In a recent candid interview with Variety, Bradley Cooper, acclaimed for his role in "A Star Is Born," shared a fascinating insight into the genesis of his directing style for the upcoming biopic "Maestro." During a conversation with fellow filmmaker Spike Lee, Cooper divulged that Christian Bale's immersive method of acting in the 2013 film "American Hustle" profoundly influenced his approach to portraying and directing the life story of the legendary conductor Leonard Bernstein.
Reflecting on his experience with Bale, Cooper, 48, admired Bale's unwavering commitment to character. "American Hustle was the first time I saw an actor stay in a character's voice," Cooper remarked. This encounter challenged and reshaped his acting methodologies.
"I had heard stories about Daniel Day-Lewis's method acting, but witnessing Christian’s dedication firsthand was a turning point for me," he explained.
Bradley Cooper's Method Mastery
Cooper, also known for his roles in "The Hangover" series, highlighted that Bale's technique was not about losing touch with reality.
"Christian stayed in the voice, yet we could have normal conversations about his kids," Cooper recalled, dispelling common misconceptions about method acting. This revelation was pivotal for Cooper, who starred as Leonard Bernstein in "Maestro" and took the helm as the director.
When Spike Lee inquired if Cooper directed the film while remaining in character, the answer was a resounding yes. "I embodied Lenny throughout his life, which involved spending three to six hours in the makeup trailer daily," Cooper shared.
He humorously noted the impact of his portrayal on the film's production pace, "On days I was young Lenny, the set buzzed with energy and efficiency, while old Lenny days moved at a more leisurely pace." Cooper's deep immersion in character extended beyond the set.
He revealed attending his six-year-old daughter's graduation in full Leonard Bernstein attire, a testament to his commitment to the role. This dedication, inspired by Bale's performance in "American Hustle," suggests that "Maestro" will offer a unique and intimate portrayal of Bernstein's life, as seen through the eyes of one of Hollywood's most versatile actors and directors.