The Marvel Cinematic Universe has become increasingly collaborative, with filmmakers more heavily involved in the creative process than they were during the early days of Phases One and Two, where several talents to have worked with the franchise lamented the restrictions put in place to ensure that everything ended up tying together into one overarching narrative at the expense of creative individuality.
The actors have also reaped the benefits of being allowed greater freedom to put their own stamp on their characters, although not everyone gets the same sort of leeway as a Robert Downey Jr. or a Chris Hemsworth. A case in point is Spider-Man: Far From Home villain Jake Gyllenhaal, who revealed during a recent interview with Howard Stern that he had some intense and ridiculous conversations with Marvel about something so trivial as the length of Quentin Beck’s beard.
“Well beard length was definitely an issue for that one, I didn’t have a lot of control of the length of the beard. The beard was already something they desired. I think so, I mean look I got there, you know there’s that first day before you start and everyone’s like ‘Longer? Shorter? Well if we go shorter we’re going to have to commit to this’. It’s absurd, but there was an ease, there’s an ease in those movies. Even though there’s all that pressure there’s a little bit of ease where they’re like ‘Eh, all right. Beard’s not as nice as Chris Evans’ but it’ll do’.”
When there’s hundreds of millions of dollars being spent on production with box office billions potentially at stake, you’re not really going to argue if someone says your facial hair is just a touch on the long side. Actors are paid to do a job at the end of the day, but it must have been bizarre for Gyllenhaal to sit there and listen to the Far From Home team debate his beard, while he’s just sitting there with question marks hanging over the bottom half of his face.