Leonard Bernstein’s children fire back at “Jewface” claims about Bradley Cooper’s ‘Maestro’ makeup

Cooper on set – Netflix/Jason McDonald

Bradley Cooper‘s upcoming romantic biopic Maestro, in which he plays famed composer Leonard Bernstein, dropped its first teaser on Tuesday. But it has already kicked off derision from people over Cooper’s look in the film.

It took some prosthetic work to get the actor and director to approximate Bernstein’s appearance, something detractors label “Jewface.”

The controversy attracted the attention of Bernstein’s children, Jamie, Alexander and Nina, who posted on X, formerly Twitter, a lengthy defense of Cooper’s choice.

“Bradley Cooper included the three of us along every step of his amazing journey as he made his film about our father,” their statement began. “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.”

They continued, “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. We’re also certain that our dad would have been fine with it as well.”

The trio also added, “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.”

They further expressed the “love” and “respect” Cooper showed for their father and mother, Felicia, played by Carey Mulligan in the film. “We feel so fortunate to have had this experience with Bradley, and we can’t wait for the world to see his creation,” they concluded.

Maestro opens in select theaters in November before debuting December 20 on Netflix.

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