Halo on Paramount+ made a bold decision by having Master Chief remove his helmet in the series (among other things). The fans have been unhappy about this due to Master Chief’s iconic mask from the popular video game series. To most people, I’m sure the complaints make no sense; you would think that the main character of a film or television series has to be completely seen the entire time, and in many cases that’s true. The face conveys so much emotion and provides a way for people to connect with the character. However, it’s impressive when an actor is able to make us connect with a character when we never (or almost never) see their complete face. Here are six great performances by masked main characters:
Judge Dredd in Dredd
It’s a shame we haven’t gotten another Dredd film because the first one is fantastic. Karl Urban does a great job as the lead and we never see his eyes the entire time. We still connect with him though as our main character and Urban commits to the physicality of the role as well. If you haven’t seen it before, check it out because it’s a wild ride!
Din Djarin in The Mandalorian
This is an instance where the main character has kept his helmet on for almost the entire time (except when it comes to saving his boy Grogu). Even though we don’t see his entire face for most of the series, Pascal conveys so much through his voice and physicality, which is also thanks to Brendan Wayne and Lateef Crowder who also play The Mandalorian. They work very well together to keep Din Djarin consistent physically but it’s a team effort that makes for a great performance.
V in V for Vendetta
It’s hard to imagine anyone else other than Hugo Weaving playing V, but he was not originally cast in the role. James Purefoy was originally cast in the role but left the film after six weeks of shooting; he is uncredited in the film but appears physically in the early scenes with Hugo Weaving’s voice. It’s the voice that truly makes the role and performance spectacular, along with his great chemistry with Natalie Portman.
Darth Vader in Star Wars: A New Hope, Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back, and Star Wars: Return of the Jedi
From a certain point of view, Darth Vader as a character does keep his mask on the entire time. It makes for Darth Vader to be an imposing figure with one of the most iconic villain looks of all time. While we all associate James Earl Jones’ incredible voice with Darth Vader, we must remember and acknowledge David Prowse, the man who portrayed Vader physically throughout the original trilogy (as well as delivered the lines on set).
Ghostface in the Scream franchise
While Ghostface is always unmasked by the end and is different each Scream film, the man behind the voice has stayed consistent. Roger L. Jackson has provided the voice of Ghostface since the first film in 1996; the voice is truly what completes the character, more so than the mask (though the mask is iconic). Roger L. Jackson has also voiced another iconic villain: Mojo Jojo from The Powerpuff Girls!
Michael Myers in the Halloween franchise
When you think of iconic masked characters, especially in horror, one of the first that has to come to mind is Michael Myers from the Halloween franchise. If you ever thought that Michael Myers had a familiar face, the mask is actually made from a cast of William Shatner’s face! The mask enhances the fear factor, but the physicality and brutality of Michael Myers is what makes him terrifying for sure.