After years as Magnum P.I., Tom Selleck’s mustache became his trademark. That has been a few years, so you would think he could shave his lip at this point. Apparently, no, though, because his new bosses require him to keep it.
Before starting his new cop show, Blue Bloods, Tom Selleck wanted to shave the mustache off. When he asked his CBS bosses, though, they said the mustache had to stay. [Source: TV Bosses Banned Selleck From Shaving Moustache, IMDB.com, 2/14/11. Downloaded from: http://www.imdb.com/news/ni7734733/]
The mustache requirement is kind of odd, because I am pretty sure fans would recognize Tom Selleck even without his mustache. The producers are not requiring him to wear his trademark tight shorts and Hawaiian shirt, so it is unclear why the Magnum P.I. mustache is required.
The Daily Mail managed to dig up a couple of photos of Tom Selleck before he grew his famous mustache (both from the 1960’s), which you can see here. [Source: Magnum P.I. before the mustache: Tom Selleck as a clean-shaven young man, Daily Mail, 8/16/10. Downloaded from: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/tvshowbiz/article-1303200/Magnum-P-I-moustache-Tom-Selleck-clean-shaven-young-man.html]. Tom Selleck does look different in the 1960’s pictures, but I think that’s mostly due to age rather than mustache (or lack thereof).
This trivial mustache issue raises the larger issue of how thoroughly TV producers should be able to control actors like Tom Selleck. If they can tell him how to groom his face, can they require him to get a tattoo, stop participating in dangerous hobbies, or stop speaking publicly about certain topics? There are good reasons why a producer might want to exercise extreme control over an actor, but surely actors have the same rights that non-actor employees enjoy.
If Tom Selleck wanted to shave badly enough, I suppose he would quit Blue Bloods (or else just shave and see if they fired him, which I doubt they would). Maybe they can have an episode where Selleck’s character shaves his mustache off; that would make the actor happy, and I bet a lot of people would tune in to see him sans mustache.
Magnum P.I. before the moustache: Tom Selleck as a clean-shaven young man, Daily Mail, 8/16/10. Downloaded from: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/tvshowbiz/article-1303200/Magnum-P-I-moustache-Tom-Selleck-clean-shaven-young-man.html
TV Bosses Banned Selleck From Shaving Moustache, IMDB.com, 2/14/11. Downloaded from: http://www.imdb.com/news/ni7734733/