Bradley Cooper has come under fire after the trailer for his upcoming film Maestro revealed his transformative makeup, which many have claimed is ‘Jewface’.
The 48-year-old actor stars as Leonard Bernstein in the composer and conductor’s upcoming biopic that lifts the veil on the musician’s tumultuous romantic affairs.
Following Netflix’s release of the film’s teaser footage, some claimed the choice of adding a larger nose to Bradley’s face was fuelling antisemitic stereotypes.
Jewish British actress Tracy-Ann Oberman led the backlash with an emotive post outlining why she felt the makeup decision was wrong, in her opinion.
The star, 56, shared a picture of Bradley in costume and penned a long caption sharing her feelings on his prosthetic nose.
She said: ‘All actors should be able to play any part with their skill. however we are living in times where there is huge sensitivity and debate over ethnic & minority representation.
‘If Bradley Cooper green lights your film to play the Jewish composer Bernstein and you want him over a Jewish A-Lister who can equally play that role – then let Bradley Cooper’s acting be so magnificent and truthful that the character of Bernstein shines through what he already looks like.
‘If he needs to wear a prosthetic nose then that is, to me and many others, the equivalent of Black-Face or Yellow-Face.
‘Cillian could play Oppenheimer because he looks like Oppenheimer and could get the power of the man’s story and Jewishness through the power of his acting, ditto Tom Conti as Einstein didn’t have to ‘wear’ a nose.’
The EastEnders actress continued: ‘If Bradley Cooper can’t do it through the power or acting alone then don’t cast him – get a Jewish Actor.
‘Bradley Cooper managed to play the ELEPHANT MAN without a single prosthetic then he should be able to manage to play a Jewish man without one.’
Others weighed in on the criticism, expressing their disgust and disappointment over the choice to use a nose prosthetic.
‘This isn’t about making a non-Jewish actor look more like Leonard Bernstein; it’s about making a non-Jewish actor look more like a Jewish stereotype,’ claimed one person, while another lamented: ‘The real Leonard Bernstein did not have the funny nose that Bradley Cooper is wearing in Maestro. I’m just so tired of this. #JewFace’
It also reminded some fans of their general frustration over Cooper taking the lead role as opposed to an actor with lived Jewish experience.
‘Bradley Cooper shouldn’t be playing Bernstein,‘ read one reaction on social media.
‘I have never said that Jews have to be played by Jews. But the idea of a queer Jewish legend being played by a straight white dude with a fake nose just makes me want to never watch a film again.‘
Despite the outcry, Jewish actor and West Wing star Joshua Malina held a different view and told Page Six: ‘I do not take issue with Bradley Cooper being made to look like a real person.
‘Were an actor to don a big hooked nose to play Shylock, or a random, fictitious Jew, I think I’d have a problem with the propagation of a well-worn antisemitic stereotype.
‘Jews do not, in fact, have bigger noses than other people do; Leonard Bernstein did. That’s the end of the story for me.’
As well as taking on the titular role in the new movie, the A-lister also directed, produced and co-wrote Maestro, making it his second project sitting at the helm.
Metro.co.uk has contacted Bradley Cooper’s reps for comment.
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