The daughters of Leonard Bernstein have revealed how the changes Bradley Cooper made to the original idea for Maestro were "very pleasing" to them.


The film had initially been pitched as a more straightforward biopic of the legendary composer and conductor, but when Cooper joined the project as star and director, he changed the focus to Bernstein's relationship with wife Felicia Montealegre (Carey Mulligan).

And, speaking exclusively to, Jamie and Nina Bernstein revealed how the alteration made the film a "much more personal" project.

"When Bradley came on board, he completely changed the concept and turned it into this portrait of a marriage," Jamie explained.

"And that was very pleasing to us siblings, because it made it also much more personal and turned it into a very unusual film that has nothing predictable about it."

Nina added: "We really liked his approach right away. We could see that he was going to take a deep dive, with nothing superficial about it. Nothing showy or exploitative.... he was interested in authenticity, in the truth.

"And in the connectedness, the warmth. And the family itself and the marriage. So that immediately turned it into something else entirely."

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Meanwhile, Kristie Macosko Krieger, who serves as one of the producers on the film alongside the likes of Steven Spielberg and Martin Scorsese, revealed why she thinks this approach made more sense to her than a traditional biopic.

"I think that you can make a movie about Leonard Bernstein and that should be a documentary because there's so much footage of him and there are so many photographs of him," she said. "So the best way to tell the story of his life is to do it in a documentary style.

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"And then this film, the best way to actually make a film for audiences – that [will teach them] something new and different that they couldn't learn in a documentary – is to actually dive into the relationship, their love story, their marriage, their family, and how all of that plays against his artistry and their artistry."

Maestro is now available to stream on Netflix. Check out more of our Film coverage or visit our TV Guide and Streaming Guide to find out what's on.


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