Actor Is In Big Trouble After Being Accused Of Wearing “Jewface”

Bradley Cooper, a renowned Oscar-winning actor, is known for his extraordinary dedication to his craft. He has pushed the boundaries of his talent time and time again, and his latest endeavor is no exception. Cooper is set to portray the legendary composer Leonard Bernstein in the upcoming biopic “Maestro.” This transformation, however, was no small feat.

The film has garnered significant attention, not only for its subject matter but also for the controversy surrounding Cooper’s makeup in the role of the Jewish icon. The makeup, which included a prosthetic nose, has been criticized by some as ‘Jewface.’ In this article, we will delve into the extensive preparation and the challenges faced by Cooper and his makeup artist, Kazu Hiro, in bringing Leonard Bernstein to life on the silver screen.

Kazu Hiro, an acclaimed makeup artist known for his work on films such as “Darkest Hour” and “Bombshell,” was tasked with the responsibility of transforming Bradley Cooper into Leonard Bernstein. Hiro’s expertise was crucial in achieving the authenticity required for such a role.

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

Moreover, Cooper’s commitment to the role went beyond just the makeup chair. As he is also directing the film, he had to carefully plan his schedule to accommodate both his on-screen and off-screen duties. This meant 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, which added an extra layer of complexity to the already demanding process.

The transformation into Leonard Bernstein was not a one-size-fits-all endeavor. In the film, Cooper portrays Bernstein at various stages of his life, each requiring different makeup applications. Hiro stated 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, they incorporated additional prosthetics 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, where he expressed 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.

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