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Bradley Cooper Reveals When Steven Spielberg Hired Him to Direct Maestro

Cooper’s second film as director will follow the life of Leonard Bernstein.


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In a recent appearance on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert, Nightmare Alley star Bradley Cooper appeared to talk about his career and his upcoming work. Stephen Colbert started their interview off by talking about how much he loved A Star Is Born and the lead-up to Cooper’s next directing project, Maestro, a film about Leonard Bernstein. Steven Spielberg was originally attached to the project, but after he saw A Star Is Born and knew of Cooper’s apparent love for conducting, the project went to the actor.


After directing and writing A Star Is Born, helming his own projects has become all that Cooper wants to do, in his own words. This led to him nearly begging Spielberg to let him take on the movie. “He happened to know that I had this obsession with conducting. Like in grad school, I did like an M.F.A. and you create a character and I created a conductor and wrote a monologue. So it was something always inside of me,” Cooper told Colbert of his history and love of conducting and how Spielberg knew of it. “So he said ‘there’s this project called Maestro, I might direct,” Cooper went on. Colbert clarified that it was, originally, a Spielberg film and that Spielberg wanted Cooper to come in to read for the lead role.

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Image via Disney

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Cooper explained that he showed Spielberg a version of A Star Is Born to try and convince the director to let him take on Maestro and apparently when Jackson Maine (Cooper’s role in the film) and Ally (Lady Gaga) are gearing up to perform “Shallow” on the main stage, Spielberg got up and walked over to Cooper and said to him “You’re f**king directing Maestro.”

Starring Cooper, Carey Mulligan, and Succession‘s Jeremy Strong, Maestro will be Cooper’s first film after his brilliant directorial debut with A Star Is Born. Cooper seems to be incredibly pumped for the project and having Spielberg pick you to direct something means you have to be perfect for the job, right? Check out the full interview with Cooper below.



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