EXCLUSIVE: Bradley Cooper has found his onscreen partner and a new title — Maestro — for the Leonard Bernstein film he will star in and direct for Netflix. Carey Mulligan has been cast as Felicia Montealegre Cohn Bernstein, wife of the legendary composer/conductor. Shooting will begin next spring.
Cooper co-wrote the screenplay with Oscar-winning Spotlight scribe Josh Singer. Cooper has been working with the Bernstein family for three years developing the film as the followup to his directorial debut, A Star is Born. Maestro will tell the complex love story of Leonard and Felicia, a story that spans over 30 years–from the time they met in 1946 at a party and continuing through two engagements, a 25 year marriage, and three children: Jamie Bernstein, Alexander Bernstein and Nina Bernstein Simmons.
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The Bernstein children sparked to Mulligan playing their mom. “We’re absolutely thrilled that Carey Mulligan will play our mother in Maestro,” said Jamie Bernstein. “Carey will surely capture Felicia’s unique combination of wit, warmth, elegant beauty, and depth of emotion. We also love the way Carey conveys a kind of storybook European grace, which was something our mother embodied as well.”
Felicia Montealegre Cohn was born to a Costa Rican mother and an American father. She moved to NYC at the age of 21 to pursue acting and piano. She performed on many stages — twice on Broadway — and appeared in several television dramas. Growing up, Felicia was keenly aware of her privilege and the many doors it opened for her. She remained a lifelong outspoken advocate for social justice, while pursuing her multiple occupations as performer, painter, wife, and mother.
“I was struck by Carey ever since I saw her on stage many years ago and I haven’t missed a performance of hers since,” said Cooper. “I am humbled to be working with such a mammoth talent, as well as such a kind person in Carey.”
As for Mulligan, she will next be seen starring in Focus Features’ Promising Young Woman after receiving raves out of Sundance. She also stars with Ralph Fiennes in the upcoming Netflix film, The Dig. Mulligan broke through in her BAFTA-winning performance in An Education, drawing an Oscar nom at age 25. She’s worked with film directors from Dee Rees to Paul Dano, The Coen Brothers, Steve McQueen, Nicolas Winding Refn, Joe Wright, and Baz Luhrmann, and her stage work includes the one woman show Girls and Boys, which she performed at the Royal Court Theatre and Off-Broadway.
Mulligan’s deal was made by CAA, Julian Belfrage Associates, and Jackoway Austen Tyerman; Cooper is repped by Range Media Partners.
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