HAIRCUT 100: Day 71, No. 71. Joseph Gatt – ‘The Man.’ So, we’re just getting the third season of The Asylum’s postmodern zombie western Z Nation in the UK, and I am loving Joseph Gatt’s portrayal of ‘The Man,’ a cool and ruthless enforcer working for a shadowy post-apocalyptic cabal known as ‘Zona.’ I don’t know where all this is going yet – at time of writing we’ve only had two episodes – but Gatt’s character is totally magnetic. In a sharp suit and, at one point, flip flops, he roams the wasteland with a list of scientists he is tasked with collecting, for reasons that he does not choose to share. The character is very high concept. There’s the play on the slang term ‘The Man’ as the symbol of repressive authority, while it can equally be used to reflect praise and respect. I suspect there’s also a hint of Johnny Cash’s ‘The Man Comes Around,’ a hymn to Revelations used to great effect in the soundtrack of Zac Snyder’s Dawn of the Dead – ‘There’s a man going ’round taking names’ – while The Velvet Underground are probably in there somewhere as well. This lack of naming is further emphasised by the implacable, almost featureless nature of the character’s total baldness. Coupled with his preternatural calm and imposing physicality, there’s an otherness about ‘The Man’ that really catches the alien look of alopecia in the best way and does something very interesting with it dramatically. In short, this guy is a sexy antagonist. I won’t say ‘villain,’ because I have a feeling there are some moral grey areas here we have yet to discover.
British actor Joseph Gatt is equally interesting. He was hit with Alopecia universalis – that’s the one I have – aged fourteen, and thus has no hair whatsoever. He’s a graduate of the famous Sylvia Young Theatre School (known for alumni like Billie Piper and Amy Winehouse) and the equally renowned Mountview Academy in Wood Green. He’s been active in film and television since the late-90s, appearing first in The Bill and Jake Scott’s hugely underrated highwayman romp Plunkett and Macleane. He has eighteen movies under his belt, and will be equally well-known to gamers as a voice artist in some real classics, including Star Wars: The Old Republic, Metal Gear Solid 4, and God of War: Ascension. He’s also worked in the West End, with starring roles in Miss Saigon and Jesus Christ Superstar. Like Yul Brynner, Gatt has also modelled, and has been shot for Armani, Gucci and Vogue. He is unashamedly geeky, and a total Star Wars nut. A key role in Z Nation will undoubtedly raise his profile, and I look forward to seeing where actor and character go in the future. ‘And that’s why they call him: “The Man”.’