The name Nolan Ross is synonymous with three things: devastatingly witty quips, layered polo shirts, and a dutch boy-meets-mullet mane of blonde hair. One of those three things will be missing when “Revenge” returns for a second season on Sunday, Sept. 30. In the most shocking follicular television event since Felicity chopped off her curls back in the 1990s, Nolan has gotten a haircut. Fortunately, this time the results are not as tragic. (Keri Russell’s Little Orphan Annie look was so unflattering, that the head of the WB network blamed the haircut for “Felicity’s” falling ratings.) In fact, Gabriel Mann looks smoking hot with his new short ‘do. The actor tells XfinityTV.com why it was time for Nolan to get hipper, and how he helped create the character’s signature look.
The “genesis of the haircut” (yes, Mann used that phrase because it’s so epic that it’s biblical) came from media pressure. “I think there was some comment that Nolan Ross has the most ridiculous hair on television,” Mann says. That’s the sort of insult that stings even the breakout star of a hit series. So, “At the end of last season I thought, finally, everything’s got to evolve. I felt like maybe people liked Nolan initially in spite of the hair and then finally the hair started to grow on them by the end of it.” If there is one thing that hair can be counted on to do, it is grow. Mann even gets a little philosophical about it, “But I would like to think that it’s not the hair telling the whole story.”
Mann has put a lot of thought into his character’s look from the beginning, inadvertently coming up with Nolan’s fondness for wearing multiple shirts. “That was a little snafu in my trailer the first morning of shooting,” he reveals. “The wardrobe people had put in lots of options for me to try on, and I thought, Well, I’m going to wear all of it. And when I came out sort of as a joke they said, ‘Do you want to go on that way?’ And I said, ‘Let’s do it.’” Mann loves Nolan’s flamboyant twists on classic preppy looks. “I’ve come to live for showing up to work and seeing what’s hanging in my trailer each day.” Mann thinks the haircut is in keeping with Nolan’s fashion forward sensibilities. “With his whole fashion sense it makes sense that he’s not trying to rest on his laurels with anything.”
But really, Nolan’s new look is all about the character’s attempts to attract the attention of the opposite — or same, given that he is a 3 on the Kinsey scale — sex. “I just feel like if there’s the potential to move into a romantic area with this character, I’d like to be looking a little bit sharper,” he says. Mann admits that he did not engage in extensive — or any — discussions with the producers about his new look. “I might have had a visit to the barber the day that we wrapped the show.” Fortunately, when he returned to the set everyone approved. “So far the reaction has been really positive and I’m really interested to see how the audience will react when they see the new Nolan.”
Watch the Season Finale of “Revenge”: