Men in their 30s who still find themselves living at home with their mothers, have just got a new poster boy: Bradley Cooper. The 38-year-old, who was nominated for an Oscar for his role in Silver Linings Playbook, has revealed that he moved back in with his mother Gloria two years ago after his father Charles died.
“Let’s face it – it’s probably not easy for her, by the way, to be living with her son. It’s life. And right now, two years after my father’s death, this is where we are,” he tells Details magazine, adding, “Don’t get me wrong. It’s not without complications. It’s not like I live in a compound and she’s in the guesthouse. No. She’s in the next room. But here’s the thing – she’s a cool chick. We can hang, and she can roll with the punches.”
Not all mothers need to be “cool chicks” for their sons to remain permanent mummy’s boys. For many, it’s the prospect of free rent, a full fridge and a laundry service.
The phenomenon is more popular in Italy, where studies have suggested that up to 85 per cent of Italian men aged between 18 and 33 live with their parents. They even have their own classification “mammoni”. The custom was brought over to the US, where last year a reality series called Mama’s Boys of the Bronx followed Italian-American men in their 30s who still live at home.
Cooper is not the only famous person who still benefits from being a stay-at-home son. Spanish tennis icon Rafa Nadal, lives in the same apartment block as his mother, albeit on a separate floor. The same block also houses his grandparents, his sister and his uncle and family. Similarly, international stardom hasn’t affected Slumdog Millionaire star Dev Patel. When not away filming, he is reported to still live with his parents in Harrow, north London.
The trend seems to have passed by the 2,129 recently married couples who were questioned in a survey published this week, which revealed that 47 per cent of them would prefer to have a son first, with most of the respondents saying it was because boys are “less hard work”.
Justin Halpern turned the potentially embarrassing situation of moving back home into not only hard work but financial success. When forced to move back in with his parents in his late 20s, he started recording all the profane wisdom of his father on to a Twitter feed called “Shit my Dad says”. This became both a book and a television sitcom and led to a second book deal for Halpern. He also got to move out of home.
But the stay-at-home-son phenomenon doesn’t always produce success stories.
Three Millwall fans caught up in the violence at the FA Cup semi-final match with Wigan Athletic were traced by one tabloid newspaper, and all were found to living at home with their mothers.