Amid the anticipation surrounding the release of the film "Maestro," a firestorm of criticism has erupted over Bradley Cooper's prosthetic nose portrayal. The mastermind behind the film's makeup, Kazu Hiro, has now stepped forward to address the controversy, shedding light on the intentions and considerations that shaped the artistic decisions.
In a candid moment during a press conference held at the prestigious Venice Film Festival, Hiro expressed unexpected regret over the unintended impact of the prosthetic nose. "I wasn't expecting that to happen. I feel sorry that I hurt some people's feelings," Hiro candidly remarked, acknowledging the unexpected backlash.
Hiro further illuminated the collaborative vision that both he and Bradley Cooper shared for the project. "Our aim was to authentically portray Lenny," he emphasized. The makeup designer revealed that capturing Lenny's iconic appearance was an essential goal, rooted in respect for the musical virtuoso's lasting legacy.
"Lenny had a really iconic look that everybody knows… such a great person and also inspired so many people," Hiro explained, highlighting the magnitude of Bernstein's impact.
Crafting Authentic Portrayal: Behind-the-Scenes Process
Elaborating on the painstaking effort invested in crafting an authentic representation, Hiro delved into the meticulous process of testing and decision-making that went into creating the final visual presentation.
The collaboration between Hiro and Cooper culminated in the depiction showcased on the screen. "We wanted to respect the look too on the inside. That's why we did several different tests and went through lots of decisions, and that was the outcome in the movie.
That was our [actual] intention," Hiro clarified. The criticism centered around Cooper's use of a prosthetic nose, condemned by some as an "inauthentic portrayal of Jewish people." In the face of these accusations, Jamie Bernstein, the daughter of the film's subject, Leonard Bernstein, stood firmly by Cooper's portrayal.
In a conversation with Vanity Fair, Bernstein dismissed the controversy as a needless distraction. "The people who were waiting to get mad about something were just waiting to pounce," she commented, implying that the uproar was fueled by preconceived biases.
As the film's release draws near, the debate surrounding Cooper's prosthetic nose remains a contentious topic, underscoring the complex interplay between artistic interpretation, historical sensitivity, and the legacy of cultural icons.
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