The Oscars are just days away and it’s possible nobody in Hollywood is more aware of this than poor old Bradley Cooper.
The director, co-writer and lead actor of A Star is Born has endured an underwhelming awards season so far with no Golden Globe wins, no SAG awards, no People’s Choice, and just one BAFTA — for music.
The disappointing run has only been exacerbated by his Best director Oscar snub.
These final days call for desperate measures, which is why the 45-year old Oscar nominee is getting creative — and might be following a suggestion from Twitter.
Last month journalist Tabir Akhter tweeted out some important advice: “Bradley Cooper has got to grow a beard if he wants to win this Oscar”.
This was not just about a beard though, the real implication was clear — Cooper needed to get back into the character of Jackson Maine; the rugged, superstar drunkard from his movie if he wanted that Golden statue.
Because, as of last month, his shiny visage was not reflective of the man we had swam far from the shallows for.
Bradley Cooper has got to grow a beard if he wants to win this Oscar pic.twitter.com/7zGzvfE6Sf— Tabir Akhter (@tabir)
“In my opinion, Bradley Cooper looks to have had too higher dosages of anti-wrinkle injections to his forehead and Crow’s-feet, eliminating most of his upper face movement” says cosmetic nurse practitioner Katherine Millar-Shannon from the Duquessa Clinic in Melbourne. The result, she says, was a feminising of the face at both the Globes and the SAGs, an undesirable outcome not seen since Lance Bass looked a little too surprised in 2002.
“Men need a few wrinkles around the eyes, and they don’t need to have that frown line filled in, or they’ll look too feminine.”
The solution, according to Millar-Shannon, is to use fillers instead of anti-wrinkle injections, to sculpt a more stereotypically masculine appearance.
“Dermal fillers are currently on trend for men, either on their own or as an adjunct to anti-wrinkle injections,” say Millar-Shannon.
“We aim for are squaring up of the jawline, enhancing the cheeks and strengthening the chin, as these treatments traditionally are associated with dominance and being more masculine.”
One look at Cooper from 2013 BAFTAS would seem to suggest he’s already tried it.
“The change in the jawline between 2013 and now is, in my opinion, obvious,” says cosmetic physician Dr. Phoebe Jones.
“He has had some volumisation with filler or bio-stimulator to make the jawline more square, prominent and masculine.”
That squarer jaw served him well in A Star is Born, and a bit of stubble growing in will likely only enhance it.
Alas, the misstep occurred when Cooper went too hard on the injectables last month.
“In my opinion Bradley had probably recently had some cheek and tear trough filler prior to the Golden Globes” says Jones.
“It can take 3-8 weeks for filler to really settle in to the correct natural position. I usually recommend people get filler done a good 3 months before an important event to allow for this.”
But as of the BAFTA Awards, Cooper was back on track — the stubble was coming in nicely, the jaw was chiselled and the shiny, Liberace-esque visage was gone. Cooper’s not doing Brotox — he’s doing Slow-tox — it’s extremely subtle cosmetic work that wipes away the years without compromising on ruggedness.
“You want to look less angry and less tired but without the puffiness — these are the aesthetic motivators behind a growing number of men turning to cosmetic treatments” says Millar-Shannon of Cooper’s sly transformation.
“It’s possible that he had some filler dissolved in order to look more like his character in A Star is Born, says Jones.
“But I think it’s more likely that the swelling has subsided and the filler has settled in to place.”
For the sake of Cooper and his Oscar chances, let’s hope it’s not too late.
As this twitter user mentioned, beauty standards for men are becoming almost as ridiculous as women’s.
Cosmetic injections for men are a fine art — too much and you feminise the face. (Lance Bass, Shane Warne).
Most actors get their jawline filled in to make it more square, and lift the brow but keep the crows feet — it’s exactly what Bradley has done. But he’s gone a bit too hard on the fillers, giving him an ever-so-slightly Liberace effect.
Of course I won’t say that — I have a couple of experts I can interview — cosmetic nurses, etc — and get their opinion on what it looks like Bradley has had done and how it reflects what Aussie men are doing right now — it’s a studied ruggedness and a delicate, unspoken part of male grooming.