Bradley Cooper finally addresses controversy over prosthetic nose in Maestro

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By Nasima Khatun

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Bradley Cooper has finally addressed the controversy around his prosthetic nose in Maestro.

While portraying Leonard Bernstein, a famous composer who happens to also be a Jewish man in Netflix's biopic titled Maestro, the 48-year-old was met with backlash after his prosthetic nose raised questions about harmful stereotypes.

The movie, described by Netflix as "a love letter to life and art," revolves around the relationship between American composer Leonard Bernstein (played by Bradley Cooper) and his wife Felicia Montealegre (played by Carey Mulligan).

But since the release of the movie's trailer back in August, rather than focussing on the storyline, the gossip was centered around Cooper's appearance.

Have a look at the full trailer below: 

Many cited concerns about "Jewface", a term that negatively characterizes stereotypical or inauthentic portrayals of Jewish people.

The Media Diversity Institute delved into the history behind the idea of "hooked noses" and how they became exclusively associated with the stereotypical "Jewish" look, despite there being little to no evidence to support the claim that it was true.

"It goes back to antisemitic and Nazi propaganda from the 1930s and since then has gone on to become a common trope - and, whether intentionally or not - pushes antisemitic stereotypes to this day," the publisher wrote.

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Bradley Cooper has spoken out following the uproar over his prosthetic nose. Credit: Jason Mendez/Getty

In the wake of the drama, Kazu Hiro, the artist responsible for the dramatic facial reconstruction, spoke out about the reasons why they decided to opt for such a look.

Speaking to IndyWire at the Venice Film Festival, he said: "I wasn't expecting [the backlash to the first trailer] to happen. I feel sorry that I hurt some people's feelings."

Hiro added: "My goal, and Bradley's goal, was to portray Lenny as authentic as possible... So that's why we did several different tests and went through lots of decisions, and that was the outcome in the movie."

Hiro wasn't the only one defending the star either, as Bernstein's family also spoke out in a statement posted to social media.

"It happens to be true that Leonard Bernstein had a nice, big nose. Bradley chose to use make-up to amplify his resemblance, and we're perfectly fine with that," the statement read. "Any strident complaints around this issue strike us above all as disingenuous attempts to bring a successful person down a notch."

And just to confirm the stance, Anti-Defamation League (ADL) also shared a message of support via a statement provided to Variety.

"Throughout history, Jews were often portrayed in antisemitic films and propaganda as evil caricatures with large, hooked noses," the organization said. "This film, which is a biopic on the legendary conductor Leonard Bernstein, is not that."

wp-image-1263237763 size-full
Bradley Cooper has spoken out about the use of his prosthetic nose to portray a Jewish composer. Credit: Jamie McCarthy/Getty

Now, just a few months later, Cooper himself has directly addressed the controversy.

On Tuesday (November 21), the Silver Linings Playbook star opened up about it during an interview on CBS Mornings.

"I thought, 'Maybe we don’t need to do it,'" he said. "But it’s all about balance, and, you know, my lips are nothing like Lenny’s, and my chin. And so we had that, and it just didn’t look right [without the prosthetic].

"So when he’s young we have a prosthetic here, and it just moves out, so by the time he’s older, it’s the whole face. So we just had to do it; otherwise, I wouldn’t believe he’s a human being," he added, motioning to his face.

Maestro will be available to stream on Netflix from 20 December.

Featured Image Credit: Dimitrios Kambouris/WireImage

Bradley Cooper finally addresses controversy over prosthetic nose in Maestro

vt-author-image

By Nasima Khatun

Article saved!Article saved!

Bradley Cooper has finally addressed the controversy around his prosthetic nose in Maestro.

While portraying Leonard Bernstein, a famous composer who happens to also be a Jewish man in Netflix's biopic titled Maestro, the 48-year-old was met with backlash after his prosthetic nose raised questions about harmful stereotypes.

The movie, described by Netflix as "a love letter to life and art," revolves around the relationship between American composer Leonard Bernstein (played by Bradley Cooper) and his wife Felicia Montealegre (played by Carey Mulligan).

But since the release of the movie's trailer back in August, rather than focussing on the storyline, the gossip was centered around Cooper's appearance.

Have a look at the full trailer below: 

Many cited concerns about "Jewface", a term that negatively characterizes stereotypical or inauthentic portrayals of Jewish people.

The Media Diversity Institute delved into the history behind the idea of "hooked noses" and how they became exclusively associated with the stereotypical "Jewish" look, despite there being little to no evidence to support the claim that it was true.

"It goes back to antisemitic and Nazi propaganda from the 1930s and since then has gone on to become a common trope - and, whether intentionally or not - pushes antisemitic stereotypes to this day," the publisher wrote.

wp-image-1263237762 size-full
Bradley Cooper has spoken out following the uproar over his prosthetic nose. Credit: Jason Mendez/Getty

In the wake of the drama, Kazu Hiro, the artist responsible for the dramatic facial reconstruction, spoke out about the reasons why they decided to opt for such a look.

Speaking to IndyWire at the Venice Film Festival, he said: "I wasn't expecting [the backlash to the first trailer] to happen. I feel sorry that I hurt some people's feelings."

Hiro added: "My goal, and Bradley's goal, was to portray Lenny as authentic as possible... So that's why we did several different tests and went through lots of decisions, and that was the outcome in the movie."

Hiro wasn't the only one defending the star either, as Bernstein's family also spoke out in a statement posted to social media.

"It happens to be true that Leonard Bernstein had a nice, big nose. Bradley chose to use make-up to amplify his resemblance, and we're perfectly fine with that," the statement read. "Any strident complaints around this issue strike us above all as disingenuous attempts to bring a successful person down a notch."

And just to confirm the stance, Anti-Defamation League (ADL) also shared a message of support via a statement provided to Variety.

"Throughout history, Jews were often portrayed in antisemitic films and propaganda as evil caricatures with large, hooked noses," the organization said. "This film, which is a biopic on the legendary conductor Leonard Bernstein, is not that."

wp-image-1263237763 size-full
Bradley Cooper has spoken out about the use of his prosthetic nose to portray a Jewish composer. Credit: Jamie McCarthy/Getty

Now, just a few months later, Cooper himself has directly addressed the controversy.

On Tuesday (November 21), the Silver Linings Playbook star opened up about it during an interview on CBS Mornings.

"I thought, 'Maybe we don’t need to do it,'" he said. "But it’s all about balance, and, you know, my lips are nothing like Lenny’s, and my chin. And so we had that, and it just didn’t look right [without the prosthetic].

"So when he’s young we have a prosthetic here, and it just moves out, so by the time he’s older, it’s the whole face. So we just had to do it; otherwise, I wouldn’t believe he’s a human being," he added, motioning to his face.

Maestro will be available to stream on Netflix from 20 December.

Featured Image Credit: Dimitrios Kambouris/WireImage