WARNING: This post contains spoilers for the Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald. Proceed with caution.
From his shocking identity reveal to his surprising partner in crime, Credence Barebone has become the most mysterious central character in the Fantastic Beasts franchise. But all of that aside, there’s one thing we really need to talk about: His new haircut. Fans will definitely remember his much-memed bowl cut from the first Fantastic Beasts movie, but in Crimes of Grindelwald he sports a shorter look — and there’s some significance behind the change.
We chatted with Fantastic Beasts and Crimes of Grindelwald makeup artist and hair stylist Emmy Beech about how she first gave Credence the iconic bowl cut, why she shaved it off, and other hidden hints that lie in his makeup.
The Bowl Is Still Out There
Back in 2016, Beech was the one who cut actor Ezra Miller’s shoulder-length hair off into the infamous Credence Bowl Cut. “I put it in tiny little elastic bands all around and then I snipped it off,” she recalled. She also saw all those hilarious haircut jokes after the first trailer premiered. “I saw something on Twitter once [that was] like, ‘Good night to everybody in the world except the person who cut Ezra Miller’s hair in Fantastic Beasts.’ It made me laugh.”
Despite the backlash, Beech insists that Miller loved the bowl cut. The original haircut went through two versions. “We did one level of the bowl cut and it was still too long, and [Ezra] went home and was just like, ‘Ohhh my god!’ Then he was brave again and we cut it a little bit shorter the next day.”
Afterward, Beech and the team shipped Miller’s shorn strips of hair off and had them made into an identical bowl cut wig to be used in reshoots and flashbacks. “We’ve used the wig loads of times,” she laughed. So even though Credence’s hair has changed, the bowl cut is still out there — watching, waiting.
Credence’s Short Hair Shows His Growth
To reflect Credence’s journey from the first movie, he needed a new hairstyle to showcase his life in the circus. Beech said, “The reason we decided to [cut his hair] was because his abusive foster mom had given him that bowl cut, and so we wanted to break away because she died in the first film.” Director David Yates chose that specific length of hair to show both the passage of time and Credence’s desire to blend in with everyone else.
As far as what Credence’s hair might look like in the future three Fantastic Beasts movies, Beech believes it’ll probably grow a bit. “It’s hard to tell until we read the script,” she said, “but I think it’ll probably be a bit longer. If [the next movie takes place] two years later, it’ll be the early 1930s, so he might become a little more streetwise.”
Ezra Miller’s Hair Is Problematically Beautiful
To keep the new haircut properly styled, Beech gave Miller a buzz cut every few days. But Miller’s hair is so gorgeous and healthy, it was difficult to texturize and make it look appropriately disheveled and dirty. Beech used volumizing powder to try and make Miller’s “beautiful, strongly, glowy” hair more matted and sticky. She did everything she could to try and matte down its natural shine — and Miller’s lifestyle helped a bit.
“The way that Ezra is in his life, he’s quite natural and he doesn’t really believe in washing his hair that much,” Beech said, explaining that she would only have the team wash his hair when the product built up too much over time. Otherwise, she thinks Miller was just doing a daily hair rinse with water. Most recently, Miller asked Beech to shave a big swatch of hair on the back of his head (which you can see on full display in his recent Playboy interview).
Hidden Makeup Details
Each day, one or two makeup artists would spend a little over an hour styling Miller before shooting, paling his skin with makeup and putting red around his eyes. Beech would spend at least forty minutes of that time crafting scars on his hands. Though Credence’s hands aren’t often seen in the movie, he has extensive scars from where his foster mother beat him with a belt. “Ezra wants them there because he uses it when he’s acting. When he’s feeding the bird or holding things, [you] can see the scars. I [also] put dirt underneath his nails. It just helps to add layers to his characters.”
Thanks to Beech’s added layers, she and Miller also came up with an unwritten backstory for Credence. Though never mentioned in the script, they decided that Credence would always control his Obscurus with his left hand — the hand his mother scarred the most heavily. They also decided that he would be ambidextrous, and if he ever came into possession of a wand (which he does in Crimes of Grindelwald), he’d use his right hand to control the wand. Though it’s just a fun backstory Beech and Miller conjured up together, keep an eye out for which hand Credence uses to control his magic.