190109 bradley Coper
Bradley Cooper Image Credit: AFP

Hollywood star Bradley Cooper is spending Thanksgiving with Leonard Bernstein’s children.

The 48-year-old actor, who portrays the legendary conductor in upcoming biopic ‘Maestro’, is spending the holiday with Nina, Jamie and Alexander Bernstein after they bonded when he made the film.

Cooper spent six years preparing for the role, spending time with the New York Philharmonic and the Philadelphia Orchestra, and studying Bernstein’s work, but he insisted it was never a hardship for him or co-star Carey Mulligan, who plays his on-screen wife Felicia.

Speaking on ‘The Late Show with Stephen Colbert’, he said: “It didn’t feel like acting, it felt like we were just channelling these people, so it was so thrilling. I mean, I’ll never have an experience like this.”

The Oscar-winning actor admitted he used to spend “hundreds of hours conducting” in his bedroom to cartoons like “Tom and Jerry.” He added: “I’ve always been in love with conducting — fake conducting, as a kid.”

Cooper has faced criticism for wearing a prosthetic nose to play the late Jewish composer and he admitted he cried when the conductor’s family released a statement of support.

During an appearance on CBS News, he explained: “I read it (the statement), and I called Alex (Bernstein) to thank him ... and I remember I called him on the phone, and I heard his voice.”

“And then I couldn’t believe it, but this huge emotional exhalation came out, and I just was crying so hard, I couldn’t even thank him. And he started crying. And it was an incredible moment. And ... sometimes you don’t even know what’s going on, you know ... I couldn’t believe that gesture. It was very moving to me,” he continued.

The family statement, which was released in August, stated: “We were touched to the core to witness the depth of his commitment, his loving embrace of our father’s music, and the sheer open-hearted joy he brought to his exploration. It breaks our hearts to see any misrepresentations or misunderstandings of his efforts. It happens to be true that Leonard Bernstein had a nice, big nose.”

He chose to use make-up to amplify his resemblance, and we’re perfectly fine with that. We’re also certain that our dad would have been fine with it as well.”