Beard Culture

The 22 most badass movie characters with beards ever, fake or real?

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Beards are great. We like to think how every single person visiting this site holds that opinion. We also think there’s another even bigger general consensus among both men and women, regarding beards of course, which clearly states how movie beards are even cooler.

You were privileged to see all those great actors like Stallone and Eastwood wearing powerful beards on the big screen turning into pop icons for their generation. Let’s not forget characters like Serpico and Blondie …

Ups, some spoilers I guess, so let’s stop spilling beans.

Besides being man’s best friend and a great place to hide your Cheetos, beards also keep you warm and make you look manlier than before as a value adding bonus of sorts.

To celebrate beards all over the world, we’ve compiled a list of 22 badass movie beards and we’ve done a little research whether they’re fake or real. Here is our selection of movie beards that grew to the status of an icon for great deal of people and entire generations:

The ‘Gandalf’

Actor: Ian McKellen
Movie: The Lord Of The Rings trilogy (2001-2003)
Character: Gandalf the Grey / Gandalf the White.
Status: Fake


Probably one of the most recognizable beards in modern culture as there were not so many cases where you could see such a powerful magician with such a beautiful and powerful beard. You’ll see tons of macho beards that are thicker than a bowl of oatmeal, but you’ll most certainly feel amazed only by watching at this white wizardly masterpiece.

Sadly enough the Gandalf beard was created with the help of some creative hair extensions made by the costumography team behind The Lord Of The Rings franchise, but it’s still fun to see a wizard made out solely from magic and beard running through the screen. After all, this is a beard that grows for the past 200 years according to the story, so it’s understandable how it may look like Gandalf is made solely out of facial hair at times.

The ‘Forgotten Man’

Actor: Tom Hanks
Movie: Cast Away (2000)


Character: Chuck Noland
Status: Real

Don’t try replicating the look as Chuck Noland, the character portrayed by Tom Hanks, was a FedEx employee that went on a trip to Malaysia and got caught in a deadly tropical storm almost costing him his life, just to see himself trapped on a deserted island where his only friend was a customized soccer ball. You don’t want this, but you can surely try the look from the comfort of your office today, as beards became the new cultural phenomenon sweeping the Earth.

You would also need to stay on the sun for prolonged periods of time and do this for years and years … before you get to that washed away color Tom Hanks managed to create for his beard. Or just go and buy a fake beard from the local one dollar store. It’s much easier.

The ‘King Leonidas’

Actor: Gerard Butler
Movie: 300 (2006)


Character: King Leonidas
Status: Real

Gerard Butler made the movie watchable, something he couldn’t even make in the sequel, and a big part of his on stage performance was his strong and thick beard.

If you want to get a similar look just look mean and grow a beard, which you’ll need to shape as pointy as possible and then trim the bottom part, so you get a pointy square look. Sounds confusing but it’s really simple, just look at the picture above.

It would be hard to stay away from trouble with this bad boy beard, but just remember how you must try and stay calm as King Leonidas started a war with the much more powerful persians that didn’t have beards and that didn’t end up well.

The ‘Unfriendly Muttonchops’

Actor: Laurence Tureaud a.k.a. Mr. T
Movie: Rocky III (1982)


Character: Clubber Lang
Status: Real motherf*****!

The muttonchops are a beard style that exists since … well … forever I guess, but it was never presented in such a manner as Clubber Lang played by Mr. T. managed to do in Rocky III, instantly becoming one of the most recognized movie villains of all time.

This style is even described as “The Friendly Muttonchops” and it was a common way for a man to wear his beard in England in the 1800’s, but there’s something really unfriendly with the way Laurence Tureaud wears them with his unique sideburns that go all the way up.

The quote, from the movie, that makes these muttonchops even unfriendlier:

“I’ll beat you like a dog, a dog, you fool!”, “Dead meat!” and “I’m gonna torture him. I’m gonna crucify him. Real bad.”

This is a really bad, I say, BAD, man. And his beard is nasty as well.

The ‘Prince Vultan’

Actor: Brian Blessed
Movie: Flash Gordon (1980)


Character: Prince Vultan
Status: Real


If you can’t remember who Flash Gordon is, then this may be a quote you can’t even depict, so for all of you younger generations:

The ‘Royal Muttonchops’

Actor: Sean Connery
Movie: The Man Who Would Be King (1975)


Character: Daniel Dravot
Status: Real

Mr. T had the unfriendly muttonchops attacking Rocky in the third sequel of the movie, but what about the classy look? Who better to portray the royal muttonchops beard style than sir Sean Connery.

The Scottish actor most known for his epic role of James Bond managed to pull of the Royal Muttonchops look in the movie “The Man Who Would Be King” playing as Daniel Dravot. Character seen as a God by the good people of Kafiristan due to his invulnerability, idea created by the man himself thanks to the protective vest he wore under his clothes, that made him impenetrable to various weapons like spears and arrows.

Can you imagine Prince William wearing these muttonchops with pride and still looking like a modern day royalty? I believe not, but it’s always good to imagine and go back to the good old times when Mr. Connery played a demigod.

The ‘Nighthawk’

Actor: Sylvester Stallone
Movie: Nighthawks (1981)


Character: Detective Sergeant Deke DaSilva
Status: Real

Stallone became known for playing the chilled out, relax dude that’s just too virile for you all and there was one thing more impressive than the name of his character, Deke DaSilva, in this 80’s action classic, and that was Rocky’s beard style.

The full beard 10 o’clock shadow became epic together with the golden chain and the colorful pick of shirts and vests, so it was not an uncommon thing to see teenagers recreating the outfit on the streets of New York.

When you combine Sylvester Stallone with a thick beard, small tiny mullet, some cool aviator sunglasses and a flat cap he wore backwards, you get the ultimate macho man of the 1980’s.

Playing a cop is always tough because you can be creative enough, just ask Gene Hackman, who turned down the exact same screenplay for the third sequel of his French Connection franchise, but the good news is we now have Nighthawks as one of the most noticeable police related cult movies of that era.

The ‘Middle East Reporter’

Actor: George Clooney.
Movie: Syriana (2005)


Character: Bob Barnes
Status: Real

Where’s that massive manly chin of yours George? Huh?

Everybody wondered how Clooney would look with a strong thick beard on his face, covering that macho chin and jawline of his, but the end result was pretty impressive.

If the role of playing a ER doctor made him famous in the 90’s, this movie positioned him as one of the more renowned actors of our time. After all, he’s considered as one of the sexiest man alive, and why’s that?

Because of his gray hair of course, the construction of this face, but a big part of this is his 5 o’clock shadow as well. So, when you have such a big actor deciding to go full beard in one of his more serious flicks, it’s safe to say it’s a gamble.

Luckily enough everything turned well, from acting to style, and George Clooney even won the Academy Award for best supporting actor. I believe the beard made all the difference.

The ‘Blondie’

Actor: Clint Eastwood.
Movie: The Good, The Bad And The Ugly (1967)


Character: Blondie
Status: Real

It’s not all about the size!

Most of the beards you see here are noticeable because of the length and thickness, but our mate Clint Eastwood shows us how you can wear a short beard and still look manly enough to play the leading character in arguably the best western movie of all times directed by the legendary Sergio Leone, “The Good, The Bad and The Ugly”.

It’s extremely helpful for Mr. Clint to have such a perfect jawline, so this is probably a beard style that will be great for those of you that are in good form and have light hair pigment. If you have black beard and you’re chubby, you’ll probably end up looking like Zach Galifianakis instead of a legend like Eastwood.

The ‘Classy Villain’

Actor: Alan Rickman / Hart Bochner
Movie: Die Hard (1988)


Character: Hans Gruber / Harry Ellis
Status: Real / real

It’s tough to call the better beard from the “Die Hard” series, so we’ll put both on the same place.

They are two different beard styles, but they share the same goal. Kill Bruce Willis!

It’s clear who plays the better character when we talk about cocky evil villains that end up thrown down 100 stories tall corporate complex, but when it comes down to the beard they wear … The both seem equally good.

Now, that’s some first class acting as you may notice from the passion in the eyes of Bruce Willis.

A combination between a full goatee and a chinstrap, this beard style will make you look like an Central European businessman that doesn’t take no for an answer.

The ‘Good Eccentric Charismatic Cop’

Actor: Al Pacino
Movie: Serpico (1973)


Character: Frank Serpico
Status: Real

Pacino is one of the best actors in the history of cinema. We can say that with no hesitation and I believe Serpico is one of his best works in a rich and productive career.

It’s a pretty insightful look in the life of an honest New York undercover cop that puts everything in the job. His whole life evolves around cleaning up the streets of his hometown and for what?

I will not share an spoilers, in case you still haven’t watched this one, but I assure you, it’s not easy to be Frank Serpico. When we talk about the beard it’s safe to assume how this is one of those rare movies when you can see the entire evolution of a character over the course of 12 years.

Being a colorful character, this also puts us in a position where we can closely monitor the growth of his beard. I’m not sure how the movie was filmed, but I suppose they were doing it in retrospect and there was much attention to detail, especially the uniqueness of the beard style.

The ‘Sensei’

Actor: Chia Hui Liu
Movie: Kill Bill Vol. 1 & 2 (2003-2004)


Character: Pai Mei
Status: Fake

Quentin Tarantino is a master of creating fictional universes filled with characters presented together with their rich personas that interconnect in one way or the other, and Pai Mei is certainly one of his best works till date.

Everybody that watched the Kill Bill series remembers him as a sensei with an attitude that thinks he knows everything about kung-fu and martial arts in general. The best part? He truly does. Just check out his Five Point Palm Exploding Heart Technique, which is vital in 100% of cases and only The Bride played by Uma Thurman was lucky enough to learn this ancient secret:

Pai Mei means White Eyebrow and we can see why the character was phisically developed in such a way, but we must inform you how every bit of facial hair used on this set is fake, so we’ll encourage you to stay away from this beard style if you don’t want to dedicate your life to it and maybe learn the secrets of kung fu while you’re at it.

The ‘Rogue Survivor’

Actor: Viggo Mortensen
Movie: The Road (2009)


Character: Man
Status: Real

Watching “The Road” is a terrifying cinematic experience because you see first hand of what humanity can become in the near future. Travelling with his son and only couple of bullets in the chamber, which the man plans to use if they encounter a large group of head hunters, this movie is no walk in the park, so this rogue beard style can benefit all of you loners out there going through a rough patch.

Every character on this set has a beard, except for the people held like livestock in a basement, so if you believe there will be an apocalypse any time soon, you better start growing and grooming that beard to achieve the look. There are couple of other notable beards like the ones presented by Garret Dillahunt and Michael Kenneth Williams, but Viggo Mortensen is has surely the most notable one.

The ‘Thing’

Actor: Kurt Russell
Movie: The Thing (1982)


Character: R.J. MacReady
Status: Real

Back in the days when everybody was flipping over Stallone’s beard in “Nighthawks”, John Carpenter decided to create a horror flick where, in his own words, “Man is the warmest place to hide.”

Kurt Russell, who wasn’t in the peak of his glory at this time, wore this powerful stubble with pride and it looked great on him as well. This is the movie that propelled him to roles in movies such as: “Big trouble in little China”, “Tombstone” and “Escape from LA”. It seems like “The Thing” positioned Kurt as a powerful yet witty figure in the world of cinema, and we must admit, any type of beard looks good on him.

The ‘Jailbird’

Actor: Harrison Ford
Movie: The Fugitive (1993)


Character: Dr. Richard Kimble
Status: Real

What can you do when everybody thinks you committed a crime, you got nothing to do with in the first place?

You run my man and you run far away.

Something that Dr. Richard Kimble didn’t do as he struggled to take justice in front of the wide public, and he eventually succeeded in this tense thriller. When we made this list, we thought we would see much more prison beards, but the fugitive is something else. We just can’t keep but wonder how he managed to maintain his beard while he was on the run … Was he using some special oil or beard wax or a magic pomade?

Or is Harrison Ford so manly, he can wear his beard without maintaining it … I believe that’s the case! It seems like Indiana Jones can do anything better than you and that includes wearing a beautiful beard while running from the cops.

The ‘Oceanographer’

Actor: Bill Murray
Movie: The Life Aquatic With Steve Zissou (2004)


Character: Steve Zissou
Status: Real

Bill Murray is an icon. New York Legend that understood life and can now enjoy making movies like this one and promoting such a thick white beard that almost makes him serious. You all remember him from “Groundhog Day”, “Ghostbusters” and “Lost In Translation”; but there’s more than movies when it comes to Mr. Murray.

He’s a persona larger than life and you can always expect a great advice from him, even on getting married:

When you combine this with a silky smooth full white beard and a funny red fisherman hat, a legend is born. You’ll need to be in your late 50’s at least to try this look, but we encourage everyone to try and be a little more like Bill when it comes to fashion and resonating the mysteries that life brings.

The ‘Silent Bob’

Actor: Kevin Smith
Movie: Jay And Silent Bob Strike Back (2001)


Character: Silent Bob
Status: Real

We planned to leave this part of the article blank as an homage to the silence Silent Bob brought to the screen, but as everybody has a certain opinion about Kevin Smith, we would like to share our thoughts as well.

For a dude that went all in with his low budget indie debut “Clerks” where he discovered his partner in crime Jason Mewes and sponsored the entire project on his own, we must admit we can’t understand how he went to make movies like “Yoga Hosers” and “Tusk” later in his career.

Nevertheless he’s a stand out beard guy that wears a solid full beard since like forever, so it’s only right to put him on this list. He’s no Stallone in “Nighthawks”, but it’s surely is a cult style that everyone will remember for years to come.

The ‘Awkward Single Friend’

Actor: Zach Galifianakis
Movie: The Hangover (2009)


Character: Alan Garner
Status: Real

Zach Galifianakis’s beard is a never ending story that holds all the secrets of the universe. Joking aside, just try and look directly in the beard for couple of minutes. It’s like staring in a black hole. Everything floating around it will eventually get sucked in, like the performance of the rest of the “Hangover” cast members.

Zach dominated them in every possible way, and to only think how Galifianakis didn’t even have a beard at the beginning of his career is astonishing.

We applaud the actor for creating an image in real life as well on screen and the dedication it took for him to grow this beauty. This beard style is perfect for all you chubby chubsters that just want to hide those 9 chins hiding bellow your neck.

The ‘Sparrow’

Actor: Johnny Depp
Movie: Pirates Of The Caribbean: The Curse Of The Black Pearl (2003)


Character: Jack Sparrow
Status: 50/50

You can’t have a movie beards list without mentioning Jack Sparrow at least once and we’ll use our joker here at the end of our post. One of the most colorful characters in the realm of fantasy movies played by Johnny Depp in a classic 2000’s flick that competed well with “The Lord Of The Rings” and “Harry Potter”.

It would be better if the makeup team didn’t use any eyeliners and shadows on our good old Jack Sparrow, but it still is a great example of how you can wear a patchy beard and still look good.

You don’t need to become a pirate or possess all the character traits of Jack Sparrow, but you can certainly wear this beard and look good.

The ‘Dude’

Actor: Jeff Bridges
Movie: The Big Lebowski (1998)


Character: Jeff “The Dude” Lebowski
Status: Real

The only goatee on this list, because we all think how goatees are lame right? But, you couldn’t argue with the overall coolness The Dude possesses, so it just seems right how he’s a must on this list.

The carped tied the room together, but Lebowski’s goatee is what made this a popular style in the nineties and even today. If you want to look like a laid back everyday Joe that just wants to bowl and smoke, ask Jeff Bridges for some guidance.

If on the other hand you want to look more of a hyped nihilist,  stay with the clean shave look. Another classic goatee with a chinstrap attached to it from this movie?

We can’t leave out Walter Sobchak played by Jeff Goodman for crying out loud!

The ‘Iron Fist’

Actor: Chuck Norris
Movie: Everything Chuck ever made since 1968


Character:  Chuck Norris doesn’t play characters, they’re written for him
Status: Real

Don’t mess with this man. He wars his beard for almost fifty years now and it has became a trademark and a national treasure during the process. Remember all of those Chuck Norris jokes facts?

Well, guess what’s underneath Chuck’s beard …


Another fist!

The ‘Hagrid’

Actor: Robbie Coltrane
Movie: The Harry Potter Series (2001-2011)


Character: Rubeus Hagrid
Status: Fake

We didn’t include Dumbledore’s beard because it’s just too similar to the first beard on this list, The Gandalf, and we liked to introduce a little versatility. Although the entire Harry Potter series features various beard styles, but there’s none other more powerful than Hagrid’s.

The witty and always pleasant giant leads Harry to the world of magic and acts in a form of a protector of the little kid over a period of ten years and 8 titles, yes they managed to make 8 movies in 10 years, that’s impressive.

And in each one of these movies Hagrid’s beard looks impressive as in the first scene. This is why his character has become one of most recognizable ones in pop culture in general.

When in doubt, start growing a Hagrid, although we must inform you most of this powerful beard is fake.

Have any favorite movie beards we forgot to mention? Fill up the comment section with them and make us feel bad.

When in doubt beard it out! If you don't know how, make sure to follow my blog, cuz I'm just another bearded man in this World.

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