here actually ranks as the third strangest thing about his character (after Charlie’s buckteeth and helium-high voice modeled on Pokey from “The Gumby Show”). It is, however, period perfect for the movie’s 1960 setting.
-- Chris Lee (Sony Pictures)
Character: H.I. McDunnough, a well-intentioned yet bumbling ex-convict turned kidnapper
Hair: flyaway flop-top with mutton chop sideburns and Robert Goulet mustache
What it says about him: Business up top and party on the sides -- a strange mix of counterculture and middle of the road. The character is doing just enough to fit in to normal society but still clearly values the “outlaw” ethos (at least enough to commit armed robberies in pursuit of diapers).
--Chris Lee (20th Century Fox Film Corp.)
Character: Cameron Poe, a newly released ex-con and former Army Ranger caught up in an aerial prison break
Hair: greasy, lank, shoulder-length mullet, plus designer stubble on face
What it says about him: As the character’s name suggests, he’s got a poet’s soul. The Byronic tresses provide an obvious visual counterpoint to that but also look nice billowing in jet wash.
-- Chris Lee (Frank Masi)
Character: Charlie Kaufman, filmic avatar of the movie’s real-life screenwriter, a dweeby shut-in struggling to write a dramatic movie adaptation of a nonfiction book
Hair: close-cropped Chia Pet cut
What it says about him: Nerdy is as nerdy does. The character’s nebbishiness and self-loathing are made all the more acute by his woolly mop of Brillo-pad-like hair. For a change of pace, Cage’s hair is funny on purpose.
-- Chris Lee (Ben Kaller / Columbia Pictures)
Character: Benjamin Franklin Gates, a treasure hunter looking to discover the truth behind Lincoln’s assassination
Hair: foppish middle-part comb-back most notable for a truly distracting absence of sideburns
What it says about him: He may be “No. 1 on the NSA, the CIA and the FBI’s most wanted list,” but the character’s complete lack of facial hair connotes a straight arrow quality that’s in keeping with his historian leanings and pure intentions: to clear the family name.
-- Chris Lee (Disney)
Character: Johnny Blaze/Ghost Rider, a stunt motorcyclist who trades his soul to battle Satan’s power-hungry son
Hair: black-dyed, closely shorn quasi-Caesar
What it says about him:Tom Cruise called and wants his haircut back. The most artificial-looking wig Cage has worn on screen to date, its dark color and thick tresses emphasize Blaze’s hell-for-leather evil-fighting MO. But it also speaks to the actor’s once-vast financial wherewithal; such quality toupee work speaks to the fact that a very expensive wig maker was on his payroll.
-- Chris Lee (Jasin Boland / Columbia Pictures)
Character: Behman, a 14th century knight responsible for transporting a suspected witch to a distant monastery
What it says about him: If Hollywood has taught us anything, it’s that in the Middle Ages, men had little time for trivialities such as haircuts, shampoo or conditioner. Cage’s hair here, though, is by turns wispy and lustrous, alternately lashed by rain and downy soft. Such extensions are a clear asset considering most of Cage’s scenes are illuminated by either torches or moonlight.
-- Chris Lee (Egon Endrenyi / Relativity Media)
Character: Milton, a vengeful father putting pedal to proverbial metal to find the creeps who killed his daughter
Hair: bleached-blond hockey hair that falls to the collar of his denim jacket
What it says about him: Milton may be battling one of Lucifer’s most capable henchmen (yes, this is something of a motif in Cage films), but the dude still has a sun-kissed quality that stands in stark contrast to the character’s sotto voce utterances concerning vengeance and redemption.
-- Chris Lee (Ron Batzdorf / Summit Entertainment)