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Leonard Bernstein Family Defends Cooper’s Use of Prosthetic Nose

The family of the late composer and conductor Leonard Bernstein are defending Bradley Cooper’s use of a prosthetic nose in his depiction of their father in the upcoming movie, “Maestro.”

Cooper co-wrote, produced and directed “Maestro,” which tells the story of Bernstein, who co-created “West Side Story,” and his wife Felicia Montealegre. Bernstein died in 1990 at age 72. His wife died in 1978 at age 56.

Some viewers called the nose an example of “Jewface.”

Jamie, Alexander, and Nina Bernstein in a statement said 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,” they added. “It breaks our hearts to see any misrepresentations or misunderstandings of his efforts.”

Of the nose, they said: “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,” they said. “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 said they felt respected “at all times during the making of this film” and 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,” they said.

Solange Reyner

Bio coming soon.

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