The famously blond Rescue Me star easily goes brunette for a movie role

By Rennie Dyball and Stephen M. Silverman
Updated November 15, 2007 02:50 PM
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Credit: Steve Granitz/WireImage;Steve Mack/FilmMagic

Famously blond Denis Leary has a surprising new look.

“When I see people they go, ‘What’s going on with your hair?’ ” the Rescue Me star, 50, told PEOPLE at the Leary Firefighter’s Foundation Bash for New York’s Bravest on Tuesday. “And I’m going, ‘What?’ I think they mean my hair’s messed up.”

It’s not. It’s just suddenly brunette for the movie he and Kevin Spacey are shooting: Recount, about the 2000 presidential election.

“I’m back on the movie tomorrow and that’s when I’m more aware of it because I see it in the morning,” says Leary.

Any backlash to being brunette? “At first I was gonna shave my head, and the Rescue Me people went nuts because of the continuity – my hair was long and blond on the show – so I understood that. But then I’ve had so many people say, ‘What’s it like acting with different color hair?’ And I’m like, ‘It’s not like it takes my acting power away.’ ”

Finally, the obvious question: Do blonds have more fun?

“I think they probably do, yeah,” says Leary. “I’m having a blast on this particular movie. But I don’t know. I haven’t really been keeping track.”