Hollywood has gone crazy for human growth hormone, with top stars, filmmakers, and studio executives touting its benefits: ripped abs, fewer wrinkles, increased sex drive, more energy (and aggression), etc. With anti-aging clinics prescribing it freely, is H.G.H. a career-saving miracle or a pricey, silly, even hazardous placebo?
It was the moment every movie star fears most. It happened about two years ago, the actor recalls, a tad defensively. There he stood, in all his A-list glory, in front of the full-length mirror in his bathroom. Nine times out of 10, the mirror was just that big shiny thing he brushed past en route from the shower to the bedroom. He wasn’t one of those actors. Despite his natural charisma, or perhaps because of it, he had always scored low on the Celebrity Vanity Index. “Admittedly, it’s a relative scale,” he says. “We do grade on a curve here.”
His first inclination, as he edged closer to his reflection, was to give himself the benefit of the doubt. He’d been around long enough to appreciate the degree to which harsh lighting and bad angles can make anyone look bad. But now, as the steam dissipated and the reflection took on crystal clarity, the time had come to confront a few essential truths. “You know how actors look in movies that ‘age’ their character over several years?” he asks. “I felt like I was glimpsing myself in the Act Three scene that begins with a tagline that reads, ‘Ten Years Later.’ It was kind of a De Niro in Raging Bull moment. Except not award-winning.”
by Ned Zeman
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