Bradley Cooper criticised for prosthetic nose in ‘Maestro’; Leonard Bernstein’s children defend him

The film also stars Carey Mulligan as Bernstein’s wife, Felicia Montealegre Bernstein

Published - August 17, 2023 02:53 pm IST

Bradley Cooper as Leonard Bernstein in a scene from ‘Maestro’

Bradley Cooper as Leonard Bernstein in a scene from ‘Maestro’ | Photo Credit: Jason McDonald

Actor Bradley Cooper will next be seen in Maestro, a film which he directs and stars in as Jewish conductor-composer Leonard Bernstein. The film has courted controversy for a prosthetic nose Cooper wears, which some say evokes antisemitic stereotypes while others call it an inaccurate portrayal of Bernstein. 

Bernstein’s three children have now come to the defense of Cooper on Wednesday. “It breaks our hearts to see any misrepresentations or misunderstandings of his efforts,” they said. “It happens to be true that Leonard Bernstein had a nice, big nose. Bradley chose to use makeup to amplify his resemblance, and we’re perfectly fine with that. We’re also certain that our dad would have been fine with it as well.”

When the first look images from the film were revealed last year, some questioned the decision by Cooper, who is not Jewish, to play Bernstein, who died in 1990. The Netflix film features him opposite Carey Mulligan as Bernstein’s wife, Felicia Montealegre Bernstein.

Maestro will have its North American premiere at the New York Film Festival in October before which, the film be screened next month at the Venice Film Festival. After a theatrical release in the USA in November, the film will debut on Netflix in December. 

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