Thursday16 November'23

Bradley Cooper Spent Six Years Learning to Conduct Six Minutes of Music So He Could Film It Live on ‘Maestro’ Set: ‘I Was Absolutely Terrified’

Article via Variety, watch the trailer below. “Maestro” opens in select theaters on Nov. 22 and will be available to stream globally on Netflix starting Dec. 20.

Much of the buzz around Bradley Cooper‘s “Maestro” so far has revolved around his shocking physical transformation into famed conductor Leonard Bernstein, but the actor-director-writer’s prep for the role might also blow some people away. Speaking at a recent Los Angeles screening for the film in a conversation moderated by “Hamilton” Tony-winner Lin-Manuel Miranda, Cooper revealed that he spent a whopping six years learning how to conduct just over six minutes of music in the style of Bernstein himself so he could record a crucial scene in “Maestro” live on set.

The scene in question recreates Bernstein’s famous conducting of the London Symphony Orchestra at the Ely Cathedral in 1976. The sequence is the film’s most rousing, as it fully showcases Bernstein’s musical genius and shows off Cooper’s staggering performance in all its full-bodied glory.

“That scene I was so worried about because we did it live,” Cooper said at the event (via IndieWire). “That was the London Symphony Orchestra. I was recorded live. I had to conduct them. And I spent six years learning how to conduct six minutes and 21 seconds of music.”

“I was able to get the raw take where I just watched Leonard Bernstein [conduct] at Ely Cathedral with the London Symphony Orchestra in 1976. And so I had that to study,” Cooper added, while also thanking “wonderful teachers” such as Metropolitan Opera director Yannick Nézet-Séguin for helping him fine-tune the performance.

“Nézet-Séguin made videos with all the tempo changes, so I had all of the materials to just work on.” Cooper said. “It was really about dialing exactly what I wanted cinematically and then inviting them into then inhabit that space and trusting that they have all done the work. Because I think that I knew I was terrified, absolutely terrified that if I hadn’t done the work then I wouldn’t be able to enjoy myself in these scenes. And everybody did.”

“Maestro” frames Bernstein’s professional career around his marriage to Felicia Montealegre, played by Carey Mulligan. Matt Bomer, Maya Hawke and Sarah Silverman also star. Mulligan recently told Variety that it was Cooper’s style that made her feel like a “proper actor” for the first time on a film set.

“There was a part of me as an actor that always felt like, ‘Well, I’m never going to be one of those actors that keeps their dialect in between takes,’” Mulligan said. “There was a part of me that was slightly held back, or maybe nervous of completely committing to something. But that was what Bradley asked, basically, at the beginning of the process. He was like, ‘If you’re going to do this, you just have to fully, fully do it.’”

“When he said that, I was like, ‘OK, I’m going to absolutely do it all.’ I’m going to do all the research. I’m going to do all the dialect stuff. I’m going to do everything, so that when I get on set, I am 100% able to just feel like I’m onstage and have that sense of ‘I don’t remember what happened.’”

“Maestro” opens in select theaters on Nov. 22 and will be available to stream globally on Netflix starting Dec. 20.

Wednesday16 March'22

News: Matt Bomer In Talks To Join Bradley Cooper’s Leonard Bernstein Pic ‘Maestro’

Matt Bomer is in early talks to join the cast of the upcoming Netflix Leonard Bernstein pic Maestro, which has Bradley Cooper directing and starring as the iconic composer. If a deal closes, Bomer joins Carey Mulligan, who will play Bernstein’s wife Felicia. Pic will be produced by Martin Scorsese, Steven Spielberg,, Kristie Macosko Krieger and Fred Berner and Amy Durning. Netflix had no comment.

In his directorial followup to A Star Is Born, Cooper will star as Bernstein, and produce from the script he co-wrote with Oscar-winning Spotlight scribe Josh Singer. The drama spans over 30 years. Bernstein’s career is enough to fill a miniseries: his conducting debut at the New York Philharmonic at 25 when the conductor took ill; without even rehearsing, Bernstein did so well his star was launched the next day when his feat made the front page of The New York Times. He was blacklisted before being cleared of being a communist just before he composed the Oscar-nominated score for On the Waterfront; and he was an activist in the civil rights movement, and outspoken on issues including ending the Vietnam War. But the through line for the movie is the beautifully complex story of the marriage between Bernstein and his wife. [Source]

Saturday12 March'22

Photos: AFI Awards Luncheon

I’ve updated the gallery with photos of Bradley attending the AFT Awards Luncheon on Friday (March 11) at the Four Seasons in Beverly Hills, California. Bradley‘s movie Nightmare Alley are on the AFI’s Top 10 Films of the Year.

Saturday12 March'22

Photos: 94th Annual Oscars Nominees Luncheon

I’ve updated the gallery with photos of Bradley attending the 94th Annual Oscars Nominees Luncheon held at Fairmont Century Plaza on Monday (March 7) in Los Angeles. Bradley is up for Best Picture this year for his work as a producer on the movie Nightmare Alley. His movie Licorice Pizza is also nominated for Best Picture, though he was snubbed in the Best Supporting Actor category.

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