After making his directorial debut with A Star is Born, Bradley Cooper is keeping it musical with his next project, Maestro, which focuses on the life of legendary composer Leonard Bernstein. With Cooper attached to play Bernstein and Carey Mulligan signed on as his wife Felicia Montealegre, the Netflix film just added another acting heavyweight: Succession‘s Jeremy Strong. The actor is wrapping up negotiations to play biographer John Gruen who chronicled Bernstein’s life in The Private World of Leonard Bernstein. Via Deadline:
The drama spans over 30 years. Bernstein’s career is enough to fill a miniseries: his conducting debut at the New York Philharmonic at 25 when the conductor took ill; without even rehearsing, Bernstein did so well his star was launched the next day when his feat made the front page of the New York Times. He was blacklisted before being cleared of being a communist just before he composed the Oscar-nominated score for On the Waterfront; and he was an activist in the civil rights movement, and outspoken on issues including ending the Vietnam War. But the through line for the movie is the beautifully complex story of the marriage between Bernstein and his wife, Felicia Montealegre.
Maestro will be Strong’s second Netflix film. The actor can be seen as Jerry Rubin in the just released The Trial of the Chicago 7. In a recent interview, Strong revealed that his dedication to method acting led him to pranking his cast mates with a fart machine during the long and tense courtroom scenes. Although, he admits that it got some great results from Frank Langella.
“His face turned red,” Strong told Vulture. “Those are the takes we used in the film. It was great — there was real, palpable tension in the room when that happened.”