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Santa Barbara Film Festival honors Bradley Cooper with Outstanding Performer of the Year Award

SANTA BARBARA, Calif.—It’s been a big year for Bradley Cooper whose film “Maestro” has already racked up 7 Oscar nominations including “Best Picture” and “Best Actor.”

The film follows the relationship between renowned American composer and conductor Leonard Bernstein and his wife Felicia Montealegre.

We spoke with Cooper at the Santa Barbara Film Festival about his transformation into Leonard Bernstein and how he deeply connected to his character.

“I just love the way he spoke. That was really infectious. I love the melody and his vocabulary, and I wish I had that vocabulary. Yeah, I really love, like, his demeanor. That was a lot of fun. Yeah,” said Bradley Cooper when reflecting upon Bernstein.

Though 2024 is a major year for Cooper, he says there were several pivotal moments in his life where he felt major career breakthroughs.

“I remember booking a Wendy's commercial and calling my dad and like, I couldn't believe it. It's like we're going to go to Miami and shoot Commercial Saito Hotel. It was like that was like I was like, Oh, I'm not here and make money acting. Certainly The Hangover was a huge thing. That was definitely a moment where like when we were all in London promoting it, when when the box office came in and I remember that that flight back home, it was like it was, it was it was it was exhilarating,” said Cooper

Though Bradley Cooper has been honored for Outstanding Performer of the Year for his role in “Maestro” it’s important to note that he also directed the film and co-wrote the screenplay.

Carey Mulligan who received an Oscar nomination for playing Leonard Bernstein’s wife in “Maestro” also walked the carpet alongside Cooper.

“ It's a whole life. Like, that's what's so amazing about getting to play a real person is like, I'm never going to figure this out. I'm going to figure out each other. But I absolutely loved trying to to, you know, capture the essence of it,” said actress Carey Mulligan

“Maestro” is currently streaming on Netflix.

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Mina Wahab

Arab-American producer & reporter with a mission to dig deep in interviews, share authentically, shed light on the issues that matter, and provoke deep thought.


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