Leonard Bernstein's Family Is on Bradley Cooper's Side

Children issue statement supporting actor over prosthetic nose
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 17, 2023 1:17 AM CDT
Leonard Bernstein's Family Is on Bradley Cooper's Side
Bradley Cooper as Leonard Bernstein in a scene from "Maestro."   (Jason McDonald/Netflix via AP)

Many people are upset about the prosthetic nose Bradley Cooper (who is not Jewish) wore to play Jewish conductor and composer Leonard Bernstein, but Bernstein's family is not among that number. In a lengthy statement posted to X, the site formerly known as Twitter, Bernstein's three children write, "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." Cooper, who is both the star and the director of the biopic about Bernstein, titled Maestro, "included the three of us along every step of his amazing journey as he made his film about our father," they write.

"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 continue. Others, however, have said the whole issue could have been avoided had a Jewish actor been chosen to portray Bernstein. As for Cooper, he has declined, through his representative, to comment on the matter, the New York Times reports. And as for the Anti-Defamation League, it released a statement to People saying, "Throughout history, Jews were often portrayed in antisemitic films and propaganda as evil caricatures with large, hooked noses. This film, which is a biopic on the legendary conductor Leonard Bernstein, is not that." (More Leonard Bernstein stories.)

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