Why Wes Bentley's 'Hunger Games' Beard Drew Stares Off Set

03/15/2012 at 12:15 PM ET

Seneca Crane BeardMurray Close/Lions Gate

Elizabeth Banks wasn’t the only one with a crazy Hunger Games beauty routine: Wes Bentley’s facial hair — required to play head gamemaker Seneca Crane in film — took three hours for makeup artist Ve Neill to sculpt each day.

“It’s my [hair],” Bentley revealed to PEOPLE at a recent Los Angeles press day for the film. “I showed up with a beard — as I always do — to set, and [makeup artist Ve Neill, who then created the pattern] was excited to see that.”

The detailed look reflects the avant-garde style beloved by citizens of the Capitol in the world of the Hunger Games. “It’s definitely that high-fashion look,” Bentley added.

While the beard’s futuristic design certainly fit in with the film’s stylized setting, it was less suited to rural North Carolina, where the cast and crew shot.

“I had my child in town and would have to go pick up some baby formula at Target at two in the morning or stop in a gas station for a candy bar in the middle of rural Carolina,” Bentley said. “I got crazy looks at Target and the gas station, but at Walmart, they didn’t blink an eye … I don’t know what they assumed.”

While the locals may not have known what to make of the actor’s odd appearance, one onlooker was definitely a fan: Hunger Games author Suzanne Collins.

“I know that she loved the beard when she saw it,” Bentley said. “So I was happy about that.”

But don’t expect the actor to make his character’s facial hair permanent. “Oh man, I couldn’t do it,” he said. “I’ve tried just to shape my beard so it doesn’t look scraggly, and I struggle with that.”

–Jessica Wedemeyer

STUDY UP ON EVERYTHING ‘HUNGER GAMES’ BEFORE THE FILM’S DEBUT

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Showing 22 comments

Why Wes Bentley's Hunger Games Beard Drew Stares Off Set | Gossip File This Moment on

[...] Hunger Games Beard Drew Stares Off Set People Mon, March 19, 2012 11:30 AM UTC People Rate  Loading … Share (function() { var po = document.createElement('script'); [...]

The Hunger Games on

[...] imagine driving around town, and seeing the man with that beard. I would look, I admit it. Well, People.com wrote up an article about why it drew stares around town: “It’s my [hair],” Bentley revealed [...]

Jon on

That is funny, but hey, you gotta do what you gotta do! Also, I’m glad Suzanne Collins liked it, I do to!

Easyup on

It is striking and it’s interesting to know it is his own hair. Creator Ve Neill would probably be willing in keeping his show piece going for him if Bentley was interested.

Lacy on

Why is he even in this movie? He’s technically NOT in the first book. -__-

Meredith on

ummm I think you need to reread the book…

Natalie on

Walmart didn’t blink an eye because they’re used to crazy coming in and out of their store!

Rose on

I wouldn’t be surprised if after the movie, you see people sporting looks similar to this. Guys have designs shaped into their fades… since beards have been coming back lately, i wouldnt be surprised to see the design shift to the face. I think it will be pretty cool. Not to mention it will take a pretty talented person to pull off the detail.

Why Lenny Kravitz Was Jealous of His ‘Hunger Games’ Costars’ Costumes | xalyzax on

[...] with that,” he said of the colorful, detailed getups worn by costars Elizabeth Banks and Wes Bentley. “But I was jealous as me, Lenny Kravitz, the person who likes to wear [...]

Alisha on

If you have seen who shops at walmart then you know why no one blinked an eye lol.

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