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A Boy Is Good

Bradley Cooper and Lady Gaga are great, sure, but it’s time to talk about the real star of ‘A Star Is Born’: Bradley Cooper’s dog, Charlie

Warner Bros./Ringer illustration

If you have seen Bradley Cooper’s A Star Is Born, you know it’s a little misleading. For the first half of the movie, it seems like the titular star must be Lady Gaga’s reluctant singer-songwriter Ally. By the end, you know the truth: The real star is Charlie the labradoodle, Bradley Cooper’s own dog, a teddy bear of a pup whose unforgettable performance combines the selfless daring of Lassie with a hint of Eddie-from-Frasier’s sass, and the emotional gravitas of that wise, old golden retriever in Homeward Bound. Not only is a star born—a boy is also good.

And, as of last week, a boy is award-winning. Charlie is such a scene stealer in A Star Is Born that PETA created a brand-new honor just so it could bestow it upon Charlie. (Technically the award is being given to his owner, Bradley Cooper, but who’s keeping track?) “Bradley Cooper’s happy, adorable, and much-loved dog steals the spotlight—and viewers’ hearts—in this film because it’s clear that he loved being with his real-life dad,” said a PETA senior vice president in the first press release to make you cry. The prize given to the Coopers is called the COMPASSION IN FILM AWARD (emphasis mine, because oh my god), a prize that makes winning an Academy Award sound boring and offensively impersonal. While you are still crying, this feels like the appropriate time to tell you that Charlie is named after Bradley Cooper’s late father, who died in 2011.

Charlie’s Compassion in Film Award almost makes up for the terrible snub he suffered earlier this season, when he somehow did not win the Palm Dog at Cannes. (Yes, that is a real award, except I cannot for the life of me understand why they wouldn’t punctuate it “Palm d’Og.” Next time a prestigious film festival invents an award for dogs, it should consult me first.) Although A Star Is Born premiered at the Venice Film Festival, the 2018 Palm Dog went to a chihuahua from the Italian mafia movie Dogman—a little too on the (cute, wet) nose if you ask me. Did the Palm Dog jury even see A Star Is Born? Or did they just pick the movie that had the word “dog” in its title? You honestly have to wonder.

Anyway, Charlie hasn’t let it get to him. I know this because since seeing A Star Is Born I have tracked down every existing photo of Charlie Cooper, and in every single one of them he is chillin’.

Who’s a star? Follow the arrow!

Lookin’ good, Charlie. Also, is Bradley Cooper breastfeeding in this photo?

Did you know that earlier this year Bradley Cooper dressed as a giant dog for his daughter’s first birthday? Well, now you do!

To quote the sole commenter on a Life With Dogs article titled “Nepotism Is So Cute!” about Charlie’s performance in the film, “I had a tendency towards the dislike end of the Bradley Cooper spectrum until receiving and reading this article.” Charlie Cooper, out here expanding minds.

“PETA has witnessed so much abuse and neglect of dogs, both on and off set,” the organization stated in its press release (harshing Charlie’s moment a bit), “that we’re hoping Cooper’s kind decision [to cast his own dog] sets a precedent for all of Hollywood to follow.” With all due respect, I don’t know how that could possibly happen, because there’s no way every director in Hollywood has a dog like Charlie. I’m sure some of them have decent pups. But this boy?

Warner Bros.

This boy is Good.