Bradley Cooper's remarkable transformation into Leonard Bernstein for Maestro
Explore the astounding metamorphosis of Bradley Cooper as he takes on the iconic role of Leonard Bernstein in the upcoming film Maestro.
Maestro (Soure: Variety)
In his portrayal of the renowned musical genius Leonard Bernstein in "Maestro," Bradley Cooper went to extraordinary lengths to capture the essence of the iconic figure. As shared by Bernstein's daughter, Jamie, the eldest among his three children, "We had no inkling of the depth of Bradley's intensity and dedication when he took on this project. There are moments in the film, particularly when he's in motion, where he mirrors our dad so precisely that it takes our breath away."
Crafting the Maestro's Persona
Collaborating closely with makeup-effects maestro Kazu Hiro, the 48-year-old Cooper underwent a remarkable transformation to embody the role of the former conductor and music director of the New York Philharmonic, Leonard Bernstein.
Hiro's ingenuity manifested in four sets of prosthetics and two bodysuits that depicted Bernstein's evolution from the beginning of his career in 1943 to his later years in his 70s. (Bernstein passed away at the age of 72 in 1990.)
Although Bradley Cooper initially faced criticism for using a prosthetic nose to portray the Jewish conductor Leonard Bernstein, the maestro's children promptly released a statement expressing their approval of the makeup. According to them, they are "perfectly fine" with the prosthetics, asserting that "our dad would have been fine with it as well."
In addition to his acting role, Cooper, who also co-wrote and directed "Maestro," enlisted the expertise of Oscar-winning costume designer Mark Bridges to dress his character authentically. Bridges meticulously crafted looks ranging from double-breasted suits to turtlenecks, occasionally recreating outfits based on photographs of Bernstein. Bridges humorously quipped, "He looked so smashing, and if it works, don't fix it."
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Maestro, directed and featuring Bradley Cooper alongside Carey Mulligan and Benny Safdie, debuted in select theaters on November 22. For global audiences, the movie is already available for streaming on Netflix since December 20.