Leonard Bertnstein’s family rose to Bradley Cooper’s defense by releasing a statement to social media on Wednesday after the actor faced backlash for wearing a prosthetic nose to portray Bernstein in the upcoming biopic “Maestro.”
Social media erupted after an image of Cooper wearing a large prosthetic nose emerged in the trailer Netflix released Tuesday. Users quickly blasted the film for antisemitism and described Cooper’s performance as “Jewface.” Bernstein’s children Jamie, Alexander and Nina Bernstein pushed back against these claims on Wednesday, offering support for Cooper’s performance.
“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,” they said in a statement. “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,” they continued. “It breaks our hearts to see any misrepresentations or misunderstandings of his efforts.”
The three then argued that Bernstein himself would have been flattered by how authentically Cooper portrayed him.
“We’re also certain that our dad would have been fine with it as well,” they said in the statement, adding that “complaints around this issue strike us above all as disingenuous attempts to bring a successful person down a notch” and that their father faced similar smears.
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The three also spoke on a personal level about Cooper’s respect for Bernstein. (RELATED: Rock Band The Killers Slammed For Bringing Russian Fan Onto Stage And Making Awkward Comments)
“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,” Bernstein’s children said.