We earn a commission for products purchased through some links in this article.

Recommended Re-Viewing: Juliette Lewis On The Powerful Message of Peace In 'Hair'

The gut-wrenching, wild musical is just as bracing today as it was when released in 1979 says the 'Natural Born Killers' actress

hair musical 1979
-

Recommended Re-Viewing is a series in which we make the case for re-watching an old film or TV series which you can stream without leaving your house. It might be a plot that's so bad it's good, a scene which deserves more interrogation or a director's underrated gem.

Here, 'Natural Born Killers' and 'Sacred Lies' actress Juliette Lewis talks about the complicated themes of love, responsibility and freedom in 1979 film 'Hair'. The adaptation of the Sixties Broadway show looks at a divided America and the message of peace behind the hippy movement against the backdrop of the Vietnam War.


There’s a handful of musicals that left an imprint on me and Hair was one of those after seeing it when I was about ten on cable TV. I was always drawn to musicals like Grease, Fame, Flashdance and The Rocky Horror Picture Show, and in all my roles I use music as something to get to the heart of a character.

For me Hair is like time travel: it’s so fun to watch for the time period and the politics and the costumes are incredible. When I was 15 I was so infatuated with the Sixties in the way young people are now about the Nineties. There was a couple of movies in that time, like Easy Riderim电竞官网-, which really capture that era and let you go back to that time. Of course it’s a bit heightened but things like the fashion aren't if you look at photos of people at Woodstock.

This content is imported from YouTube. You may be able to find the same content in another format, or you may be able to find more information, at their web site.

Musicals are a real thing to achieve, there’s some great ones and then mostly not great ones. I tend to not love musical music but I used to listen to the soundtrack of Hairim电竞官网- in my car all the time, and when I need a kick I still put on the track ‘Ain’t Got No’.

I think Hair is still relevant in showing there's power in love and in trying to express your personal freedom. The hippy movement was so much about their dress but also the behaviour – choosing to express yourself differently and choosing to love was political for them.

There’s this one scene with Treat Williams where he meets a fancy horse-riding girl and she takes this dirty hippy with her to a stuffy dinner and he ends up dancing on the table and getting everyone a little bit looser.

hair
-

im电竞官网-It's not just about peace, there’s so many complexities societally that get expressed in the movie. Even drug use as being a form of liberation and how that in fact is a trap. There’s a great scene before it leads into the song ‘Easy To Be Hard’, where there’s a woman singing to a man who has joined the group and left his responsibilities of being a father.

The thing that’s appealing about being a hippy in terms of having no responsibilities, Hairim电竞官网- also shows that you can’t always live like that and that there’s bullshit things about it, like with a lot of movements.

hair
-

It’s a pretty gut-wrenching movie, you don't see it coming but it left me sobbing. I know nobody wants to be sobbing right now but sometimes it's good to look at a time period that’s worse than the one you’re in, even with what we’re going through.

This was a time in the Sixties that we were at war as a society and our heroes were being assassinated: Martin Luther King and the President prior to that. You just can’t believe it and so when we think of hippies we think of their funny dress and drug use, but some people were really trying to express something really powerful at the time.

As told to Olivia Ovenden

Juliette is currently appearing in 'Sacred Lies' and 'I Know This Much Is True'

Like this article? Sign up to our newsletter to get more delivered straight to your inbox

This content is created and maintained by a third party, and imported onto this page to help users provide their email addresses. You may be able to find more information about this and similar content at piano.io
Advertisement - Continue Reading Below