MOVIES

Maestro’s Bradley Cooper Responds To Leonard Bernstein Nose Controversy

Bradley Cooper, who not only played Leonard Bernstein in “Maestro” but co-wrote and directed the film, said he contemplated not using the prosthetic nose at one point but ultimately felt he wasn’t doing the composer’s visage justice without it.

“I thought, ‘Maybe we don’t need to do it because we could take time off prep. But it’s all about balance, and, you know, my lips are nothing like Lenny’s, and my chin,” Cooper told “CBS Mornings.” “And so, we had that, and it just didn’t look right [without the prosthetic] … we just had to do it, otherwise I just wouldn’t believe he’s a human being.”

Immediately after the criticism of Cooper’s use of the prosthetic nose began, Bernstein’s children, Jamie, Alexander, and Nina, issued a statement to Variety that defended the actor-director’s creative decisions.

Noting that Cooper made “Maestro” with their cooperation and how they were touched by the actor-director’s commitment to their father’s legacy, the trio wrote, “It breaks our hearts to see any misrepresentations or misunderstandings of his efforts. 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.”

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