Just three short months ago, we sat down for a revealing personal interview with the most talked-about up-and-coming star of "The Hunger Games": Bearderson "Beardie" McBeard, whose appearance on Wes Bentley's face in the trailer set off a veritable storm of fandom and no small number of internet memes. But, alas, it looks like Beardie has moved on to bigger and better things, because when Wes showed up for a chat with MTV News' Josh Horowitz, his famous facial hair was nowhere to be found.
For which Wes immediately apologized: "I would have loved to have kept that beard, but that beard took two hours to groom every day, and I don't want to spend that much time in the bathroom."
But even though the high-maintenance Beardie has left the building, the actor who wore him is most definitely aware of the huge following for his "Hunger Games" facial hair. In fact, when Josh mentioned our interview with the beard, Wes responded that he'd seen it, saying, "I had no idea my beard was so clever!"
...Which means that the rest of this writeup will have to wait until after we've spent 10 minutes running in circles around our office, occasionally stopping to hyperventilate over the fact that a celebrity read our interview and thinks we're clever. (Okay, we're done.)
Meanwhile, as it turns out, Wes himself is a big fan of his movie beard for the same reasons that all the rest of us are: "It's such a cool look, and Ve Neill, the makeup designer, did such an amazing job. It's exciting that it's getting that kind of attention."
And if you're wondering just how the beard came to exist in its cinematic state of glorious geometry, Wes has the inside scoop on that, too.
"I usually come to set with a beard, and my hair as long as I can get it—so there are options," he explained. "I saw Ve before we started shooting, and she was excited to see that I had a beard because she had something special in mind. She worked at it for three hours trying to find the right shape, and she got it."
Oh, yes. Yes, she did. And not only did his unique look help Wes to get in character, he admitted that it made the work of being Seneca Crane a whole lot easier.
"I didn't have to do half the work," he confessed. "See? Collaboration! The beard did half the work."
Of course, we're excited to see Wes onscreen in the most anticipated movie of the year for reasons other than his magnificently groomed face fur (and let's be honest, he's not exactly un-handsome without it). But let's take a moment to say our goodbyes to Beardie...and also to say, as forcefully as possible, that if you happened to witness and/or photograph the one and only sighting of Bearderson McBeard in the wild—namely, when Wes took his famous facial hair out for a late night Target run during filming—now would be a good time to share those precious memories.
Are you devastated to see Wes without his famous beard? Tell us in the comments and on Twitter!