Maestro starring Bradley Cooper: release date, trailer, cast, controversy and more

17 August 2023, 15:36 | Updated: 17 August 2023, 15:42

Bradley Cooper stars as Leonard Bernstein in Maestro
Bradley Cooper stars as Leonard Bernstein in Maestro. Picture: YouTube/Netflix

By Jenny Mensah

Bradley Cooper stars as American composer and conductor Leonard Bernstein in the biopic, which has sparked controversy over the use of a nose prosthetic.

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Maestro is in an upcoming autobiographical drama which tells the story of American composer and conductor Leonard Bernstein and his wife Felicia Montealegre Cohn Bernstein.

This week saw the official trailer drop for the film - which stars Bradley Cooper - released, but this was somewhat marred by controversy and accusations of "Jewface" due to the star wearing a nose prosthetic.

The upcoming film has sparked much debate online, with people on both sides of the argument and even Bernstein's family speaking out on the matter.

Find out everything we know about Maestro so far, including who else stars in the upcoming biopic, when it's released, where you can watch it and what Bernstein's family have said.

Is Bradley Cooper playing Leonard Bernstein?

Bradley Cooper plays the lead role of Leonard Bernstein in upcoming Netflix film Maestro. He also directs and produces the film, which details Bernstein's lifelong relationship with his wife Felicia Montealegre, played by Carey Mulligan. Other producers in the movie, which is coming to selected cinemas as well as the streaming platform, include Martin Scorsese and Steven Spielberg.

Is Maestro going to be on Netflix?

Maestro is set for release in select theatres on 22nd November 2023 and is on Netflix from 20th December 2023.

Watch the first teaser trailer for Maestro below:

Watch the teaser for Maestro

What's the Bradley Cooper, Maestro, Leonard Bernstein controversy?

After the first teaser trailer of Maestro appeared, some criticised Cooper's use of a nose prosthetic to portray Bernstein, which they believe has been exaggerated to play up to offensive Jewish stereotypes. Others have gone as far as to call it "Jewface" and others have suggested that Bernstein should have been played by a Jewish actor. However, not everyone is in agreement with this stance.

Bradley Cooper stars Leonard Bernstein in Maestro
Bradley Cooper stars Leonard Bernstein in Maestro. Picture: YouTube/Netflix

What have Leonard Bernstein's family said about Bradley Cooper's nose prosthetic?

Bernstein's family have come out in support of Bradley Cooper in a statement, which they have shared online.

"It breaks our hearts to see any misrepresentations or misunderstandings of [Cooper's] efforts," a statement from Jamie, Alexander and Nina Bernstein read.

They added: "It happens to be true that Leonard Bernstein had a nice, big nose. Bradley chose to use make-up 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."

Bernstein's children also praised Cooper for his handling of the role as well as how they were made to feel involved, writing: "Bradley Cooper included the three of us along ever 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.

Read their full statement here:

The family added in a caption to one of the tweets in their thread: "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."

Carey Mulligan stars as Felicia Montealegre in Netflix's Maestro
Carey Mulligan stars as Felicia Montealegre in Netflix's Maestro. Picture: YouTube/Netflix

Who's in the cast of Maestro?

  • Bradley Cooper - Leonard Bernstein
  • Carey Mulligan - Felicia Montealegre
  • Miriam Shor - Cynthia O'Neal
  • Maya Hawke - Jamie Bernstein
  • Sarah Silverman - Shirley Bernstein
  • Micahel Urie - Jerome Robbins
  • Gideon Glick - Tommy Cothran
  • Matt Bomer - David Oppenheim,
  • Sam Nivola - Alexander Bernstein
  • Alexa Swinton - Older Nina Bernstiel
  • Kate Eastman - Ellen Adler
  • Sara Sanderson - Lil Hard

What is Leonard Bernstein best known for?

Bernstein was an American conductor, composer, pianist, music educator, author and humanitarian, who was best known for his work in the musicals On The Town, Wonderful Town, Candide and West Side Story - which he wrote in collaboration with Stephen Sondheim and Jerome Robbins.

Leonard Bernstein in NYC in 1978
Leonard Bernstein in NYC in 1978. Picture: Jack Mitchell/Getty Images

Where can you watch Maestro 2023?

Maestro is set for release in select theatres on 22nd November 2023 and is on Netflix on 20th December 2023.

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