Robert Downey Jr. Shaves His Head for a Role, Unveils Bald Look

Robert Downey Jr. has shocked fans by shaving his head and unveiling a new bald look for a new TV role. Digital Spy reports that Downey and his wife turned up at the Governors Ball on Saturday, and the actor was rocking a whole different style. Gone are his dark locks, opting now for a smooth new appearance to capture his part in HBO's adaptation of Viet Thanh Nguyen's 2015 novel The Sympathizer.

Notably, Downey previously took to Instagram to reveal his plans to shave, rather than wear a bald cap, by letting his two sons do the trimming for him. "The things we do for our work... and our kids. [Sympathizer] set ready," he wrote in the caption or the post. "Beautiful!! Exciting to have your children to help shave your head and make them feel as part of your new role!!!" one follower exclaimed in the post comments. "I'm gonna be completely different than everyone and just mention that I love this video of you and your little ones. Great hair cut kids!!!" someone else added.

The Sympathizer also stars Hoa Xuande, Fred Nguyen Khan, Toan Le, Vy Le, Alan Trong, Sandra Oh, Kiều Chinh, and Nguyễn Cao Kỳ Duyên. The series is directed by Park Chan-wook (Snowpiercer), who is also the show's co-showrunner alongside Don McKellar (Crimes of the Future). In addition to starring in The Sympathizer, Downey also serves as an executive producer.

In a synopsis of The Sympathizer from publisher Grove Atlantic, the novel is referred to as "one of the most acclaimed books of the twenty-first century." Going on to discuss the premise, the publisher writes, "With the pace and suspense of a thriller and prose that has been compared to Graham Greene and Vladimir Nabokov, The Sympathizer is a sweeping epic of love and betrayal. The narrator, a communist double agent, is a "man of two minds," a half-French, half-Vietnamese army captain who comes to America after the Fall of Saigon, and while building a new life with other Vietnamese refugees in Los Angeles is secretly reporting back to his communist superiors in Vietnam."

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The synopsis concludes, "The Sympathizer is a blistering exploration of identity and America, a gripping spy novel, and a powerful story of love and friendship." Notably, there is a sequel to the book, titled The Committed. At this time, it is unclear if there are plans to adapt the second novel.