X-Men: Dark Phoenix star James McAvoy has admitted that he's not a fan of his shaving his head to play Professor Charles Xavier. McAvoy hasn't always been bald during his tenure as Professor X, which began in 2011 in the hit X-Men prequel X-Men: First Class. Playing the younger version of the role made famous by the naturally bald Patrick Stewart in the original X-Men from 2000, the Scot kept his natural full head of hair in his first X-Men film, followed by some premature balding in X-Men: Days of Future Past in 2014.
In 2016, McAvoy got the clippers out for the first time to play the fully-bald Professor X in X-Men: Apocalypse, and he got some buzz for the movie going, so to speak, in June, when he posted an Instagram video where he broke out the electric razor to shave his head to reprise the role for Dark Phoenix. And while McAvoy is clearly honored to play the role of the iconic Marvel mutant for the X-Men films, he's coming clean about not being a fan of having a clean-shaven head.
“I used to like the fact that it afforded me a certain amount of anonymity but it no longer does that. Since I did two movies that everybody saw where I had a bald head, now it’s like a f—ing beacon. But what do I like about it? Not a lot at the moment. I like when it’s been about five or seven days going in, then it’s cool but when it’s properly skinhead I look a bit weird. I do like the fact that I don’t have to do anything in the morning.”
You have to admire McAvoy for his honesty, and despite the fact that he hates going bald (he also shaved his head for Split ), at least he found a silver lining by not having to deal with his hair in the morning. But when it comes to playing the role, his alternatives are limited. Perhaps the only thing McAvoy could do differently is wear a skull cap, which would probably work for the role, especially with the option of touching up any anomalies digitally in post-production.
In the grand scheme of things, though, fans want realism, so the best and cheapest way for 20th Century Fox to go is have McAvoy shave his head for a couple months for the good of the production. Of course, losing his usual full head of hair may affect the potential for any side gigs like commercials, but apart from that, it's a minor sacrifice for a multi-million dollar production.
At the very least, Fox should feel thankful that McAvoy can shave his head to play the role to begin with. Warner Bros. is not so lucky, and will have to pay to digitally erase Henry Cavill's mustache in scenes he's reshooting on Justice League, since the Superman actor needs to keep his mustache because of shooting conflicts and contractual obligations he has with Mission: Impossible 6.