Facing The Facts
Q In The Man in the Iron Mask, good twin Philippe (Leonardo DiCaprio) languishes in his cast-iron disguise for six years — yet suffers not so much as a zit. What would really have happened to his face?
A Even royal genes couldn’t have saved Philippe’s skin from permanent scarring, says San Francisco-based dermatologist Dr. Vail Reese. Just a few months in an iron mask would lead to a severe infection, thanks to trapped moisture and a lack of air — think red, raw, inflamed skin marked with ingrown hairs from his beard. Recovery would be possible, but only with antibiotics. In the end, says Reese, ”the twins would not look alike, but that would ruin the whole movie.” Not to mention any Clearasil endorsements.
”It’s a hot look for him. But how could he look bad, seriously?” — Sigourney Weaver on Leonardo DiCaprio’s 17th-century getup
The Man in the Iron Mask