Actor Leonardo DiCaprio won an Oscar for his dramatic transformation into rugged explorer Hugh Glass in The Revenant, but first won hearts as clean cut Jack Dawson in Titanic.
Now an Australian research team have come up with a convincing reason why Leo’s performance as the fierce frontiersman may have sparked stronger audience reactions than his outing as a doomed passenger on the 1912 cruise liner.
Dr Belinda Craig, from the University of New England in Australia, lead the study into the effect of a bushier chin on men communicating their emotions and masculinity.
Australian researchers have found that men with beards look appear angrier when angry but happier when jolly (Still of Leonardo DiCaprio as explorer Hugh Glass in The Reverent)
She and her team found that people were quicker to recognise a bearded man’s display of anger than that of an angry clean shaven man.
They surveyed 700 people, asking them to rate the emotions and the intensity displayed on a range of male faces – bearded and not bearded.
The team’s results, in a recently published paper in Psychological Science, suggests that a beard changed the way a man’s facial structure is seen and help people make a judgement about a man’s anger and masculinity.
‘Beards emphasise the jaw… leading to faster recognition of anger,’ she to The Times.
Dr Belinda Craig found people were quicker to recognise a bearded man’s display of anger than an angry clean shaven man. She said: ‘Beards emphasise the jaw… leading to faster recognition of anger.’ (Leonardo DiCaprio as Jack Dawson, with co-star Danny Nucci in Titanic)
But Dr Craig noted that it was harder to explain why men with beards appeared happier.
David Dade, honorary president of the British Beard Club, told the The Times a bearded man has appear ‘reliable’ and ‘trustworthy’.
‘Many people [accept] that a bearded man seems kinder and more amenable and maybe more reliable and trustworthy.’
‘This may be because a bearded man appears comfortable with himself,’ he added.