The Creator's Gareth Edwards Reveals How He Persuaded The Sci-Fi Movie's Young Lead To Shave Her Head... And He Totally Regretted It

 Madeleine Yuna Voyles in The Creator.
Madeleine Yuna Voyles in The Creator.

Watching any footage from The Creator, you can see that it was made with a very specific aesthetic in mind, and that includes everything from the construction of futuristic cities to the appearances of the characters. For example, there is Alphie, the child android at the center of the Lone Wolf And Cub-inspired plot who notably doesn’t have any hair on her head. To get this desired look for the little robot, director Gareth Edwards had to persuade star Madeleine Yuna Voyles to shave her head… though as I learned during a recent interview, he ended up totally regretting the deal he offered.

I sat down with the filmmaker earlier this month during the Los Angeles press day for The Creator, and it actually a pre-interview discussion about shaving one’s head that prompted the first story he told me about the making of his new movie. He explained that he fretted telling his young lead actor that she would have to cut off all her hair, but then he had an idea. Said Edwards,

As you might have spotted in the trailer, our film is about this little child and she's got a shaved head. And poor Madeleine, when she got the part, I was like, 'Oh my God, how are we gonna break this to her? She's gotta shave her head.' And so I did her a deal. I was like, 'Ok, Madeleine, if you shave your head, at the end of the movie, when you finish, you can shave my head.'

The good news? The offer was accepted and Madeleine Yuna Voyles shaved her head for the role. The bad news? There was no way she was forgetting the deal, and she regularly reminded him of how he excited she was to cut off all his hair. He eventually got to the point where he tried to bargain with her, but it was fruitless:

I kept hoping she's gonna forget this. Kids, you know? Every day it's like, 'Mr. Gareth, when can I shave your head? Can it be today?' 'No, at the end, remember?' I was worried she was gonna leave halfway through the shoot or something. And then I felt really bad, and I was trying to bribe her, like, 'Do you wanna go to Disney World?' You know what I mean? 'Do you wanna trade it with something?'

There was evidently nothing that Madeleine Yuna Voyles wanted more than to shave the head of the Creator director, and at the end of production, he didn’t end up welching. Not only did she give Gareth Edwards a buzz, but she even temporarily gave him a look straight out of Martin Scorsese’s Taxi Driver. With a smile, Edwards continued,

She shaved my whole head, and I'd never had my head shaved before and I was like, Travis Bickle. She enjoyed doing the Mohican style and everything.

More About The Creator

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We can only hope that somebody recorded the whole thing and that the video will be included in the special features of The Creator’s home video release.

Before we look ahead to the 4K UHD and Blu-ray, however, first there is the theatrical release, which is upon us. Starring John David Washington, Alison Janney, Gemma Chan, Ken Watanabe, and Sturgill Simpson, The Creator will be in theaters everywhere this Friday, September 29. Stay tuned here on CinemaBlend for more from my interview with Gareth Edwards, and check out our 2023 Movie Release Calendar to learn about all of the films still set for release between now and the end of the year.