“Maestro” director and star Bradley Cooper made an inconspicuous appearance at the New York Film Festival premiere, skipping press in solidarity with SAG-AFTRA.
Fitting for a film that focuses on legendary conductor Leonard Bernstein, the starry premiere marked a homecoming given its location: David Geffen Hall, home of the New York Philharmonic. On Sept. 23, 1962, Bernstein and the Philharmonic performed the inaugural concert at the venue. Bernstein served as the orchestra’s conductor from 1958 to 1969 and laureate conductor from 1969 to 1990.
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Before the lights in the auditorium dimmed, Cooper was spotted sporting a buzz cut and chatting with notable guests, including Netflix’s Scott Stuber, Laura Dern, Shawn Levy and Jeremy Strong.
Carey Mulligan, who leads the film opposite Cooper as the conductor’s wife Felicia Montealegre, did not attend.
The NYFF premiere marks the first time Cooper has publicly supported the film, after skipping its world premiere at the Venice Film Festival amid Hollywood’s historic double strike. (Cooper, who also co-wrote the script for “Maestro” with Josh Singer, is a member of the WGA, as well as the DGA and SAG-AFTRA.)
At Venice, the film was welcomed with a seven-minute standing ovation. Bernstein’s three children — Jamie Bernstein, Alexander Bernstein and Nina Maria Felicia Bernstein — waved to the crowd through tears once the lights came up, then began doing their best impression of their father’s conducting.
On Monday night at NYFF, Cooper sat through the sold-out screening and clapped loudly when the filmmakers and artisans behind “Maestro” and Bernstein’s children were introduced. However, he did not take the stage or speak to the crowd out of solidarity with SAG-AFTRA, as the guild continues to strike.
Among the “Maestro” filmmaking team in attendance were producers Kristie Macosko Krieger, Fred Berner and Amy Durning; 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.
Rebecca Rubin and Zack Sharf contributed to this story.
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