Famous composer and conductor Leonard Bernstein is being portrayed by Bradley Cooper in the new film ‘Maestro.’ After the first trailer of the film was released this week, some critics online stated concerns that the makeup worn by Cooper to portray Bernstein in the movie reinforced hurtful anti semitic stereotypes.
Cooper’s also not of Jewish ancestry while Bernstein was born in Massachusetts to Jewish immigrant parents from Russia.
However, the children of the late Bernstein, Jamie, Alexander, and Nina, have voiced their defense of Bradley and the film, taking to Instagram to share a statement about the backlash that Cooper and the film has been facing.
“Bradley Cooper included the three of us along every step of his amazing journey as he made his film about our father,” their statement said.
“We were touched to the core to witness the depth of his commitment, his loving embrace of our father’s music, and the sheer open-hearted joy he brought to his exploration. It breaks our hearts to see any misrepresentations or misunderstandings of his efforts.”
Jamie, Alexander, and Nina also directly addressed the criticism of Cooper’s physical appearance and makeup in the film portraying their father.
“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,” they said.
“We’re also certain that our dad would have been fine with it as well. Any strident complaints around this issue strike us above all as disingenuous attempts to bring a successful person down a notch — a practice we observed all too often perpetrated on our own father.”
Cooper also co-wrote, co-produced, and directed ‘Maestro,’ marking his first directorial work since ‘A Star Is Born’ in 2018.
The film follows Bernstein and his 25-year marriage to Felicia Montealegre, who’s played by Carey Mulligan. Both Martin Scorsese and Steven Speilberg are part of the film’s production team as well.
“At all times during the making of this film, we could feel the profound respect and yes, the love that Bradley brought to his portrait of Leonard Bernstein and his wife, our mother Felicia. We feel so fortunate to have had this experience with Bradley, and we can’t wait for the world to see his creation,” the family statement concluded.
Eric Mastrota is a Contributing Editor at The National Digest based in New York. A graduate of SUNY New Paltz, he reports on world news, culture, and lifestyle. You can reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org.