Unrecognizable Bradley Cooper as Leonard Bernstein in upcoming movie

(CNN) — You’re forgiven if you don’t recognize the bespectacled, white-haired man smoking a cigarette in these promotional photos. He looks important but vaguely familiar, like a long-lost uncle or the old man who plays chess every day in the park.

It’s actor Bradley Cooper, under layers of prosthetic makeup, as the elderly songwriter Leonard Bernstein in “Maestro,” a biopic currently shooting for Netflix. Service streaming published the photos this Monday in Twitterwhere they immediately caused him to look twice.

“Hell! She even has white hair on her arms! Such attention to detail! Whoever the hair/makeup artist is in that movie needs to win some major awards,” one user gushed on the net.

Cooper, 47, is also directing the film, a follow-up to “A Star is Born.” She co-stars Carey Mulligan as Bernstein’s wife, Felicia Montealegre, and Jeremy Strong (Kendall Roy on “Succession”) as critic John Gruen.

bradley cooper teacher

Carey Mulligan and Bradley Cooper in “Master.”

The new publicity photos also show Cooper as a younger Bernstein, sharing a smile with Mulligan’s Montealegre.

A legend in the world of musical theater, Bernstein was best known for composing the music for “West Side Story,” the 1957 Broadway show that spawned the 1961 film and Steven Spielberg’s recent remake. He died in 1990 at the age of 72.

bradley cooper leonard bernstein

American composer and conductor Leonard Bernstein in 1970.

Not much is known yet about “Maestro,” which is due for release in 2023. Internet Movie Database says it is “the complex love story of Leonard and Felicia, a story that spans more than 30 years, from the moment they met in 1946 at a party and continues through two engagements, a 25-year marriage and three children.”

Spielberg is one of the film’s producers, as is filmmaker Martin Scorsese. According to Varietyproduction on the film began this month.

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