Bradley Cooper’s Nose Transformation for Leonard Bernstein Role Sparks Controversy


Table of Contents

It is very common to see actors transforming themselves to fit a role. It can range from changing their hair color to their body to even using prosthetics. However, Bradley Cooper’s nose transformation to play the role of Leonard Bernstein (the late West Side Story composer) has led to a lot of criticism in recent days. It is the size of the nose that has attracted attention.

Bradley Cooper's nose in Bernstein role sparks family response

Earlier this week, the first trailer for Maestro was released. At the same Cooper can be seen wearing makeup which helps his nose look larger. Some say that this appearance is offensive to Jewish stereotypes.

Cooper’s portrayal of Bernstein has sparked debates on social media as he used a prosthetic nose for the role. Family members of Leonard Bernstein have released a statement in defense of Bradley Cooper.

They said that they were “perfectly fine” with it and that it breaks their hearts to see people misunderstanding the efforts Cooper has put in. Amid such criticism, the family coming out in support of Cooper means huge.

A statement was posted on social media by Bernstein’s children- Nina, Jamie, and Alexander. They shared their take on Bradley Cooper’s transformation.

They wrote that Cooper had involved them in his journey of portraying their father on bug screen and that the family praised his love and commitment to their father’s music. They continued by saying that Cooper brought genuine joy to the project.

They addressed the criticism around Cooper’s prosthetic nose to resemble their father. The post also included that Benrstein’s children were fine with Cooper using makeup to amplify his resemblance. They also said that their father would also have been okay with it.

Bradley Cooper is playing the role of Bernstein in Maestro and has also directed, co-written, and co-produced it. This marks his first directorial work, safer 2018 film A Star is Born.

Talking about Cooper’s descent, he is not Jewish, which has led to criticism and attracted debates about a minority group of characters being played by those who share the same attributes. They say that the casting has plagued Hollywood. It is not known how Bernstein’s Jewish descent will be depicted in Maestro.

The movie is going to be released next month in Venice and critics have not yet reviewed the movie. The film will be released on the streaming giant Netflix this December.

It is about Bernstein’s life, his 25-year marriage to Felicia Montealegre (played by Carey Mulligan). The movie has gathered attention as it has an impressive lineup of producers like Steven Spielberg and Martin Scorsese.

Other Actors Who Went Through The Same Criticism

See Bradley Cooper's transformation as young and old Leonard Bernstein

This is not the first incident that a movie was bashed for its casting. Scarlett Johansson 2018 experienced something similar when she played the role of a transgender man in Rub & Tug. While she starred in the Hollywood version of the anime movie Ghost In The Shell, she was criticized for playing a Japanese character.

In the 1993 movie Philadelphia, Tom Hanks played the role of a gay man who was dying of AIDS. Last year, the actor said that as a straight man, he can not play that role today.

Eddie Redmayne starred in The Danish Girl, the 2015 movie. He recently reassessed his role and said that his decision to play a transgender woman was an error.

Other examples include Jake Gyllenhaal who is a Jewish and Swedish actor who played the lead role in Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time(released in 2010), and Ridley Scott, who featured in Exodus: Gods and Kings(released in 2014). The former actor was criticized as non-Arabs were featured as Egyptians.

All the above-mentioned movies have been criticized in some way or the other. David Baddiel, writer, and comedian, said that he is unable to understand why the same logic of authentic casting isn’t applied to titles about Jews.

In his book Jews Don’t Count (2021), he wrote that Jews are the only minority in which the actors aren’t cast in line with reality.

Criticism over such casting has increased over the years. Maureen Lipman (actress) last year said that she didn’t appreciate Dame Helen Mirren’s casting as Golda Meir (Israeli Prime Minister) for the upcoming movie Golda.

You may also like ...