(Credits: Far Out / YouTube Still)
There has been much interest surrounding Bradley Cooper’s transformation into the conductor and composer Leonard Bernstein, with the actor recently revealing the great lengths he went to in taking on his most recent role.
At a Los Angeles screening for Maestro, Cooper explained that he had spent six years learning how to conduct in the style of Bernstein. The pay-off for his six years of dedication to the craft was six minutes of music that he recorded to use in one of the climactic scenes of the film.
“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,” he added. “[Metropolitan Opera director] Yannick Nézet-Séguin made videos with all the tempo changes, so I had all of the materials to just work on.”
In a two-and-a-half star review, Far Out wrote of Maestro: “It’s hard to understand what Maestro’s intention is, To show Bernstein’s brilliance or portray him as a bit of an egotistical asshole that largely neglected his family despite that brilliance?”
The review continued: “Whatever Cooper’s intention, he seems to have been able to give a surprising insight into the life of one of the most celebrated figures in the music world. As the film’s title suggests, Bernstein could never just be Bernstein but would forever become Maestro, the man with magic at his fingertips.”
Watch the trailer for Maestro below.