Greetings Cosmic Americans!
I was inspired to write this post yesterday while waiting in line at the Petco on LaBrea and 3rd. The guy in front of me, who was waiting to purchase some dog treats, was in his mid-20s, stood about 5'6", weighed around 140, and sported a full beard. Not a nicely manicured respectable beard mind you, but a ratty long unkempt hipster beard. As he sped off in his Prius - probably to a coffee house or something - in occurred to me: hey - that guy totally fits the Civil War soldier profile...I mean - exactly.
Living in Hollywood, it also occurred to me that this could be a boon to the makers of period films - especially Civil War epics (we could always use more of those). More often than not, Civil War soldiers are portrayed by reenactors - with the notable exception of Cold Mountain - a film that used Romanian soldiers to portray Confederates. Many of these boys fit the bill pretty well...undernourished with rotten teeth (nice touch).
But what we see in most Civil War films are a lot of very well fed...often abundantly so...individuals who do not look like they could make a march from Culpepper to Gettysburg in late June if their lives depended on it. What's worse, a lot of them have ridiculous fake beards and are way too old to be Civil War soldiers. The film Gettysburg offers several examples of this - Longstreet's beard and the Rebel soldier on picket duty in the film's opening scenes come immediately to mind.
So pay attention directors, producers, and casting agents. Why not head out to a Silverlake dive bar, coffee house, or dog park and put up a casting call flyer. I am sure some of those guys could use the cash, and if not, I am certain they would find the irony (if any really exists) in portraying people who grew beards with no sense of irony. So ironic it isn't...so unironic it is. Besides, I hear the 19th century is the new 21st century. So there should be bearded fellows around for a while to come.