Actor Under Fire For Allegedly Donning”Jewface”

Bradley Cooper, the acclaimed Oscar-winning actor known for pushing the boundaries of his craft, is once again in the spotlight, this time for his extraordinary transformation into the legendary composer Leonard Bernstein. Set to portray the iconic figure in the upcoming biopic “Maestro,” Cooper’s dedication to the role has left both fans and critics intrigued.

The controversy surrounding Cooper’s portrayal, however, centers on his makeup, which includes a prosthetic nose, and has been criticized by some as ‘Jewface.’ In this article, we will delve into the extensive preparation and challenges faced by Cooper and his makeup artist, Kazu Hiro, in their mission to bring Leonard Bernstein to life on the silver screen.

Kazu Hiro, an acclaimed makeup artist renowned for his work in films like “Darkest Hour” and “Bombshell,” was entrusted with the crucial responsibility of transforming Bradley Cooper into Leonard Bernstein. Hiro’s expertise was instrumental in achieving the authenticity required for this role.

One of the most remarkable aspects of this transformation was the sheer amount of time and effort it demanded. According to Hiro, the makeup process, including the application of the prosthetic nose and other elements, consumed over five hours. This meticulous attention to detail was essential to ensure that Cooper’s portrayal of Bernstein was as accurate as possible.

Cooper’s commitment to the role extended far beyond the makeup chair. As the director of the film as well, he had to carefully orchestrate his schedule to juggle both on-screen and off-screen duties. This required moving up call times so that he could be in full Bernstein makeup while directing the production, all while staying in character. Hiro explained that this shift in scheduling made their call times two hours earlier than usual, adding an extra layer of complexity to the already demanding process.

The transformation into Leonard Bernstein was far from a one-size-fits-all endeavor. In the film, Cooper portrays Bernstein at various stages of his life, each demanding different makeup applications. Hiro revealed that they had to keep adding elements as Cooper’s character aged. Initially, the makeup involved the nose, lips, chin, and a wig to capture the younger Bernstein. However, as the character aged, additional prosthetics were incorporated for the cheeks and neck to maintain authenticity.

While the makeup process for “Maestro” was undeniably intricate, it did not come without controversy. Some critics accused Cooper’s makeup of being anti-Semitic, leading to the term ‘Jewface’ being associated with his portrayal. Hiro addressed this controversy at the Venice Film Festival, expressing regret for unintentionally hurting people’s feelings. He clarified that his goal, as well as Cooper’s, was to depict Leonard Bernstein as authentically as possible, given the composer’s iconic and widely recognized appearance.

Jamie Bernstein, Leonard Bernstein’s eldest daughter, came to Hiro’s defense, emphasizing that the controversy surrounding the makeup was an unnecessary distraction. She lauded Hiro’s work, stating that the makeup was so convincing that it left the family in awe. Hiro would send them photographs that were so spot-on that they sometimes questioned if they were actually pictures of their father.

“Maestro” is set to release in theaters on November 22nd, followed by a Netflix streaming premiere on December 20th. The film, directed by Bradley Cooper and featuring an ensemble cast including Sarah Silverman, Matt Bomer, and Maya Hawke, promises to be a captivating exploration of the life and legacy of Leonard Bernstein.

In conclusion, Bradley Cooper’s transformation into Leonard Bernstein for “Maestro” is a testament to his dedication to his craft and the incredible talents of makeup artist Kazu Hiro. Despite the controversy surrounding the makeup, their primary goal was to portray Bernstein as authentically as possible, paying homage to the iconic composer. As the film’s release date approaches, audiences eagerly anticipate the opportunity to witness Cooper’s remarkable portrayal of this legendary figure on the big screen.