Alper Yesiltas has used AI to depict what he thinks celebrities would look like when older. You can see his fascinating work on Instagram here. I was most interested in his images of celebrities who died when they were younger – Freddie Mercury, Heath Ledger, Janis Joplin, John Lennon, Kurt Cobain, Princess Diana.
I wonder how they would REALLY have looked? For both men and women, weight gain can make a huge difference to their features. Men often look completely different if and when they lose their hair, and celebrities often have (sometimes awful) plastic surgery. Some people I have known all my life look exactly the same, just more wrinkly. Others look totally different.
In my imagination, Freddie Mercury would be less statesman-like, and Princess Diana would have had some plastic surgery. The biggest shock, though, was Kurt Cobain, who would have turned 56 this week. He is still depicted so often on clothing and in popular culture today that it is hard to imagine him at almost 60. For me, the picture of Heath Ledger was incredibly accurate.
How hard it must be to be an ageing celebrity. You see yourself in your beautiful prime in film and television reruns, and feel the awful pressure to look as young as possible for as long as possible if you want to keep your fame and work. There is always someone younger and more beautiful nipping at your heels.