Maestro Bradley Cooper Nose Backlash: Makeup Artist Kazu Hiro Responds newsbhunt


“Maestro” makeup designer Kazu Hiro has responded to backlash over Bradley Cooper’s nose prosthetic in the upcoming film, in which he portrays iconic conductor Leonard Bernstein.

“I wasn’t expecting that to happen… I feel sorry that I hurt some people’s feelings,” Hiro said during a press conference at Venice Film Festival on Saturday. “My goal was and Bradley’s goal was to portray Lenny as authentic as possible. Lenny had a really iconic look that everybody knows — there’s so many pictures out there because he’s photogenic, too — such a great person and also inspired so many people. So we wanted to respect the look too, on the inside. 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 also directed the film, has been the subject of criticism in recent weeks for the decision to wear a prosthetic nose, which some deemed a stereotypical or inauthentic portrayal of Jewish people. Bernstein’s daughter, Jamie Bernstein — who was also present at the press conference — defended Cooper’s use of the prosthetic in an interview with Vanity Fair.

“It’s just such an annoying distraction,” Jamie Bernstein told Vanity Fair. “The people who were waiting to get mad about something were just waiting to pounce.”

Jamie Bernstein, along with her siblings Alexander and Nina, also put out a joint statement on the matter.

“It breaks our hearts to see any misrepresentations or misunderstandings of [Cooper’s] efforts. It happens to be true that Leonard Bernstein had a nice, big nose,” the statement read, in part. “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.”

During the Venice press conference, Hiro also elaborated on the process of applying Cooper’s makeup during production, saying it took 2 hours and 50 minutes for Bernstein’s younger days and five hours at his oldest. Cooper would get in the makeup chair around 2 a.m. most days, so that he could be ready before the crew arrived.

Cooper was noticeably absent from the press conference, as he is unable to promote the film due to the ongoing strikes in Hollywood. “Maestro” is set to premiere on Netflix Dec. 20, and any film being distributed by a major streamer does not qualify for an interim waiver from SAG-AFTRA.

“Maestro” premieres at Venice Film Festival on Saturday night.


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