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Makeup artist who created Bradley Cooper's fake nose to play Jewish character speaks out on backlash

Makeup artist who created Bradley Cooper's fake nose to play Jewish character speaks out on backlash

Kazu Hiro created the actor's fake nose for his role in Maestro

The makeup artist who created Bradley Cooper's fake nose to play a Jewish character for the film Maestro has spoken out on the backlash.

Maestro follows the relationship between American composer Leonard Bernstein (Bradley Cooper) and his wife Felicia Montealegre (Carey Mulligan).

Netflix’s official release describes the film as 'a love letter to life and art, Maestro at its core is an emotionally epic portrayal of family and love'.

However, leading up to the release of the movie, the attention has not exactly been on the story the film's makers are trying to tell.

That is because all the noise has been surrounding Cooper's prosthetic nose, which was first spotted by fans in the trailer.

Jewish actor Tracy-Ann Oberman, who is known for appearances in Doctor Who, told Page Six: “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'."

The prosthetic nose has drawn criticism.

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

Many have criticised Cooper - who directed and co-wrote the film - for casting himself in a Jewish role instead of a Jewish actor.

Bernstein's family previously spoke out in defense of Cooper.

In a statement posted online, they said: "It breaks our hearts to see any misrepresentations or misunderstandings of [Cooper's] efforts.

"It happens to be true that Leonard Bernstein had a nice, big nose. Bradley chose to use make-up to amplify his resemblance, and we're perfectly fine with that. We're also certain that our dad would have been fine with it as well.

"Any strident complaints around this issue strike us above all as disingenuous attempts to bring a successful person down a notch - a practice we observed all too often perpetrated on our own father.

"At all times during the making of this film, we could feel the profound respect and yes, the love that Bradley brought to his portrait of Leonard Bernstein and his wife, our mother Felicia. We feel so fortunate to have had this experience with Bradley, and we can't wait for the world to see his creation."

Now, the makeup artist who created Cooper's nose for Maestro has spoken out for the first time.

Kazu Hiro, who actually also transformed Gary Oldman into the iconic Winston Churchill character in The Darkest Hour, said: "I wasn't expecting that to happen. I feel sorry that I hurt some people's feelings."

Bradley Cooper plays American composer Leonard Bernstein in the movie.

Speaking at a press conference at the Venice film festival, he added: "My goal, and Bradley's goal, was to portray Lenny as authentic as possible. Lenny had a really iconic look that everybody knows - theres so many pictures out there because he's photogenic too - such a great person and inspired so many people.

"So we wanted to respect the look too, on the inside. So that's why we did several different tests and went through lots of decisions, and that was the outcome in the movie."

While the nose may have drawn some controversy, Maestro has certainly been a hit among critics - sitting at an impressive 95 percent score on Rotten Tomatoes.

Maestro will have a limited theatrical release on 22 November before hitting Netflix on 20 December.

Featured Image Credit: Netflix

Topics: Celebrity, Film and TV, Netflix, Bradley Cooper