Leonard Bernstein’s Family Has Released A Statement Defending Bradley Cooper’s Prosthetic Nose In ‘Maestro’

Following this week’s release of the first teaser trailer for Maestro, which stars Bradley Cooper as renowned composer Leonard Bernstein, a social media backlash quickly formed over Cooper’s use of a prosthetic nose to transform himself into the music legend. The actor, who also directed the upcoming Netflix film, was hit with accusations of “Jewface” as well as questions about why Cooper even needed to use the fake nose when he already bears a close resemblance to Bernstein.

However, Cooper’s portrayal of Bernstein has received the blessing of the late composer’s children, who came to the actor/director’s defense. According to a statement from Bernstein’s family, Cooper involved them in “every step” of the film’s production, and their father would’ve been “perfectly fine” with the use of a prosthetic nose. The Bernstein children also had strong words for the people trying to “bring a successful person down a notch.”

You can read the full statement below:

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. It breaks our hearts to see any misrepresentations or misunderstandings of his efforts. 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. 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.

– Jamie, Alexander, and Nina Bernstein

Maestro premieres September 3 on Netflix.

(Via Leonard Bernstein on Twitter)