Bradley Cooper underwent a full transformation for his upcoming role as Leonard Bernstein.
The 47-year-old actor embodies the “West Side Story” composer in the upcoming film “Maestro.” Netflix shared the first look photos on Monday on Twitter, which show Cooper as the young and older version of the famed conductor.
In one black-and-white photo, a youthful Cooper is seen with Carey Mulligan, who co-stars as Bernstein’s wife, Felicia Montealegre, at an outdoor concert venue. They are also seen smiling together with their backs against each other.
In addition to starring in “Maestro,” Cooper is also directing the biopic, which is based on Bernstein’s life and marriage to Montealegre. The actor co-wrote the film with Josh Singer.
The movie has a star-studded cast that includes Jeremy Strong, Matt Bomer and Maya Hawke.
Cooper previously shared in a conversation with Mahershala Ali for Variety’s Actor on Actor that he “wanted to be a conductor since I was a kid.”
“I was obsessed with it, asked Santa Claus for a baton when I was 8. Listening to music, falling in love with it and being able to really know every single moment of a piece, like Tchaikovsky’s Opus 35 in D major, this violin concerto,” the “Nightmare Alley” star said. “I could do it as if I know everything about it without really being able to speak the language, obviously.”
He also revealed that Steven Spielberg knew he had an “obsession” with conducting and asked him to potentially star in “Maestro.” However, at the time he was working on “A Star Is Born” and couldn’t commit to the project.
“I said, ‘Listen, all I want to do is write and direct movies. I always felt like I could play a conductor, but may I research the material and see if I can write it and direct it? Would you let me do that?’” Cooper recalled, adding that Spielberg “wasn’t going to make that movie for a while.”
“He was kind enough to hand it off to me, and that’s what I’ve been doing for the last four and a half years, and we start shooting in May,” he added.
Berstein was born in Lawrence, Massachusetts, on Aug. 25, 1918. The acclaimed artist won two Tony Awards, seven Emmys and 16 Grammy Awards.
He was also the first American-born conductor to lead a major American symphony orchestra, according to the Los Angeles Times, and a music director of the New York Philharmonic. He died at the age of 72 on Oct. 9, 1990.
Bernstein and his Chilean American wife and actor met at a New York City party in 1946, per the New York Times. By the end of the year, they were engaged but broke things off months later. They reconnected four years later and got married on Sept. 10, 1951. They shared three children together: daughters Jamie and Nina and son Alexander.