Just when you thought John Woo’s classic 1997 action movie “Face/Off” couldn’t have gotten any stranger, imagine if Gina Gershon suddenly showed up at the end with a bald head?
The actress, who played Sasha Hassler in the movie, revealed during a Facebook Live chat with Business Insider on Wednesday that when she was notified that the script was being rewritten so her character would be added into a scene at the end of the movie, she went to Woo and tried to convince him to let her do the dramatic change to her look.
“They were like, ‘We’re going to bring you back after your brother dies,’” Gershon said. “Then I got this brilliant idea, or I thought it was a brilliant idea, I said, ‘When I come back, since my brother died’ — and it’s Nick and he’s got the shaved head — ‘I want to come back and I want my head to be shaved.’”
For those who are not “Face/Off” fanatics, or haven’t seen the movie in years, here’s a refresher.
Gershon’s Sasha Hassler character is the ex-girlfriend of terrorist Castro Troy (Nicolas Cage) and the brother of Dietrich Hassler (played by Nick Cassavetes), who supplies bombs to Troy. Following one of the bloody shootouts toward the end of the movie, Dietrich is killed. So Gershon felt the best way for her character to pay tribute to her fallen brother, who had a bald head, was to sport her own when she dramatically returns in the movie.
John Woo wasn’t into it.
“I came in and I’m so excited and I said, ‘So John, I come out, and you don’t know who it is, and all of a sudden my head’s bald. Like Cassavetes.’ And he went ‘No, no, no.’ Right away. His face had this look like I was insane,” Gershon said.
This is how the scene ended up. Now just imagine all of this with Gershon’s head shaved:
Celebrating its 20th anniversary earlier this week, “Face/Off” was a major hit, earning over $245 million worldwide. But what has built its fandom over the last two decades is the movie’s insane gun fights — which Woo had featured in his Hong Kong movies and finally was allowed to do in a Hollywood movie — and outlandish performances by stars John Travolta and Nicolas Cage, who play two men who undergo facial transplant surgery. It seems Gershon really wanted to get in on the crazy.
“Everyone shot me down and to this day I still think it’s a good idea,” she said of the bald head.
But would she have used a cap or gone method and shaved her head?
“I probably would have done a cap,” Gershon said. “But I don’t know, I didn’t care at that point. If they said, ‘Yes, but only if you shave your head,’ I would have said, ‘Great, do it.’”
Watch our entire chat with Gershon below, who was visiting to promote her latest movie, “Inconceivable“: