Despite no Oscar wins, 'Maestro' lives on as life-changing move for Bradley Cooper

Cooper didn't win any of the three Oscars he was up for, including best actor.

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Monday, March 11, 2024
2024 Oscars
2024 Oscars

LOS ANGELES -- As star, director and co-writer, Bradley Cooper certainly topped his career with "Maestro," the raw and romantic crescendo of a movie about conductor-composer Leonard Bernstein.

However, the 49-year-old star sadly went home empty-handed after Sunday's Academy Awards.

Cooper didn't win any of the three Oscars he was up for, including best actor.

"Maestro" was nominated for seven Oscars this year including best picture and best actress for Carey Mulligan.

Cooper gave a heart-full-to-bursting tour de force as the maestro whose passions can't be confined to one kind of music or one sex.

And a never-better Mulligan instills Bernstein's wife with a ravishing grit and grace.

Cooper spent six years working on this project, and for five of them, sometimes several days a week, he worked just on the voice. He said he took a chance on this project, saying he realized he wasn't sure he could pull it off.

So it's a good thing producer Scott Stuber saw Cooper's vision of bringing Bernstein's story to life.

"As much as Scott Stuber trusted me, I trusted him. That's at Netflix, because everybody passed but him, all around town," said Cooper during an interview with On The Red Carpet in November. "In the end, you know, when I was, like, 'Okay, this is it.' And they were, like, let's go."

Mulligan also spent considerable time being involved with this film, playing '50s actress Felicia Montealegre, someone who knew exactly who she was marrying.

"She wrote him a letter before they got married. She says, 'You are a homosexual and you may never change' and something along the lines of, 'I think we can make a life together without me sacrificing myself with as a martyr to altar of L.B.,'" said Mulligan. "So there was no part of her that was seeing herself as a victim of this when she entered into it. And I think, you know, she was a huge part of his creative endeavor, I think."

Also a huge part of the movie: cigarettes. I told Cooper I worried about his health.

"Yeah, so was my mother. The character, I'm sure glad you brought that up, because cigarettes are a character, and especially for Felicia and everything that has to do with smoking and the lighter because that is -- we're watching Felicia kill herself throughout the whole film," said Cooper.

Now that all the Academy Awards have been handed out, it's time to party!

Watch "Live With Kelly and Mark: After the Oscars," live from the Oscars stage at the Dolby Theatre in Hollywood on Monday at 9 a.m.