May 18, 2024

Leonard Bernstein‘s children Jamie, Alexander and Nina were in complete awe the first time they saw Bradley Cooper as the renowned conductor and composer.

“It took our breath away, it made us gasp,” Jamie Bernstein told Variety at the North American premiere of “Maestro” at the New York Film Festival. “In some pictures, we could tell a little bit that it was Bradley, but there were certain photographs where we would go, ‘Oh my God!’ It was so amazingly perfect.”

“I had a FaceTime call come in, and I didn’t recognize the number. But I chanced it, and it was my father as an old man!” added Nina Maria Felicia Bernstein. “Obviously, that was not my father as an old man, it was Bradley. I could not stop laughing. He had the cigarette and the glasses, it was so spot on.”

Bernstein’s children attended the NYFF premiere of “Maestro” on Monday night at David Geffen Hall, home of the New York Philharmonic. On Sept. 23, 1962, Bernstein and the Philharmonic performed the inaugural concert at the venue.

“Maestro” director and star Cooper made an inconspicuous appearance at the premiere, skipping press and not speaking in front of the audience out of solidarity with SAG-AFTRA. Carey Mulligan, who stars opposite Cooper as Bernstein’s wife Felicia Montealegre, did not attend.

Asked if they lent the “Maestro” actor-director any of the legendary conductor’s belongings, Nina revealed that they gifted Cooper their father’s medicine case and Mulligan their mother’s gold cigarette lighter. Bernstein’s children also permitted Cooper to film scenes in their family’s country house in Fairfield, Conn.

“We literally opened our doors to Bradley and his team,” Jamie quipped.

What did Cooper wear in the biographical drama that belonged to Bernstein? The conductor’s bathrobe.

“There was a bathrobe that he actually wore in some of the footage,” Jamie told Variety. “And there was a dress of our mother’s that Carey wore.”

Among the “Maestro” filmmaking team in attendance were producers Kristie Macosko Krieger, Fred Berner and Amy Durning; writer Josh Singer; makeup artist Kazu Hiro; costume designer Mark Bridges; production designer Kevin Thompson; conducting consultant Yannick Nézet-Séguin; casting director Shayna Markowitz; and sound mixer Steve Morrow.

“Maestro” debuts in select theaters on Nov. 22, before streaming on Netflix beginning Dec. 20.

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