The First Photos From Bradley Cooper's New Netflix Movie Show A Wild Makeup Transformation For The Star

Bradley Cooper in A Star Is Born
(Image credit: Warner Bros.)

Bradley Cooper’s career as a director made its memorable debut with 2018’s remake of A Star Is Born. Since then, Cooper’s upcoming movies have seen him more active on the acting side of the fence, to great acclaim. However, thanks to his new Netflix project Maestro, the actor/director is working on both sides of the camera again. With a wild makeup transformation on top of that already demanding combination, it could be Bradley Cooper's most ambitious film yet. But don't take it from, see the first photos from the set.   

Netflix recently released the first look from the set of Maestro, which mostly show Bradley Cooper and co-star Carey Mulligan in the younger era of composer Leonard Bernstein’s life. Cooper is playing the lead role of Bernstein, while Mulligan is cast in the role of his wife, Felicia Montealegre; and the two already look perfect together in the first few photos. 

As you can see in the set on display below though, the makeup transformation job on Bradley Cooper’s older Bernstein is A+. You might even question if it’s really him in that last photo, but it most assuredly is. 

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One of the performances that comes to mind when looking at Bradley Cooper’s transformation is Gary Oldman’s metamorphosis into Winston Churchill in 2017’s Darkest Hour. To the naked eye, it would appear that Cooper is wearing a full body prosthetic to add the body mass of Leonard Bernstein’s later years. In addition, makeup magic gives Maestro’s leading man and director the look and feel of Bernstein’s facial and hair characteristics; which is key to the sort of story this prestigious movie is trying to tell. 

Looking into the story of Maestro, which Cooper co-wrote with Spotlight screenwriter Josh Singer, several decades of Leonard Bernstein’s life are going to be shown throughout the film’s course of events. While Bradley Cooper could have hired a younger and older actor to play the bookending segments of the West Side Story composer’s life, it appears that throughout the entire film we’ll be treated to his portrayal of an American artistic legend. 

Maestro is a project that feels like it was fated for Bradley Cooper to make it happen. The clout Cooper earned with American Sniper led to the co-writer/director scoring a massive awards season hit with Lady Gaga in A Star Is Born. That film was eventually whaat convinced producer Steven Spielberg to offer Cooper the chance to direct Maestro. With that success secured, this Leonard Bernstein biopic was able to take flight in such a way that Netflix subscribers will be able to take advantage of the results in the near future. 

So far, these efforts are intriguing enough to keep a closer eye on Maestro's progress. At the moment, the Bradley Cooper biopic is still in the early phases of filming, with a potential 2023 release in the works. For the time being, the 2022 Netflix movie schedule shows off what cinematic originals are to be expected in the year to come while we await this unrecognizable transformation. 

Mike Reyes
Senior Movies Contributor

CinemaBlend's James Bond (expert). Also versed in Large Scale Aggressors, time travel, and Guillermo del Toro. He fights for The User.