If, like me, you are a man whose hairline is in fast retreat, Jude Law should be your new hero. A photograph of him on the set of The New Pope, his HBO series, wearing nothing but a pair of white Speedos went mildly viral this week, inspiring responses such as "Jude Law's Speedo bod is my new religion" and "Has anyone in the history of humankind reacted to losing his hair better than Jude Law?"
In truth, Law’s road to this point has been fraught with failed follicular experiments, suggesting a quiet desperation on his part. Online galleries document his various past coping strategies – growing it out, shaving it off, wearing a hat, even, some speculate, to the actor’s denial, having a hair transplant – but things have finally worked out for him. He is a 46-year-old man in decent nick. He has got some hair left, and he is playing a hot priest, so he’s bang on trend for spring 2019. He is, as much as the term wants to make me gag, a “daddy”.
If there is a downside to all this inspiration it is that his body seems like so much work. The Bodyguard star Richard Madden recently complained of the pressure on male actors to conform to a certain physical type, speaking out against all the jobs that have required him to lose weight and bemoaning what he describes as the "barely eating, working-out-twice-a-day, no-carbing thing".
Perhaps what we’re seeing is Jude Law experiencing something similar. He is the star of a critically acclaimed series and a supporting actor in a number of wildly successful movies. He is also no longer the effortless pretty boy he was 15 years ago, so maintaining this career uptick no doubt requires plenty of effort.
Still, whatever work it took, Law is proof to balding men everywhere that you can also reduce the internet to a gawping froth, so long as you are rich, tanned, conventionally attractive, famous, physically fit, experiencing a midcareer resurrection, and willing to wear underwear in public. Jude, on behalf of all of us, thank you. – Guardian