He might not have a Best Director nomination from the Academy, but A Star is Born actor-helmer Bradley Cooper has PETA’s “Oscat” (nope, that’s not misspelled) Award to console him.
The animal rights group’s Film and Television Division bestowed Tuesday its second annual crop of awards to films and stars who promoted kindness to animals through storylines and/or the use of computer-generated imagery in place of live creatures on camera, with Cooper taking Best Director “for his enlightened decision to cast his own canine companion in A Star Is Born rather than using one supplied by a notorious animal exhibitor.”
Cooper’s pooch — a labradoodle named Charlie — has a key symbolic arc in the Best Picture-nominated film as the adopted canine companion of the story’s central couple Ally (Lady Gaga) and Jackson (Cooper).
“There was no nepotism — I wanted this relationship with the dog,” Cooper told PEOPLE of the decision to cast Charlie during the film’s Los Angeles premiere. “[Jackson and Ally] don’t have a child together but they have a dog together, and I wanted it to be part of their story. I love dogs.”
Cooper named Charlie after his late father, who died of lung cancer in 2011. “That meant a lot for him to be in the film,” Cooper expressed.
Other 2019 Oscat winners include Best Actress victor Natalie Portman (whose radical pop star transformation for Vox Lux featured an all-vegan wardrobe designed by Keri Lee Doris) and Best Actor champion Winston Duke (who plays vegetarian tribe leader M’Baku in Black Panther).
Elsewhere, in a tie that only PETA could conjure, Greg Berlanti’s Love, Simon and J.A. Bayona’s Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom finished neck-and-neck for the “Best SeaWorld Side-Eye” prize awarded to projects that raise awareness about animals in captivity — Simon for including a scene that describes the way animals live at SeaWorld as “really sad” and Kingdom for its anti-captivity themes.
Read on for a full list of 2019 Oscat Award winners.
The Cat’s Meow: Black Panther
Best Director: Bradley Cooper – A Star is Born
Best Actress: Natalie Portman – Vox Lux and Annihilation
Best Actor: Winston Duke – Black Panther
Best Stunt Team: Annihilation
Best Animated Film: Isle of Dogs
Best SeaWorld Side-Eye: Love, Simon and Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom
Best Instant Karma Moment: The Meg and Mowgli
Best Costume: Donald Glover’s fur-free jacket from Solo: A Star Wars Story
Birds’ Pick: Tully (for raising awareness about the plight of chickens on meat farms)
Best Documentary: Free Solo and Won’t You Be My Neighbor?
In Memoriam: Stan Lee