Leonard Bernstein’s children say their father ‘would have been fine with’ actor Bradley Cooper’s decision to alter the appearance of his nose while playing Bernstein in a film

News & Politics

Jamie, Alexander, and Nina Bernstein, the children of the late composer and conductor Leonard Bernstein, said in a statement that they have no problem with actor Bradley Cooper’s decision to alter the appearance of his nose while portraying their father in a film.

According to an IMDb page on “Maestro,” Cooper co-wrote, directed, and acted in the upcoming film.

Bernstein, who died more than three decades ago, was the son of Jewish immigrants, according to leonardbernstein.com.

Bernstein’s children said that their father had a large nose. They pushed back against criticism targeting Cooper for changing his own nose’s appearance for the movie, and noted that their father would not have had a problem with the move either.

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“Bradley Cooper included the three of us along every step of his amazing journey as he made his film about our father. 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. It breaks our hearts to see any misrepresentations or misunderstandings of his efforts,” the Bernsteins said in their statement.

“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. 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.

“At all times during the making of this film, we could feel the profound respect and yes, the love that Bradley brought to his portrait of Leonard Bernstein and his wife, our mother Felicia. We feel so fortunate to have had this experience with Bradley, and we can’t wait for the world to see his creation,” their statement concluded.

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