Kiefer Sutherland Shares Hilarious Story Behind His Lost Boys Haircut And How He’s At Least Partially To Blame For The Mullet ‘Movement’

Kiefer Sutherland and his fangs in The Lost Boys
(Image credit: Warner Bros.)

Kiefer Sutherland has had a remarkable career in film and television that has lasted over 30 years. From the coming of age drama Stand by Me to his role as Jack Bauer in 24, which Sutherland may not be quite done with, the actor has played many memorable roles that have become part of popular culture at large. But the actor also thinks he may have accidentally been a style icon as well, though not a very good one. It seems Sutherland’s character in The Lost Boys may have greatly helped to popularize the mullet.

Speaking with GQ, Kiefer Sutherland recently recounted several of his most popular roles and when discussing the character of David, the vampire he played in The Lost Boys, the actor states that he ended up with the “business up front, party in the back” haircut because he was trying to emulate his own rock ‘n’ roll idol, while also staying true to instructions he received from director Joel Schumacher. Sutherland explained… 

Joel Schumacher wanted me to have white hair, and I had very long hair at the time and he wanted me to keep it. And I just looked like a bad wrestler, I looked like a moron. It was just awful. I thought Billy Idol was really cool and looked really cool, I still think he looks really cool. His hair was all spiky and kind of punk in front, so I got that haircut, but I left enough at the back so I could tell Joel Schumacher I left it long. And I think kind of accidentally might have at least been part of a movement that created one of the worst hairstyles of all time: the mullet.

Having now read this description, you can certainly see it when you look at David in The Lost Boys. He’s got the short spikey white hair of Billy Idol down perfectly. While the “White Wedding” singer has appeared in films, he could have been a star in his own right on screen, as Idol was supposed to co-star in Terminator 2 once upon a time. Then you add the long hair in the back that the director really wanted. If Kiefer Sutherland had kept his hair completely long he still would have looked like an ‘80s rocker, but a completely different sort.

Mulleted Kiefer Sutherland with other vampires in The Lost Boys

(Image credit: Warner Bros. Pictures)

The mullet as a hairstyle certainly predated The Lost Boys, but the style’s height of popularity was, without question, the 1980s. And so it’s certainly possible that Kiefer Sutherland’s appearance in The Lost Boys was part of what brought about that popularity. A young Jeremy Renner sported a mullet back in the day and so did a lot of others. While the mullet is derided now, David in The Lost Boys is sort of the epitome of cool for the era. It’s not hard to imagine people wanting to emulate the characters look and then going and getting the haircut to match. 

It’s actually funny to hear Kiefer Sutherland say that he changed his hair because he thought he looked like a “bad wrestler” considering how popular the mullet would become among wrestlers for a long time. Perhaps that’s because of what happened here and the massive unintentional influence of The Lost Boys. Will we see something similar happen if The Lost Boys gets remade?

Dirk Libbey
Content Producer/Theme Park Beat

CinemaBlend’s resident theme park junkie and amateur Disney historian, Dirk began writing for CinemaBlend as a freelancer in 2015 before joining the site full-time in 2018. He has previously held positions as a Staff Writer and Games Editor, but has more recently transformed his true passion into his job as the head of the site's Theme Park section. He has previously done freelance work for various gaming and technology sites. Prior to starting his second career as a writer he worked for 12 years in sales for various companies within the consumer electronics industry. He has a degree in political science from the University of California, Davis.  Is an armchair Imagineer, Epcot Stan, Future Club 33 Member.