UPDATE: Turns out one of our theories was true! Rob will don a wig for Downton, he told E!, and not just any wig. This custom creation cost a whopping $6,270. But where'd the hair go to begin with? Rob had it shaved for a recent role as "a crazy psychotic drug dealer." Talk about a departure from Downton.
Hair today, gone tomorrow. Rob James-Collier, aka Downton Abbey’s delightfully crafty under-butler Thomas Barrow, sported a bare bones hairdo to Monday’s “An Evening with Downton Abbey” event in Los Angeles. The cast is still filming Season 4, which means this shocking shaved look will likely play into Thomas’s storyline on the show.
What can this newly shorn look tell us about Thomas’ future on the BBC hit? Let’s gaze upon the glowing orb to foresee all the wonders and woes show creator Julian Fellowes has in the works for our next visit to the Abbey.
Theory #1: He’s sick!
Rob’s a good-looking man, but we have to admit this new do takes us right back to the haunted halls of Downton’s hospital. Granted, the fourth season will be set during the 1920s. That’s long before the common use of hair-loss inducing chemotherapy, but that doesn’t mean Thomas isn’t ill. Fingers crossed it’s only head lice. We can’t handle another death at Downton.
Theory #2: He wears a wig!
As the show enters the Jazz Age, could Thomas be tapping into a more flamboyant side? A closeted man living in a homophobic world, Thomas hasn’t had the best (actually, any) luck when it comes to expressing himself as a gay man. Will the rule-breaking ways of the Roaring Twenties provide an outlet he’s always needed? Will Thomas do drag?
Theory #2.5: He wears a wig … because it’s a TV show.
Not nearly as compelling as our “Downton: The Drag Show” concept, but perhaps Rob just wanted a no-fuss haircut for summer so will don a wig on set. Yeah, we hope not, too.
Theory #3: He gets fired!
Times, they are a-changin’ and although Cousin Matthew (may he rest in peace) begrudgingly swooped in and restocked the family fortune during Season 3, Lord Grantham hasn’t exactly proved himself good with money. (Trains?! That was your big investment. How about Henry Ford?) If finances go south again coughGreatDepressioncough perhaps Thomas gets the ax, forcing him to pull an Anne Hathaway à la Les Mis and sell his locks for cash.
What do you think happened to Thomas’ hair? Tell us below!