Bradley Cooper's New Beard Is Nightmare Fuel (Run, Gigi!)

Bradley Cooper debuted a new style that had people scratching their heads as he was spotted sporting a peculiar beard. The "Maestro" star was photographed out in New York City on June 10, 2024, and he had a bald patch on the chin section of his beard — basically a reserve soul patch. His sideburns and cheeks still had full facial hair, but he had shaved under his bottom lip. When snaps of Cooper's unusual facial hair circulated fans expressed their dismay. "Oh no baby what is you doing???" one X, formerly Twitter user, said about the ill-advised look. "Mid-life crisis I would think?" another speculated.

Part of what made the beard so befuddling was that only days earlier Cooper had been photographed with full luscious facial hair while on a date with Gigi Hadid. The pair went to trendy restaurant Forgione with a group of friends on June 5, and reportedly packed on the PDA while at dinner, per Page Six. Even though Bradley Cooper had snubbed Gigi Hadid as his date to the 2024 Oscars, the couple had been growing closer. "Gigi and Bradley's relationship is serious and they have already spoken about their future together and next steps," a source told Entertainment Tonight in February.

At the time of publication, it was unknown if Hadid had seen her beau's unique facial hair, or if she approved of the look. The beard may not have been Cooper's choice, and could have been for an upcoming role.

The history of Bradley Cooper's beard

Bradley Cooper's new beard was so off-putting that it was possibly not the actor's choice, but a look cultivated for a film role. In preparation for 2014's "American Sniper," Cooper famously grew out his beard while also packing on 40 pounds. After the role was complete he shaved the beard, but later grew a more grizzled look for 2018's "A Star is Born." Once again, Cooper opted for a clean-shaven face after production wrapped, but that was not well-received by fans. "I had a lot of people tell me they preferred him with the beard and long hair, asking me to grow it back out," his stylist, Natalia Bruschi, told Refinery29 in 2019. Fortunately, he brought the beard back when Cooper performed a song from 'A Star is Born' with Lady Gaga at the 2019 Oscars. "I asked him, 'Beard or no beard?' and he said, 'Beard, definitely,'" Bruschi said, leading up to the awards show.

Obviously, the "Nightmare Alley" star was comfortable changing his facial hair, so perhaps the new shaved-chin beard was for a role. A look at his IMDb showed that Cooper's movie "Is This Thing On?" was listed as "in production." The film was announced in June 2023, but no plot details were revealed, per Deadline. Another possible explanation for Cooper's strange beard was that he just did not care. "Don't you get to a certain age where you try to live comfortably?" he said during an interview with Esquire in 2012 while discussing his appearance.