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May 31, 2022 3:30 pm

Netflix Releases First Look of Bradley Cooper as Jewish Composer Leonard Bernstein in Upcoming Biopic

avatar by Shiryn Ghermezian

Bradley Cooper as Leonard Bernstein on the set of “Maestro.” Photo: Netflix.

Photos released by Netflix on Monday showed actor Bradley Cooper’s transformation into Jewish composer and conductor Leonard Bernstein, ahead of the upcoming biographical film “Maestro.”

The images show Cooper, 47, portraying the musician in various stages of his life. Some include Cooper’s co-star Carey Mulligan as the conductor’s wife, Felicia Montealegre, who was raised in Chile as a Catholic and later converted to Judaism after marrying Bernstein in 1951. Montealegre died in 1978, and Bernstein in 1990.

Production on the Netflix film began earlier in May and it is expected to be released in 2023. Steven Spielberg was originally set to direct the project, but gave the job to Cooper when he expressed interest in taking on duties beyond acting.

“I [told Spielberg], ‘I always felt like I could play a conductor, but may I research the material and see if I can write it and direct it? Would you let me do that?'” Bradley, who made his directorial debut with the Oscar-winning “A Star Is Born,” said during Variety’s “Actors on Actors” series in January.

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“Steven has a lot of interests,” Cooper added. “He’ll just choose one thing and all of the other things will be on hold. I think he knew he wasn’t going to make that movie for a while. He was kind enough to hand it off to me, and that’s what I’ve been doing for the last four and a half years.”

The “Hangover” star also said it was his childhood dream to become a conductor.

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