Makeup artist behind Bradley Cooper's fake nose worn to play Jewish character responds to backlash

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By stefan armitage

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The makeup article behind Bradley Cooper's transformation in Netflix's upcoming film Maestro has spoken out amid criticism.

Despite Cooper being one of the biggest stars in Hollywood, it's not the emotional storyline or the stellar acting in Maestro that's grabbed headlines over the last few weeks - it's Bradley Cooper's prosthetic nose.

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, the talk of the town has been about Cooper's appearance.

Check out the teaser for Maestro below:

Since the release of the trailer, many people have expressed concerns over the concept of "Jewface," a term used to criticize the misrepresentation or inauthentic depiction of Jewish individuals.

On X (formerly known as Twitter), users were quick to voice their concerns, with one person writing: "Bradley Cooper is putting himself in an insanely large prosthetic nose to play a jewish man in maestro [sic] and we’re all just supposed to act like that’s cool and normal?"

A second person questioned: "So... was there anyone (Jewish or not) who thought 'hmm, maybe we shouldn't perpetuate a stereotype rooted in antisemitism?'"

Jewish actor and Dr. Who star Tracy-Ann Oberman also didn't hold back on her views. Speaking to Page Six, she said: "If Bradley Cooper is able to play the Elephant Man without any prosthetics, he should be able to play a Jewish man without any need for prosthetics - especially a ‘Jewish’ nose'."

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The biopic will follow the life of Leonard Bernstein. Credit: PhotoQuest/Getty

She went further: "If he needs to wear a prosthetic nose then that is, to me and many others, the equivalent of Black-Face or Yellow-Face."

Now, the man behind the controversial nose, makeup artist Kazu Hiro - who also transformed Gary Oldman into Winston Churchill for 'The Darkest Hour' - has finally broken his silence.

Speaking at the Venice Film Festival, he said (via IndieWire): "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."

Cooper, who not only stars but also directed and co-wrote Maestro, has come under fire for casting himself in a Jewish role instead of opting for a Jewish actor.

Bernstein's family, however, came to his defense. "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," they said in a statement posted on social media.

The family added: "Any strident complaints around this issue strike us above all as disingenuous attempts to bring a successful person down a notch."

Controversial prosthetics aside, Maestro has already garnered rave reviews from critics, boasting a 95% score on Rotten Tomatoes. Maestro is set for a limited theatrical release on November 22, followed by a Netflix debut on December 20.

Featured image credit: James Devaney / Getty

Makeup artist behind Bradley Cooper's fake nose worn to play Jewish character responds to backlash

vt-author-image

By stefan armitage

Article saved!Article saved!

The makeup article behind Bradley Cooper's transformation in Netflix's upcoming film Maestro has spoken out amid criticism.

Despite Cooper being one of the biggest stars in Hollywood, it's not the emotional storyline or the stellar acting in Maestro that's grabbed headlines over the last few weeks - it's Bradley Cooper's prosthetic nose.

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, the talk of the town has been about Cooper's appearance.

Check out the teaser for Maestro below:

Since the release of the trailer, many people have expressed concerns over the concept of "Jewface," a term used to criticize the misrepresentation or inauthentic depiction of Jewish individuals.

On X (formerly known as Twitter), users were quick to voice their concerns, with one person writing: "Bradley Cooper is putting himself in an insanely large prosthetic nose to play a jewish man in maestro [sic] and we’re all just supposed to act like that’s cool and normal?"

A second person questioned: "So... was there anyone (Jewish or not) who thought 'hmm, maybe we shouldn't perpetuate a stereotype rooted in antisemitism?'"

Jewish actor and Dr. Who star Tracy-Ann Oberman also didn't hold back on her views. Speaking to Page Six, she said: "If Bradley Cooper is able to play the Elephant Man without any prosthetics, he should be able to play a Jewish man without any need for prosthetics - especially a ‘Jewish’ nose'."

size-full wp-image-1263224907
The biopic will follow the life of Leonard Bernstein. Credit: PhotoQuest/Getty

She went further: "If he needs to wear a prosthetic nose then that is, to me and many others, the equivalent of Black-Face or Yellow-Face."

Now, the man behind the controversial nose, makeup artist Kazu Hiro - who also transformed Gary Oldman into Winston Churchill for 'The Darkest Hour' - has finally broken his silence.

Speaking at the Venice Film Festival, he said (via IndieWire): "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."

Cooper, who not only stars but also directed and co-wrote Maestro, has come under fire for casting himself in a Jewish role instead of opting for a Jewish actor.

Bernstein's family, however, came to his defense. "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," they said in a statement posted on social media.

The family added: "Any strident complaints around this issue strike us above all as disingenuous attempts to bring a successful person down a notch."

Controversial prosthetics aside, Maestro has already garnered rave reviews from critics, boasting a 95% score on Rotten Tomatoes. Maestro is set for a limited theatrical release on November 22, followed by a Netflix debut on December 20.

Featured image credit: James Devaney / Getty