Bradley Cooper’s portrayal as composer Leonard Bernstein in the upcoming Maestro is already generating buzz. This week, the actor was spotted locking lips with co-star Matt Bomer as they filmed on set in New York City.
The Affairs of Leonard Bernstein
Although it’s currently unclear what role Matt Bomer will play in the Maestro story, the scene itself is no surprise. Leonard Bernstein, who most famously composed the music for West Side Story, was openly gay.
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Videos by Rare
Although he married the actress Felicia Cohn Montealegre in 1951, and they shared three children, Bernstein came out publicly in 1976. After his wife’s death two years later, he began engaging more publicly in affairs with several men, most notably with Kunihiko Hashimoto: a Japanese theater representative. The two shared a 10-year relationship marked by passionate love letters.
Carey Mulligan will play Montealegre in the film while Maya Hawke, real-life daughter of Ethan Hawke and Uma Thurman, will play her child Jamie Bernstein. Succession star Jeremy Strong will also appear as Bernstein biographer John Gruen. Cooper, meanwhile, is directing the picture as well as starring. It marks his second directorial feature, following up 2018’s smash-hit A Star is Born.
‘Maestro’ Mired in Controversy
But the steamy Maestro make-out session is not the first time this film is making headlines. Portraying Leonard Bernstein throughout the decades, Bradley Cooper dons some pretty unbelievable prosthetics throughout the process… including an overtly large nose which some critics are slamming as anti-semitic caricature.
The headline of writer Noah Berlatsky’s (widely circulated) Independent op-ed just about sums up the issue: “Did Bradley Cooper really need a fake nose to look like Jewish composer Leonard Bernstein?”