Warning: Possible spoilers for 'The Hunger Games: Mockingjay - Part 2' ahead!
[The Hunger Games: Mockingjay - Part 2](tag:449866) star Jena Malone may not have had quite the same amount of screen time as in the previous films, there's no doubt that when her character Johanna Mason reappeared, she made quite the impact on screen.
While part of the power of Johanna's reappearance comes from her strong attitude, her radically different physical appearance also spoke volumes, particularly her newly shaved head:
When Johanna Mason reappears in The Hunger Games: Mockingjay - Part 2, she is a veritable shell of her former self: pale, thin, emotionally and physically battered, and of course bald, having lost her brown tresses while in the hands of the Capitol.
And according to Jena Malone, a lot of work went into making sure that her portrayal of Johanna in Mockingjay - Part 2 was as accurate as she could make it. In a recent interview with Vulture, Malone explained that the director of the film, Francis Lawrence, actually insisted that she meet specialists to learn about post traumatic stress disorder, and how it would have effected Johanna. Malone told Vulture:
"Learning what really happens to people when they go through a traumatic life-or-death situations just kind of blew my mind. How it changes the body. How it changes your personality. How it changes your reaction time to things. That’s where I started. I read a few books about these soldiers in war and combat coming home, and the anger and dissociation between real life and what is their life."
Malone also did a lot of her own research:
"With Johanna’s post-torture behavior, I did look up different things — torture techniques, and starvation, and what jaundice does. And morphine addiction."
While the actress was obviously extremely mentally prepared for the role, one thing she was unable to do was to actually shave her own hair off. Due of the length of time of the shoot – over 10 months, the timing would not have worked. Instead Johanna became bald thanks to a mixture of CGI, a bald cap and a bald body double.
But don't go thinking that Jena Malone wasn't up for shaving her head, in fact the 31-year-old has actually shaved her hair off twice before for film roles, and totally extols the benefits of women shaving their hair, believing every woman should do it at least once:
"I’ve shaved my head for roles before! And I was ready to do that! I’ve shaved my head twice now, and I love it. […] Every woman should shave her head at least once. It’s an important thing to see what your head feels like, what your senses feel like, and also what you feel like as a woman, when you’re stripped from these very identifiable things, you know? So you can figure out what is really feminine inside."
While Malone was unable to shave her head for this particular role, there are many actresses who did opt to lose the locks for their characters, take a look at just a few:
Natalie Portman - 'V for Vendetta'
Natalie Portman had all her hair shaved off in a pivotal scene for the 2005 film V for Vendetta.
Demi Moore - 'G.I. Jane'
Demi Moore famously shaved her own hair off in the 1997 film G.I. Jane to prove her character's toughness, though unfortunately the film was ultimately a flop.
Charlize Theron - 'Mad Max: Fury Road'
Theron shed her beautiful blonde tresses in favor of a buzz cut for the blockbuster hit Mad Max: Fury Road earlier this year.
Sigourney Weaver - 'Alien 3'
After making her mark as one of the most badass female characters of all time in Alien and Aliens, Sigourney Weaver shaved her hair for the 1992 follow up Aliens 3.
Cate Blanchett - 'Heaven'
Much like Portman and Moore, Cate Blanchett lost all her hair on camera in the 2002 film Heaven, and obviously loved the experience. Speaking to the Daily Telegraph in 2012 the actress revealed she found the experience "so liberating," and even mentioned that she was "thinking about doing it again."