Skip to main content

Home Film Film News

‘Maestro’ faces backlash for Bradley Cooper’s fake nose

Cooper plays Leonard Bernstein in the new black-and-white Netflix film

By Will Richards

Bradley Cooper as Leonard Bernstein in 'Maestro'. Credit: Netflix.

New Netflix film Maestro has faced criticism for the fake nose worn by lead actor Bradley Cooper.

Cooper stars as legendary producer Leonard Bernstein in the upcoming biopic, with his wife Felicia Montealegre Cohn Bernstein played by Carey Mulligan.

The trailer for the film dropped this week, and while many praised the first look at the upcoming project, there was criticism of Cooper’s prosthetic nose, worn to play a Jewish character.

Jewish Doctor Who actor Tracy-Ann Oberman spoke to Page Six about her issues with the prop, saying: “If Bradley Cooper is able to play the Elephant Man without any prosthetics, he should be able to play a Jewish man without any need for prosthetics – especially a ‘Jewish’ nose.

“If he needs to wear a prosthetic nose then that is, to me and many others, the equivalent of Black-Face or Yellow-Face.”

In the same article, The West Wing star Joshua Malina said: “I do not take issue with Bradley Cooper being made to look like a real person.

“Were an actor to don a big hooked nose to play Shylock, or a random, fictitious Jew, I think I’d have a problem with the propagation of a well-worn antisemitic stereotype. 

“Jews do not, in fact, have bigger noses than other people do; Leonard Bernstein did. That’s the end of the story for me.”

Meanwhile, one viewer on Twitter/X said: “Just looked up a picture of the real Leonard Bernstein… the big antisemitic prosthetic nose on Bradley Cooper was definitely not necessary.” 

The synopsis describes Maestro as a “towering and fearless love story chronicling the lifelong relationship between cultural icon Leonard Bernstein and Felicia Montealegre Cohn Bernstein”.

“A love letter to life and art, Maestro, at its core, is an emotionally epic portrayal of family and love.”

Maestro is out in select cinemas on November 22, and on Netflix December 20.