as: Anton Chigurh
Winner of the Best Picture award at the 80th Academy Awards in 2008 (as well as three other Oscars), No Country for Old Men is, from what our research* suggests, a love-it-or-hate-it affair. And, it seems to be almost perfectly split along gender lines: men tend to love No Country; women, not so much.
It is an absolutely brilliant film, but when half the population just plain doesn’t like it, it’s clear it needs some sort of fix. The solution: Tom Wopat. Of course.
Excellent performances abound in No Country for Old Men, but the male actors providing said performances are, across the board, some unfortunate-looking gentlemen. Josh Brolin’s strong supporting turn might’ve made a difference here if he weren’t sporting a dirtbag mustache. Not to reduce it to anything too simplistic, but one way to make the film at least a bit more appealing to the ladies would be to add a good looking guy like Tom Wopat to the mix. So, sorry Javier Bardem, but you’re out and Wopat is in, your Best Supporting Actor Oscar be darned!
We know from his time on The Dukes of Hazzard that Wopat looks great in Western wear—cowboy boots, faded jeans, weathered button-down shirts, etc.—so the costuming’s already on point. Chigurh’s weirdly lopsided pageboy haircut might be a problem, however: Wopat’s glorious, flowing mane should not, and likely could not, be molded into such a hideous style, so the villain’s hairdo would need to be rethunk.
Bardem was 37 when No Country was made; Wopat was 54. An older Chigurh is a scarier and more menacing one, in our opinion. In reviews and other writing on the film, the hitman was frequently described as an “unstoppable killing machine”—if he’s older, that means he’s been doing his job for longer, and if someone in that profession has been doing it for a long time, that means he must be pretty dang good at it. If he’s older, he’s deadlier.
At least part of that extended run of murderous excellence (maybe not the best word…?) could be chalked up to our first point. If a creepy-looking dude like the Anton Chigurh that actually appears in No Country for Old Men approached you, you’d naturally be a bit more on your guard. Make it a good looking guy like Wopat, though, and you’d likely be far more welcoming, even if he is carrying one of those weird riveting tools around.
Wopat Chigurh’s victims would go out with holes in their heads, but smiles on their faces.
* a.k.a. asking people we know who’ve seen the movie