Did Bradley Cooper have 1 a.m. call times for Maestro?

Bradley Cooper’s transformation into legendary composer Leonard Bernstein for the film Maestro required an extensive amount of makeup. The more makeup Cooper had to wear, the earlier the call times became for his dedicated team. While not all attention towards the makeup has been positive, crew members want moviegoers to understand Cooper’s commitment to both the makeup and his role as director.

Kazu Hiro, the makeup artist for Maestro, revealed at the New York Film Festival that the process of turning Cooper into Bernstein involved an extraordinary amount of time. Cooper insisted on having the makeup and hair team arrive at 1 a.m. for some scenes, even though it meant pushing the call times for the crew earlier than normal. Hiro described the strenuous schedule, stating, “The last stage, the whole time, our call time was 1 in the morning… The other thing was he wanted makeup to be finished before the crew call, so he would appear as Lenny to set up the shoot and everything. That also kind of made our call time two hours earlier than normal, so that was quite tough.”

As the character of Bernstein aged throughout the film, the makeup requirements became even more demanding. The team had to shift their focus from the nose and chin to details in the cheeks, neck, and even lower areas. Hiro mentioned, “The last stage, he had covered pretty much everywhere, the bodysuit and arms. That took over 5 hours.”

Despite some initial controversy suggesting the makeup was an example of “Jewface,” the film Maestro is expected to receive nominations for its makeup. The Anti-Defamation League swiftly defended the movie, and Kazu Hiro, who already holds two Oscars for his work on Darkest Hour and Bombshell, has proven his expertise in transforming actors. His past nominations for Click and Norbit further highlight his success in bringing real-life figures to life through makeup.

Reviews for Maestro have been overwhelmingly positive, indicating that Bradley Cooper may earn a nomination in a fifth category – Best Director. Currently, he has received nods for Best Actor, Best Supporting Actor, Best Adapted Screenplay, and Best Picture, but has yet to secure a win. Maestro will have a limited theatrical run starting on November 22nd and will then be available on Netflix from December 20th.