The Last Duel (2021 movie)

When The Last Duel trailer dropped, audiences were...taken aback by the hairy situation afoot.

Ridley Scott's latest historical epic co-stars Ben Affleck and Matt Damon, who also re-teamed for the first time since Good Will Hunting to write the screenplay alongside Nicole Holofcener.

But the trailer for the film, which also showcases Jodie Comer and Adam Driver, displays a hirsute horror for the two consummate movie stars. Damon's Jean de Carrouges sports a hacked-off gnarly mullet, while Affleck as Count Pierre d'Alençons models something akin to an early '90s grunge bleach-blonde cut.

Affleck and Damon assure fans there's a very good reason for their strange 'dos, one completely in keeping with furthering their characters in the drama. The looks were devised by Scott. "Ridley is very visual, and he sent these looks, he put our faces on these looks," Damon tells EW.

the last duel
Matt Damon, left, and Ben Affleck in 'The Last Duel.'
| Credit: 20th Century Studios

In Affleck's case, his blond locks were inspired by a Max Von Sydow film (he didn't name it, but it's The Seventh Seal by the looks of things). "We were sort of shocked," Affleck adds. "But because he's such a stunning visual artist and he's the director you trust him."

"I hope people don't walk away from the movie focused on that," he continues. "But it does serve to help us both feel not like how people generally see us and also a part of this other world. That's my guess about his intention. ut he basically said, 'This is how your hair's going to look.'"

In both cases, the cuts were rooted in strong character traits. "My character went to war constantly," reflects Damon. "He wanted to fight. And Ridley liked the idea of the mullet as if I just took a knife and cut the sides of my hair just so I could get my helmet on. That's all I cared about."

As for Affleck's distinctive look, he says, "It's about representing power. I am the patriarchy, the power structure, all of these things embodied in this character, and visually, from the way I was dressed, adorned, and the hair."

"At first, I was like, 'Wow this is shocking, you really think this is going to work?'" Affleck demurs. "But he really believed in it, so it was like, 'Ok, I trust you. Let's do it.' I also didn't understand the degree to which the added cyan and desaturation would change that look a little bit."

They also believe that part of it was about helping audiences see them as these characters more than "Matt and Ben."

"Naturally, people see you a certain way, they're accustomed to seeing you a certain way," Affleck concludes. "It's one of the disadvantages of having to also live your life in public. It just makes it harder for people to suspend disbelief when they see you as a character."

And since it was just for the film, at least it was hair today, gone tomorrow.

The Last Duel hits theaters Oct. 15. Watch the video above for more, including why Google Docs proved disastrous to their writing process.

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The Last Duel (2021 movie)

Inspired by a true story, Marguerite de Carrouges precipitates the last sanctioned duel fought on French soil when she accuses her Jacques Le Gris of raping her.

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