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If you worked on Wall Street in 2008, it was important that your haircut be insane

I'm not going to pretend to understand really anything about the events that led up to the 2008 economic crisis. I was 14, and my sentient memory only extends backward as far as my 15th birthday (more commonly known as the day that Barack Obama was elected president). Thankfully the director of Anchorman is making a movie about the banking collapse starring some of our very favorite actors — a few of whom have some really good one-liners in the trailer and others of whom do not appear in the trailer because they are women. Sorry, Marisa!


Despite McKay’s pedigree, this movie is not a joke; it’s based on a book of the same name by Michael Lewis (it looks like it might be good but that's not what we're here to discuss).

Now, I already knew that Wall Street guys are really into watermarked business cards and the Style section of The New York Times (someone is keeping it alive!), but I guess I didn't realize how into haircuts they are. That's one thing about the financial crisis that I have already learned, thanks to The Big Short. This is something that director Adam McKay and friends have apparently discovered while doing period research for this historical drama.

I don't know anything about Wall Street but now I know something

The Wall Street guys are so into haircuts that the worst slam they can think of is to accuse someone of going to Supercuts for their bimonthly trim. Further, it turns out that the best way to establish yourself as a Wall Street "outsider" or renegade is by getting an insane haircut. On purpose! (Unless 2008 was before mirrors? As I said, I can't remember, so someone fact check that for me, please.) Everything is about haircuts.

Anyway, just to help your digestion, here is a knee-jerk ranking of all of the haircuts in the trailer for The Big Short. In order from I don't know to I don't know.

christian bale

Christian Bale — Bale's character is the victim of the "you go to Supercuts!" jab, but honestly I think that's a little off-base. His hair was done by Microsoft Paint, that much is obvious to me.

In all seriousness, Michael Burry, the former neurologist Bale plays, was diagnosed with Asperger’s syndrome; the haircut may be a visual shortcut for some of the social awkwardness Burry contends with. But it's more fun to speculate that Christian Bale's scalp never really recovered from whatever was done to it on the set of American Hustle and this is just how he lives now.


Ryan Gosling — Here lies our first period inaccuracy: this haircut was made famous by One Direction's Louis Tomlinson in 2013, and no sooner. A few points will be awarded for eyebrow perfection.

steve carrell

Steve Carrell — Whattttttttttttt.

finn witrock

Finn Wittrock — Excuse me, I thought we had all made it clear we never wanted to see this person again. He has Prince Eric hair in this shot, but I'm not fooled and I don't appreciate the effort to mislead. Also he has ugly friends, and they're all wearing the same shirt.


Hamish Linklater and this slightly different angle of Steve Carrell — Minutes before this very serious conversation, Steve Carrell's character trimmed his bangs in the bathroom with his kid's lefty craft scissors, while Hamish awakened from a nap to find that he had slept with a curling iron in his front hair chunk for close to three hours.

brad pitt

Brad Pitt — That is not Brad Pitt, that is repurposed footage of Tim Allen mid-Santa Claus transition in The Santa Clause. Here is an editor's note from Liz Lopatto on this photo: "WHAT DID THEY DO TO BRAD PITT. HOW DID THIS NATIONAL NIGHTMARE HAPPEN." Liz, your concerns have not been heard. They will echo into the abyss. I am going to go see this movie.


Shoutout to these guys, they just did something with guns — And their hair is bad.

Again, Academy Award Winner Marisa Tomei's face isn't in the trailer (bear in mind that there was time for a beautiful nondescript woman to move a pile of poker chips emphatically while the bass dropped).