The First Look At Bradley Cooper’s Scarily Accurate Transformation Into Leonard Bernstein Is Turning A Lot Of Heads

There’s a long history of actors branching out into directing, and among the most successful is Bradley Cooper. The Oscar-nominee knocked it out of the park with his first effort behind the lens, A Star is Born, a critical and commercial smash and destroyer of records. For his follow-up, he’s not resting on his laurels. Instead, he’s turning himself into legendary composer and conductor Leonard Bernstein. And the first look shows he did a bang-up job of that, too.

The film is Maestro, and it looks at 30 years of Bernstein’s life and career, with a focus on his marriage to actress Felicia Montealegre, played by Carey Mulligan. It was originally supposed to be helmed by Steven Spielberg, but he turned it over to Cooper, much as Clint Eastwood passed A Star is Born to his American Sniper star.

The photos show Cooper at various ages. In the photos with Mulligan, he’s younger, with Cooper looking mostly like himself, save a fake nose. In the others, however, he’s much, much older, and looks so unlike himself that one could be forgiven for thinking they’re newly unearthed pics of the man himself.

Actors have always loved transforming themselves, changing their looks so as to look like historical figures. So when the images of Cooper as Bernstein dropped, it blew lots of minds.

There were even some R.E.M. jokes, nodding to the Bernstein name-drop in “It’s the End of the World As We Know It (And I Feel Fine).”

Maestro has no release date but it’s expected, in theaters and on Netflix, at some point in 2023.

(Via Variety)