The makeup artist for the Bradley Cooper biopic Leonard Bernstein Master responded to the recent backlash over the film’s prosthetic nose at the Venice Film Festival on Saturday.
Cooper was absent from Venice because he had chosen to support the SAG-AFTRA strike by not walking the red carpet for his film, which he is writing, directing and starring in. But a large contingent of crew members – as well as Leonard Berstein’s daughter, Jamie Bernstein – were at the festival to talk Master and its creation. It wasn’t long at the press conference before make-up artist Kazu Hiro was asked about the reactions that have flooded the film on social media in recent weeks. The Master The team was criticized in some quarters for Cooper’s decision to wear a prosthetic nose for his portrayal of the iconic Jewish composer, who some say took part unnecessarily in anti-Semitic stereotypes.
“I didn’t expect it to happen; I’m sorry if I hurt some people’s feelings,’ Hiro said. “My goal was – and Bradley’s goal was – to portray Lenny as authentically (ally) as possible. Lenny had a truly iconic look that everyone knows. There are so many pictures because he is also photogenic – such a great person and inspired so many people too. That’s why we wanted to respect the look on the inside as well. So we did several tests and made many decisions, and that was the result in the movie. That was our (actual) intention.”
Hiro is recognized in the industry and has won the Oscar twice for best makeup and hair styling, for the biographical films Darkest hour (2017) and Bomb (2019), after previous nominations for the comedies Click (2006) and Norbit (2007). He also raved about Cooper’s dedication to the film during the press conference, saying that the actor-director often arrived on set at 2 a.m. to begin the makeup process, which for Bernstein’s early years took about 2 hours and 50 minutes. lasted, and like a whopping five hours for the character when he was in his old age.
The Anti-Defamation League (ADL) has defended Cooper’s decision to wear the prosthetic nose, as has Berstein’s family, who released a response statement that read: “It breaks our hearts to hear about any misrepresentations or misunderstandings about Bradley’s efforts. to see. It’s true that Leonard Bernstein had a nice big nose. Bradley has chosen to use make-up to enhance his likeness, and we’re fine with that.”
Jamie Bernstein spoke at the press conference to say how “honored” she and her siblings were to work closely with Cooper on the film.
Master will have its world premiere in Venice on Saturday night and will launch worldwide on Netflix on December 20.