6. Spencer Dutton — 1923
Played by: Brandon Sklenar
Mustache Style: Lampshade
One of the biggest challenges in 1923 is dirtying up actor Brandon Sklenar. He belongs in a Christian Dior ad, but Sheridan and his crew have to sell us on him as a tortured war veteran, living a life on the fringes of civilization as a big game hunter in Africa. Putting a clean-shaven, or even a strictly bearded Sklenar, into this setting and asking us to buy it would have been impossible. Here, the mustache makes the man.
Spencer Dutton is rarely shaven and so some scruff always accompanies the mustache, although care seems to be given to maintaining a differential in length so that the mustache never fades into a beard. And in every close-up we get of him squinting out over a hostile horizon, that gritty, sweaty snot mop reminds us that the danger of his surroundings is matched only by the danger of the violence lurking just below his surface.
5. William McDowell — 1923
Played by: Robert Patrick
Mustache Style: Painter’s Brush
For many of us, the image of Robert Patrick as T-1000 in Terminator 2, is burned into our brains. That introductory role as an evil android who could become fluid at any moment has left an image of Patrick as smooth and sleek, one that has only been emphasized by a career full of roles with slick-backed hair and a smoothly shaven face.
That’s why his massive, Wilfred Brimley-esque Painter’s Brush in 1923 is so striking. It’s a massive, hulking behemoth of a mustache, existing in three dimensions in a way almost no other facial hair in the YCU can claim to. It is not fluid. It is not smooth. It is rough and bristly, filled with nooks and crannies, holding a sheen of maple syrup from his morning pancakes before the shoot. It makes Robert Patrick into something entirely new and helps sell him into this essential supporting role.