Maestro: Bradley Cooper states his interest in Leonard Bernstein originated with cartoons

The new Netflix Bradley Cooper drama stemmed from his fascination with conductors after watching Tom and Jerry and Bugs Bunny as a kid.

bradley cooper, maestro, bugs bunny, tom and jerry

Bradley Cooper is growing into a serious artist with his directorial efforts receiving accolades. His inspirations, however, may be surprisingly less prestigious. Cooper’s sophomore directing and starring project comes in the form of Netflix’s new film, Maestro, in which he plays famous conductor Leonard Bernstein. In addition to directing, Cooper co-wrote the script with Josh Singer. Singer spoke of the film via Netflix’s Tudum“I think people will see the complexity of marriage and the many forms love can take. I think those are both powerful themes.”

Cooper’s fascination with Leonard Bernstein is far from complex. The actor has revealed that his interest in the maestro can be traced back to cartoons featuring the star characters performing as conductors. Cooper and his co-star, Carey Mulligan, spoke with CBS Mornings about their new project. Cooper revealed, “It started with Tom and Jerry and Bugs Bunny as a kid, watching them conduct. And asking Santa Claus for a baton when I was about 8 or so, and then, just being obsessed with conducting.” He added, “There was a magical quality that you just do that, and sound comes out, you know, and that’s where it began. And it was just this incredible feeling of being a maestro, really.”

Pulling triple duties as a writer, director and star is a form of conducting all its own. When the star and director of A Star is Born was asked about his crossing over to behind the camera in addition to acting, Cooper says, “It’s all one thing. I really see it as filmmaking. You know, it starts with an idea, and then you write it. And then there’s something in me to be the character.” He would also reveal that he would conduct live for the film and described the challenges of it. “All the orchestra, this is what they’ve done their entire life. And I’m sitting there talking like Leonard Bernstein, directing them. And they’re going, like, ‘Who is this guy?’ You know, and, ‘He’s gonna conduct us?'” Then, he revealed, “And by the way, I messed it up the whole first day.”

Source: CBS News

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E.J. is a News Editor at JoBlo, as well as a Video Editor, Writer, and Narrator for some of the movie retrospectives on our JoBlo Originals YouTube channel, including Reel Action, Revisited and some of the Top 10 lists. He is a graduate of the film program at Missouri Western State University with concentrations in performance, writing, editing and directing.