Matt Damon's 'Martian' Beard May Be Weird, But It's Nothing Compared To The Man Bun

In The Martian, Matt Damon plays astronaut Mark Watney, a botanist who finds himself stranded on Mars, fighting to stay alive until a rescue mission can reach him and bring him home. As seen in the trailer, Watney's first order of business is to determine how he can use his resources to extend his survival. "I'm in a [hab] designed to last 31 days. So, in the face of overwhelming odds, I'm left with only one option: I'm going to have to science the sh*t out of this," Watney says in a voice-over. For a very long time, Watney is stranded on the red planet, and, while he manages to science his way to grow potatoes for food in that time, he fails one very basic task: to shave. Though he appears to be equipped with a knife, or a shaving tool of some kind, Watney, as played by Damon, grows a beard in The Martian that's not exactly flattering, to say the least.

Now, why is this important, you ask? Well, it's one reason and one reason only: the man wearing the beard is Matt Damon. Sure, The Martian is Oscar-bait and likely going to be a box office hit. And, yes, it's Damon's first big leading role since 2013's Elysium. But let's not have the excitement over Damon's return to his leading-man status distract us from the very real, and very confounding, facial hair situation going on with the actor.

The fact that Damon sports a long, scraggly beard at some point in The Martian might come as a shock to most of you, as photos of a disheveled Mark Watney have not been released as part of the promotion for the film — nor is it featured in any of the trailers. (Of course, we should be thankful the trailer isn't trying to tell us the entire plot of the movie.) The closest we get to spotting Watney's growing facial hair is this weird, Bieber-like mustache.

Why Watney decides to let his beard grow free for a period of time is unknown. It might be a reflection on the toll of his solitude, or a practical decision to help keep his beautiful face as warm as possible. Whatever the reason, it certainly provides audiences with a shocking, new image of Damon — one of the most famous movie stars in the world.

Granted, Damon's beard in The Martian will likely end up as only a blip in the evolution of Matt Damon's on-screen looks. Unfortunately (or fortunately, depending on how you look at it) for The Martian, the title for most shocking Damon-transformation will likely go to either Behind the Candelabra (below) or the upcoming film, The Great Wall, for which Damon wore his now infamous ponytail.

Where Damon's beard in The Martian ranks among his Behind the Candelabra face lift and Great Wall man bun remains to be seen, but chances are high that you'll be thinking about it long after you leave the theater.

Images: 20th Century Fox (2); HBO