Here at SYFY WIRE FANGRRLS, we're invested in hard-hitting journalism, the kind of dogged investigation that unearths uncomfortable truths, presents unbiased arguments, and speaks truth to power with regard to hot-button issues the rest of the internet is too cowardly to address. Which is why we've decided to cover that most controversial of topics, a question so emotionally charged it could wage Tumblr wars for years to come, so contextually nuanced and socially loaded even Ronan Farrow won't touch it.
We're talking, of course, about the battle of the medieval sad boi haircuts in Netflix's upcoming historical epic, The King.
In one corner of the ring, we've got Timothee Chalamet, a baby-faced ingenue with pillow lips and puppy eyes. He's Greta Gerwig's muse and the on-again-off-again on-screen boyfriend of one Armie Hammer. In the other corner, we've got Robert Pattinson — RPattz if you survived the Twilight era — a former teen heartthrob turned legitimately talented actor with a pension for doing weird sh*t in movies, like sporting bizarre wigs and masturbating with Willem Dafoe.
Both men have a legion of fans behind them, a promising future ahead of them, and a mane of locks that have defined their careers. And now they're risking it all, switching up their 'dos in a kind of on-screen experimentation the likes of which we've never seen before. Whose coif will reign supreme? Who will spark hair trends for decades to come? Who will look back on this time with disgust and self-contempt? We're going to find out.
Some Brief Background
Jessica: We’re gathered here today to observe the strangely sensual haircuts of these two millennial hotties thanks to Joel Edgerton and Netflix. The two have paired up to give us a historical epic, this time about young King Henry V, a kid who liked swords and statement-making hairdos and led England during a fairly prosperous time of war. Hot guys in chain mail? Alyssa, it’s our kryptonite.
Alyssa: Our brand is pretty strong. And by “pretty strong” I mean iron-clad. So yeah, The King is a pretty straightforward retelling of Henry V and the battle of Agincourt, and I believe they keep the Shakespeare out of it, correct? I don’t think Timothee Chalamet will be doing a full-on St. Crispin’s Day monologue, but HE COULD. No, instead of serving us the Bard’s quip, Chalamet and Robert Pattinson as his rival, the French Dauphin, are serving us LEWKS.
Jessica: You bet your damn quill they are, which is why we’re doing the hard work of reading these very different styles to see which speaks to our inner horndog the most. It’s time to judge the cuts!
Robert Pattinson’s Fancy French Blowout
Alyssa: I feel like I need to preface my opinions on this cut with information: during my sophomore year of college, there was definitely an Edward Cullen poster in my dorm room. Listen, everyone went through a Twilight phase. Even if you loathed Twilight, that was your Twilight phase. It’s fine. So, with that in mind, know that I sometimes have a hard time being objective about Robert Pattinson because Twilight was so deeply burned into my brain before it was fully formed. So, yeah. This works for me.
Jessica: Twilight informed many a woman’s sexualities during those times and science needs to do the right thing and launch a full investigation into how Stephenie Meyer's supernatural love triangle liberated women’s appetites and also doomed us to pine over RPattz until the end of time. That being said, this wavy lob reminds me more of Jackson Rathbone’s look in that franchise and, I don’t hate it.
Alyssa: Oh god, now I’m having flashbacks to the Twilight wigs, and they are BAD. Someone call Moira Rose to set them straight, please. My only quibble with this luscious blowout is that I am not sure that level of volume is attainable at this point in history. Did they have dry shampoo back then? Like, I get that the Dauphin is a fancy man, but I feel like there are limits. I feel like medieval movies tend to sanitize people up a bit because no one really wants to watch a bunch of people with black teeth and greasy hair on screen. We may claim to want some realism in our movies, but there is a limit.
Jessica: See, I’m not sure if this is the hair department adding too much modern flair to a 15th-century 'do or Pattinson’s own natural hair follicle voluptuousness refusing to be tamed. After all, the guy gained a legion of swooning fangirls (myself included) because of his perfectly-coiffed assets and though he wears it a bit messier these days, the height, the sheer drama, is still there. Perhaps, and I say this with utmost seriousness, RPattz’s locks just refused to be controlled?
Alyssa: The man clearly knows his way around a wig, so maybe you’re right. These blond locks can only be matched by the silliness of his accent in The King. Between his disastrous haircut attempts in Cosmopolis to that mustache in The Lighthouse, RPattz has proven himself to be a follicular chameleon. He’s not afraid to get weird, and while I don’t always understand it, I respect it.
Jessica: There is no fear when it comes to body hair and there’s something dangerously attractive, nay, downright sensual about that attitude. The commitment to his craft can be measured by the length of his locks and it deserves to be recognized. Plus, he’s got the bone structure to pull off a blunt lob and he’s not afraid to show it.
Timothee Chalamet Sad Boi Bowl Cut
Alyssa: That’s the thing, isn’t it? If you have cheekbones that reach heavenly ascendancy, you can kind of pull off anything. I think we’re seeing the same thing happen with Timothee Chalamet as well: Beautiful Person Gets Bad Haircut, Still Beautiful. If you look at historical paintings of ol’ Hal, the bowl cut is very accurate. It’s bad, but at least they’re correct.
Jessica: I have a hard time believing bowl cuts even existed before Timothee Chalamet, tbh. And if they did, there’s no way King Henry V wore it with as much sass as our sweet, baby-faced little peach. The sharp angles, the volume on top, the shaved neck — who gave the bowl cut the right to go so hard?
Alyssa: A fair assessment! As far as bowl cuts go, this is certainly better than the one that I had in kindergarten. However, I am momentarily having a difficult time taking Chalamet seriously as a heartthrob at this particular moment. Venice Film Festival gave with the stunning silver suit, but then quickly took away with the SUPER awkward makeout shots of Timmy playing tonsil hockey with Lily-Rose Depp. Far be it from me to yuck someone’s yum, but that looked like his first kiss ever. Sure, no one wants their make out in public display most of the time, because truly none of us look as sexy as we think we do en flagrante, but yikes. My crush took a devastating hit.
Jessica: First of all Alyssa, how dare you judge him! Who knows how choppy the seas were that day? Perhaps the awkward angle and open-mouthed spit fest was the consequence of water buoyancy affecting his balance and throwing his timing off. I’ve seen Timmy make out with Armie Hammer for two hours on screen and while he’s a wonderful actor, there’s no way you can fake that kind of tongue-salsa-ing skill. The boy’s got moves, he’s just the victim of an ill-timed paparazzi ambush. But I will cave just a bit and say that as hot as Mr. Chalamet looks with this new medieval do, it does give him a certain “f*ck boi” air that, coupled with his upcoming turn in Little Women, has me worried. Sad Boi Summer cuts are one thing but please Hollywood Gods, don’t let Timothee Chalamet fall victim to the curse of F*ck Boi Fall.
Alyssa: I know! I shouldn’t be so fickle in my thirst! But you might be right about F*ck Boi Fall. Laurie, as much as I love him, is basically the OG literary f*ck boi, so I am not sure that I will survive Little Women with my feelings intact. However, Henry V makes a pretty smooth transition from womanizing bastard to the stalwart king over the course of this tale in other iterations, so I fully expect Chalamet to bear this bowl cut with dignity. Even if I desperately hope that the wild curls will fly free uninhibited in whatever he does next (aka please don’t give him a weird ‘do in Dune).
Jessica: I’ve pored over the evidence — and by that I mean I’ve watched this trailer a dozen times and perused Tumblr for extra pics — and I’ve come to the difficult conclusion that the bowl cut must reign supreme in this battle. RPatz’s messy lob put up a worthy fight, and almost made me revisit the Twilight series, but alas, there’s something about a sad boi king rocking that fresh-out-the-monastery do that just speaks to my soul. Long live the bowl cut I guess.
Alyssa: Once again, we must disagree. For me, it’s the lob all the way. Timmy, I love you, but not like this. Ultimately, for me, it came down to one deciding factor, and this may be the most Leo thing I have ever typed: which cut would I ultimately want to have? These are both undeniably beautiful men who are pulling off troublesome cuts all while still being undeniably beautiful. It felt like an impossible choice! So I went the self-centered route and pulled from my own experience. I’ve had a bowl cut. I’ve had a lob. #TeamRobLob
Jessica: A friendly stalemate it is Alyssa and yet, we’d be remiss to forget the underdog in this battle of bodily hair — Sir Ben Mendelsohn. Anyone who’s willing to sport a tangled, past-the-shoulder bird’s nest and still try to make it look hot is a winner in my book.
Alyssa: You are correct. Mendelsohn’s Henry IV is going through it — all that guilt over kind of stealing a kingdom and all — so he doesn’t necessarily have time for the shears like Hal and the Dauphin. And yet, he’s doing his best. A quick brush through would do him some good, but when you’ve got a kingdom to cling to, a self-care routine tends to fall by the wayside.
The views and opinions expressed in this article are the authors', and do not necessarily reflect those of SYFY WIRE, SYFY, or NBC Universal.