Steven Spielberg and Bradley Cooper discuss Maestro | Transcript

Full transcript of the Q&A where Bradley Cooper and Steven Spielberg discuss the origins of the film “Maestro”
Steven Spielberg and Bradley Cooper discuss Maestro

A special screening of the film Maestro, was preceded by a Q&A between Bradley Cooper and Steven Spielberg in the legendary Chinese Theater located on Hollywood Boulevard, in Hollywood, California.

Following his debut with A Star is Born in 2018, Bradley Cooper returns to the musical fray with the biopic Maestro – streaming on Netflix from December 20th – which traces the lifelong relationship between Bernstein, a musician, conductor (the first American at La Scala in Milan), composer, teacher, author, and his wife, the actress Felicia Montealegre Cohn.

Initially, Steven Spielberg was to direct the film, having sent the script to Cooper to play the lead. Just an hour and fifteen minutes later, the actor had already accepted, soon offering to direct as well when Spielberg, busy with West Side Story (whose music is by Bernstein), decided to step back from directing but not from producing, alongside others including Martin Scorsese and Cooper himself, who revisited the script with Josh Singer.

These and other behind-the-scenes tales are shared in a video posted by Netflix, where the two recount their acquaintance dating back to American Sniper, a film Spielberg initially worked on but later passed to Clint Eastwood. Remembering Cooper’s love for conducting, Spielberg sent him the Maestro screenplay, little imagining he’d be bombarded with messages from Cooper: “You know how obsessive I can get when I love something. How many messages did I send you about an hour after you sent the script? It was borderline embarrassing,” Cooper amusingly recalls. “The messages lasted almost seven months, at least seven months,” Spielberg laughed. “And they were fantastic.”

* * *

STEVEN: Well, I can guarantee you right now that Leonard Bernstein is here with us, giving you a big kiss on the mouth, squeezing your butt, and saying, “Thank you for what you did for me, what you did for Felicia, what you did for Alexander, Nina, and Jamie, and everybody who loves the classical influence on all modern music. Trace all the way back through Bernstein to Mahler, everybody before that. This was a mitzvah. Thank you for this.

BRADLEY: Thank you.

STEVEN: Um, what’s astonishing—and I’m taking myself out of my producer role totally here, um, because I sort of do have a sort of more of an insightful inside perspective—but I’m just going to sit here to ask the questions that have been asked of me about you and the film and your process. Um, one of the things that really astonishes me, Bradley, is that um, when you first showed me A Star is Born, and of course, I think I saw—we’ve all seen—four “Stars Born” before this one, um, what blew me away was I had never seen any “Stars Born” like the one you made. And I could not possibly believe that was your first directed motion picture. And I am triply-knocked out by the fact that Maestro is only your second motion picture. That just is incredible.


I’d like to first talk about the fact– because this story, the process of getting this film launched, has had a long history starting with Marty Scorsese who hired Josh Singer, and then it Marty decided to do Irishman, and then I really wanted to tell the story, but I was also getting ready for West Side Story and work with Josh. And then, um, you know, I was not going to be able to do it, and then, you know, I called you, and you got the script, and you told me the story about what it was like growing up in your household with conducting as a little boy. Can you talk a bit about how young you were when you started conducting?

BRADLEY: Sure, whoa, hey, um, well, first of all, I have to say the only reason I’m here is this man right here. He gave me the opportunity, truthfully, that if you know when you’re in a position that Steven’s in, and uh, you have the kind of heart that he has, you can change people’s lives. And that’s what he did to this person right here by just extending his hand and saying, uh, “Come with me,” and– and here you go. And I’m going to let you tell the story the way that uh, you and Josh will will investigate it and explore it, and I’ll be there to help guide you. So, I’m completely indebted to you. Thank you, Stephen. Um, he Stephen and I, we go back, man. We were going to do American Sniper together, um, we were talking about doing “Matt Helm” together, and and I shared with him my obsession with conducting, and uh, and I think that’s how this started.

STEVEN: It did.

BRADLEY: When I was 8 years old, I asked Santa Claus for a baton. And you know, Tom and Jerry, and Bugs Bunny, and– you know, I just love the power of the illusion of making music with your hand and gestures, and you had remembered that. And so I was on vacation, you said, “You know, I might do this Bernstein thing, have a read,” and then that’s how it started. And then of course, you also know how sort of what a maniac I am when I love something and how many texts did I send you like an hour after you sent me the script? It was almost embarrassing,

STEVEN: Yeah uh, the text went on for seven months, at least 7 months, and the texts were um, they were they were really, they they were brilliant. But what was happening in all the text messaging that you were sending me and as you were also talking to Josh through the process was the fact that what I probably would have done with this, and I think what Marty was thinking of doing with this, was a Leonard Bernstein biographical motion picture. And this is not a biographical Leonard Bernstein story; this is an anatomy of a marriage, and about and also an anatomy of looking into yourself. How do you represent yourself to yourself and to the world even though you and Felicia and your family eventually knew exactly who Leonard Bernstein was. So this became a story about a marriage, how– what was it that made you because I saw the evolution the script took, and when you and Josh began working, it went deeply into that relationship almost exclusively.

BRADLEY: Yeah, I mean, it really came down to Leonard being such a photographed, videoed uh, musician, probably the most in the 20th century. He was sort of the dawn of all the technological advances that were occurring, and he had an incredible manager that was always at the forefront. So right away when I started doing research with Josh, it became clear that there was no reason to ever make a sort of standard biopic because there was just so much, I would just be doing some sort of uh impersonation of what’s already out there. What was interesting, more than interesting, intoxicating, was this marriage, this relationship that we were unearthing between Felicia Montealegre played so wonderfully by Carrie Mulligan, yeah…


…and Leonard Bernstein. And that’s the key, the things that I always love about movies are when I’m watching these sort of cinematical, mythological archetypes yet I’m relating to them, and that’s the goal. And I always knew that we had something, something nuclear with Leonard Bernstein’s music, but what is there that we could tell, that we could explore, that’s something that you all can connect to and then it’s healing um, and then to me, it was this relationship. And when Josh and I found that as the north star, that as the anchor, then everything started to really um take form and take shape um, and get very exciting.

STEVEN: What was the two-week retreat that you and Carrie Mulligan went on to sort of vertically integrate yourself into these characters, the process?

BRADLEY: That was something that that was taught to me in grad school by Elizabeth Kemp who was taught by Sandra Secat and it was based in a dream workshop where you you sort of chronicle your dreams for you log your dreams for a series of weeks and then you get together with whoever else you’re working with and in this case it was Carrie and I and her acting teacher Kim and we worked for six days and you you share these dreams that you write down based on asking for your character and then you do exercises together and it call me Ates into a ritual that you create sort of a one-person show for the other person. And it’s really the goal is just becoming absolutely vulnerable with the other person so that you share something and you have a bond that you can really trust each other. And I’ve done this before with many projects, Stephanie, Lady Gaga and I did it for A Star is Born, yeah and it’s amazing the things that come out of it even when as a writer um, that that that us sitting back to back came out of the ritual and it was such an image that when we did we found ourselves in that position that then I went back and Josh and I wrote that into the script. But that really is the moment uh, that that that exercise I find to be completely invaluable because you just once you’re locked in in that kind of way we were able to be bold every day on set.

STEVEN: Pursuant to that, when you’re working, and you’re working with your actors, um, how do you actually handle, you know, being a member of the team but also being the coach? You know, because you’re working both sides of the camera, and yet, you were still Leonard Bernstein when you were directing Maestro. But you work both sides of the camera, and I was on the set a little bit, not a lot, and I was watching you, and it was amazing to see you go back and forth like that, still in character, but at the same time, out of the syntax or vernacular of the period dialogue, and directly into the craft of letting Mang know how to push the dolly, and talking to Libatique and your DP. So, it was really interesting. How do you really, and there’s a lot of actors, you know, these days—not these days, but there have been actors that have really distinguished themselves by being in front of the camera and behind the camera. How did you find that– you’ve done you in a role like that now?

BRADLEY: Um, I think because, Stephen, I always found myself thinking like a filmmaker as an actor for so many years, and always being fascinated by that, that my brain, I think, just found a place where my brain feels the most comfortable. So, it didn’t feel like I was doing some sort of oddly schizophrenic—that let me didn’t say that in the movie—but like, it’s this sort of schizophrenic jest, you know, going back and forth between directing and acting. It felt like one fluid thing, and Stephen’s right, that it was. I wouldn’t show up to work maybe five to six hours before crew call to become Lenny with Kazu Hiro, who is incredible, the makeup artist. We worked years on that, yeah, he’s unbelievable, unbelievable, and um, so then Lenny’s there, and then, yeah, when you came on, it was actually kind of wonderful to talk to Steven Spielberg as Leonard Bernstein. It was kind of great, and Stephen was even there when we did a wonderful test back in 2019 at Disney Hall to make sure I didn’t look like a Saturday Night Live skit. I was really out of fear, and you were there; there were some wonderful photographs.

STEVEN: Yeah. I have a big photo hanging in my office with Leonard Bernstein and myself. I’m wearing a CO mask, Bernstein is not wearing the mask, and we’re next to each other, and we’re both looking at something on my iPhone.


STEVEN: And seeing Leonard Bernstein with an iPhone is very disconcerting, let me tell you, but it’s up on a white wall in Tribeca right now.

BRADLEY: Um, so, the short answer is, or the long answer is, um, it feels natural, but I think from the outside, maybe it looks odd, but just staying in the voice is only because it’s easier. I can’t even imagine having to break out of that melodic, um, tone and musical sort of way that he was. It’s just that’s why I spent so many years working on the character, so that he was banged, so I never had to even think about him. He’s just there; all I have to do is take a leap of faith, and that really is the key, I think, as a director, in terms of directing and acting in the movies that you’re in, because the other actors, when they come on set, see how willing I am to fail by literally, you know, talking like this to everybody on the set. I mean, it’s crazy, and um, and I think it gave them license to also be willing to jump off that cliff, and if I wasn’t actually doing it myself, I would be trying to talk people into it rather than just doing it by example.

STEVEN: Talk a little bit about Tim Monich, who you know, I would listen, you would send me some of your sessions where Bradley would basically do a 15 to 20-minute improvisation, and Tim and Bradley were working on the vocalization of Lenny. Can you talk about that?

BRADLEY: Yeah, I mean, we started when Stephen even broached the conversation of me potentially doing this movie. I immediately started to work on the voice with Tim Monik, who I met through Leonardo DiCaprio, who had worked with him for years. He had suggested I work with him on ‘American Sniper.’ That was the first movie I worked with him on, and he’s just unbelievable, and we did A Star is Born and ‘Nightmare Alley,’ and then we started working on Leonard Bernstein’s voice, really because he has this young voice at 25, and then it goes down about an octave as he gets older, through his emphysema and smoking, and all,

STEVEN: And he gets also a little bit nasal too.

BRADLEY: Well, he has a deviated septum, yeah, that he had, um, and so that was, that was, we started in 200, end of 2018, five days a week, eight hours a day. He moved to New York, and we did that all the time, and um, that’s the only way because it was just, that was the thing that was most terrifying, learning how to conduct and to be able to become Lenny, so I just spent as much time as possible and getting the prosthetic right.

STEVEN: You know, one of the one of the most audacious things for me about the risks you took in directing ‘Maestro,’ and I wouldn’t call it a risk because you did it with such confidence and you never look back once you made a commitment, but that was, were scenes with no coverage, the scene, the complete explosive and powerful scene between Felicia and Lenny in the apartment before Snoopy goes by the windows, you know, which is an amazing coda for that scene. Um, you didn’t even cover that; there weren’t over-shoulders, there weren’t close-ups, that was it. You did multiple takes. Talk a little bit about some of your choices where you decided you had a concept, you had a concept shot, and you wanted not to change your mind later in the editing room, but you just went ahead and shot it without any safety net.

BRADLEY: It was the first movie I’ve made fearlessly, uh, for sure. The only there were only two scenes that I shot with fear, and um, it was the first day of shooting, which was when he teaches young, uh, William. I did a bunch of setups, but really all I ever had envisioned was this sort of he’s like a muppet in the bottom of the frame, and he can’t help himself, and by the end, he’s taking over the whole movie, which is what you see in the film when he says, you know, ‘Oh, is it for me or for you?’ you know, um, and then the other thing was the Ely Cathedral when he’s conducting Mahler. I had done like Brant to Palah High and a cable cam and all the stuff out of fear when really it’s just one shot that reveals her because she’s there to see him not have hate in his heart. Other than that, I did do what you said, Stephen, where, and I think it’s just for the sheer reason that I had spent so much time, um, and Josh and I had spent so much time writing and working on this movie, and creating in my mind every single possible avenue to shoot it and way of shooting it, so that by the time we got on set, it was so clear to me how I saw the movie, and if I made a pivot, I could then see the other the effects that I would have to do. So, for example, the fight scene, and Kristie Macosko, who was, who we produced this with, you know, we would, when I was because she really helped me have the confidence not to do coverage of that on that day, because that was the third take, and Carrie and I both knew, I like, we got it, um, but it was like, ‘Jesus, do we really not do any coverage?’ and she said, ‘No, don’t do it,’ because the whole point was that’s a wide shot, and then we get there bearing witness after in the movie, which is him at his Thursday rehearsal where he can’t even face us as he’s declaring what he thinks is his truth, and then turns around and he’s like a pirate from ‘Penzance’ with a beard, and then for her, it’s still in this Victorian cage at the Palm Court, bearing actually her truth finally to Shirley about how, what the cost of her love for him, and so it always had, it couldn’t then be coverage of close-ups before that. It’s not how I created the movie in my mind, and how I wanted to execute it, and also, that came from me as a child watching my parents fight. I never was in between them; I was always with my sister at a distance, and that’s the feeling I wanted to create, and many moments in this movie when they’re also having that conversation, uh, by the pool, and we’re far away, almost like we’re not supposed to be listening to this, but we can’t stop at what’s going on, and I don’t feel safe. That’s how I felt when I was a kid, and so I wanted us to feel like that as an audience. Also, there’s a joke, you know, there’s a punchline, and you can’t go into the close-ups, come back to the wide, and have Snoopy pass and have that be funny. So, there were a couple different reasons, um, but yes. And again, that is a testament to Carrie Mulligan, able to, you know, run and drive that scene, and I could be so cinematically bold because I had an actor who was just incredibly gifted.

STEVEN: Also, the distance between them, by not cutting, by not having coverage, otherwise, you wouldn’t see how far apart they were.

BRADLEY: Well, yeah, that’s the other beauty. You get to have fun ’cause he just comes in the frame, and he wants, he’s dying to leave that frame, but he wants that drink, so he’s going to come in and get the drink and then go back.

STEVEN: Exactly. Um, there was no digital work at all in this movie. Bradley Cooper did all the conducting; that was Bradley conducting, completely 100%. And I just love you to talk a little bit about that because it was astonishing when I went and saw you, uh, I was there with Gustavo Dudamel, Christy was there, Paul Thomas Anderson was there.

BRADLEY: This is for when we were testing…

STEVEN: At Disney Hall; it was just a test, but you were doing ‘Mahler,’ and uh, um, you were conducting ‘M.’ And I was taking my cell phones, I was taking some stills, but that was at the beginning of your teaching yourself how to conduct. Tell everybody who was helping you do some of the training for the conducting.

BRADLEY: Yeah, well, that was yeah, when we did that, it was just to see, is it believable, but it was still fake conducting. I was just doing what I’d done when I was a kid, but then it was working with Gustavo Dudamel. He actually performed that Mahler’s Second Symphony of the Resurrection with the LA Philharmonic at the Hollywood Bowl, and I was there with him for the full two weeks from the first rehearsal to the last performance, and then I went with him to Berlin where he did it again with the Berlin Philharmonic, and we stayed, and we were in Berlin together for two weeks, and then I just spent, um, the New York Philharmonic opened their doors to me, and I would go there four nights a week for three and a half years after I put my daughter to bed and just stay and watch. I seat where I could see the conductor, and then just studied, and there’s actually that Mahler piece, which we always knew early on we wanted to do, and that’s live with the London Symphony Orchestra at the Ely Cathedral, which is where he did it in the ’70s, so it was really incredible. Um, and I kept messing it up; that was a two-day shoot, the first day I would, I fucked-up the whole thing, and it was only one, but I shot it out of fear, and then when I actually didn’t, and I set up a shot fearlessly, it was the only time I didn’t mess up, and I actually conducted them, which is odd. Lenny saying, you know, ‘Just listen to me, Bradley.’ So, um, that, and it really was, um, Yannick‘s also the head of the Philadelphia Orchestra and the Met Opera was there all the time. He, I had an earpiece, he was counting time in my ear even though I couldn’t hear it because it was so loud, um, and he had made a video of just so that I would study for all the time changes, and I had, there’s actual footage of Leonard Bernstein that you could watch on YouTube of that recording. Um, so I was able to study that, and I just did that for years, Stephen, uh, just trying to get enough knowledge to be able to conduct those six minutes and 23 seconds of music live for real because I knew that we had to do that. I learned that on A Star is Born; if we could record the vocals live, there’s just no substitute; you can feel it, as I would argue, could feel that tonight, watching him conduct the orchestra.

STEVEN: And the orchestra, you know, you’re a wonderful observer, and working with you on a couple of films that we didn’t go through all the way with, uh, what, uh, when I didn’t do ‘American Sniper,’ Clint Eastwood stepped in and made one of the best films of his career with you, and you were incredible as the character. Um, but you’ve worked with some pretty amazing directors: Clint Eastwood, Guillermo Del Toro, David O. Russell, you know, you worked with, um, uh, who, Paul Thomas Anderson, of course. When you’re working with directors, and you’re on the set, can you compartmentalize what you do as an actor, and then at the same time, watch their craft and observe why they’re doing a shot and what the composition of that shot is, and do you get into their heads in that sense?

BRADLEY: I mean, I’m probably a real pain in the ass; you’d have to ask them, uh, geez, but what I will say is my experience, um, I feel like I went to film school with David O. Russell. You’d have to ask them, but I feel like they saw in me very early on because I was able to get in editing rooms of all of those directors for months, you know, for like the entire film, and I always had actor friends say, ‘How the heck did that happen?’ And I said, ‘I think it’s because they knew that I didn’t care about what I was doing; I cared about helping them make the movie they want to make.’ So that was very clear to all of those filmmakers very early on, and you know, you know, Clint very well, and for Clint to do that is kind of unheard of, absolutely unheard of, but he really realized early on, like, ‘Oh, this guy is, he’s with me, and we have the same goal.’ And for me, as a filmmaker, if there’s someone who has the same goal, I’m like, ‘Yes, please, let’s, tell me what, tell me all of your thoughts,’ um, if we’re on the same page. And so I think that I just was able to learn so much from all of these filmmakers because they opened their doors to me creatively and allowed me to walk down the road with them to a large degree because they knew, yes, when I was on set, first of all, I never leave set, ever, so I’m always there, uh, I just, because I’m fascinated, I love it. I was like that on ‘Alias,’ this television show with J.J.; I never left, you know, I had no life, but I also never left. I didn’t know anybody in LA, so I stayed all the time.

STEVEN: The, uh, talk, just talk a bit about your crew, you know, um, your AD, your UPM, you know, your whole team at the DGA, and talk just a bit about, you know, Maddie, and how you work with him, and were there any template or other movies that really influenced you and gave you ideas about ‘Maestro?’

BRADLEY: That’s a really, you know, it’s a very interesting question, you know. I thought of Ernst Lubitsch and Max Ophüls with the black and white, but nothing, anything other than just how I remember that time period cinematically. Without, I would almost be making it up if I said that there were specific things, you know. Um, I remember ‘Stars Born,’ Hal Ashby was like in my head, but it really becomes its own thing based on, I just love movies so much, that it’s just sort of inside of me, you know what I mean? I can’t even, like, it would be hard to parse it all out; it’s all one thing, that is who I am, it’s like my whole entire existence

STEVEN: A lot of movies.

BRADLEY: But that’s what I’m saying, it’s so based on, I’m, I’m like a, I’m basically a composite of movies ’cause I just grew up on movies, you know, on television. Um, so it was, it’s hard for me to sort of pin it to one thing, but certainly, um, everything, the way I visualize everything is based on life experience and films that I’ve seen. Uh, terms of the crew, you know, because I’ve been an actor for so many years, I’ve been able to observe wonderful crew members, and I was just lucky enough to get who I feel are the best, you know. Scott Sakamoto, a camera, is incredible, and Colin Anderson, Colin Anderson was the camera. I mean, that combination, I took it, I kept taking photos of them both with the steady cam on, ’cause that to me was like, you know, the greatest, you know, camera operators in the world together in the same movie. Mango, to me, is the best dolly grip in the world. Uh, Matthew Libatique, you know, the heavens bless me when he decided to do A Star is Born. Um, and, and, and, um, Tracy, the line producer, was amazing, incredible producers, Steven Spielberg, and Christy Mosco, um, you know, everybody was great. And I have to say, Netflix, you know, there’s only one place that made this movie, and it was them. No one else would make this movie, period. They were like, ‘A movie that’s half black and white, 1.33 aspect ratio, with a six-minute scene of a guy conducting classical music, you know, no way.’ But Scott Stuber, he said yes, and he trusted me, and uh, that’s, that’s the only, that’s the other reason, the only reason we’re both here for this movie is because of them.

STEVEN: I think we owe a lot to Scott Stuber


STEVEN: Yeah, absolutely.  Um, talk a bit about the sound design.

BRADLEY: Oh, I was just going to say, and Steve Morrow, the sound design.

STEVEN: Sound design, because the sound design on this, I mean, you got to see it in the greatest circumstances on IMAX, and the sound design is extraordinary.

BRADLEY: So I remember seeing a Jason Reitman movie about Gary Hart that Hugh Jackman did, and there were these scenes in the room where, and I called Steve Morrow, who was the sound mixer, and said, ‘How did you guys do that?’ ’cause it really felt like it was overlapping dialogue, and that the extras weren’t, you know, mouthing, and he said, ‘Yeah, I mic everybody, and I mix it in real-time so that you could have something that you can listen to while you’re editing.’ And I was like, ‘Well, that’s it because there’s nothing that an actor hates more than when you know you’re doing, you just wait for them to say it, and then say, ‘You’re like, okay, but I mean, that’s not how you, that’s not life, but okay.’ And then, you know, you start to get, you know, not free.’ So we did that for all of those things, and because I knew that having done A Star is Born that way, it really freed Josh Singer and I up to write dialogue that we knew would be able to have that kind of melody, the melody that these people spoke. Part of what we loved about making a movie about these two is just the music that they made speaking together. So Steve Morrow and his team were able to allow us this sonic flexibility that was just invaluable. And then in the mixing of the movie, which I’d worked with Tom Ozanich and Dean on A Star is Born and American Sniper, I’d worked with Tom. We started talking about this movie while we were mixing A Star is Born because that’s when Stephen had come to me with ‘Maestro,’ and we started talking about how, and I said, ‘We’re going to have to shoot the music live,’ so just, and Jason Ruder just, what that entailed, having to mic Ely Cathedral so that we could get the sound that you saw with recording live, was just a monster, you know, a mammoth undertaking that took years to plan.

STEVEN: And I have to go back to the camera one more time. That amazing shot, the shot, the sustained shot, there’s a little coverage at the beginning of Ely Cathedral, but the sustained shot that goes through your complete, uh, transcendental bliss, and it goes past you, and it goes wide again, and we don’t know where we’re going, at the very, very end, we get to see Felicia’s blue gown from behind.

BRADLEY: Yeah. It’s one reveal.

STEVEN: It’s one reveal that she’s there. So at the climax of that incredible piece of musical composition, there also is the resolution in that relationship; she’s back, and she’s with you. That’s amazing.

BRADLEY: Thank you. Yeah, and that all came out of, um, as I was saying earlier, I had, first, that first day for that scene, I had like three setups, a huge cable cam that we spent like a year preparing, all out of fear that I thought, ‘Well, if I can’t, if I mess it up, I could cut around it.’ And I did mess up, and I woke up the next morning, and I said, ‘I can’t do that.’ And there was a Techno crane sitting outside ’cause we were going to do the exterior shot that night, and we wielded it into the cathedral. I asked them to wait, asked everybody to wait, the 175 orchestra members and chorus and extras, and with Mango and Scott Sakamoto and Maddie, and the local crew there in London who were incredible operating the Techno crane, I had my iPhone and the 6 minutes, and we were just walking through, and I had some with the bow to make sure I could navigate that shot, which was on a 27 lens, and it’s one shot then ends on coming over her right shoulder, and we just did one take of that, and that’s what’s in the movie, and it worked, and it was everybody working together. Um, and it was just, it was, I mean, I’ll never forget it, that was the hardest and most exhilarating thing I’ve ever done in my life, and to see it on IMAX must have been cool.

STEVEN: Did you get your heart broken while you were making this movie at any point?

BRADLEY: No, I think my heart was so full because of him; it was unbreakable.

STEVEN: Did you ever, I mean, because it was a fluid production, because you would text me, and you would say, ‘I’ve got this idea for a scene,’ or you talk to Jamie, or you get, you get more information about the personal lives of the kids, and there was so much really creative, I would just say deepening of the story and of the characters as you were in process, so you never really had a lock script from the beginning. Don’t you feel that it was a fluid production that way?

BRADLEY: I mean, in my experience, the best films I’ve been a part of, it’s alive until your shoulders relax, right after, right before you realize you’re going to deliver the print master. I mean, I have that editing bay open right up until then.

STEVEN: Um, what was it like because I have, I’ve gone through this with Daniel Day-Lewis on ‘Lincoln,’ and I don’t know what it was like for me when, on the last shot, which was after Lincoln was, you know, now he’s for the ages, his death scene was the last thing we shot, and I had listened to Daniel as Lincoln for over a year, uh, as he was preparing, and I know he, when I, he asked to see me, I came into his trailer, and he was talking with his English accent, and it killed me. I just, I just broke down. I was not prepared for that. Was there a moment where you stepped away from Lenny, knowing you were not going to come back except maybe for some ADR, but was there that moment for you?

BRADLEY: Yeah, there’s no ADR in this movie. Yeah, there’s not; there’s a couple of things that Carrie did on her iPhone, uh, and that’s it. Um, I’m not a fan of ADR, yeah. Um, if you, yeah, but you know, maybe that’s why you’re like, ‘I couldn’t understand what they were saying.’ I was like, ‘Y,’ but Clint was great with that; he, he, no, if they can’t understand it, fuck them. I was like, ‘Great, CL, great.’ Um, uh, you know, it’s funny, Stephen, I wore Chris Kyle’s shoot; we were, I was just showing Steven, Chris Kyle’s, the kids, they just went to see ‘Maestro’ tonight in Texas, uh, which was awesome, that Chris Kyle was the guy that I played, and his family went to see the movie tonight in Texas. Um, I wore the shoes that we made based on Chris’s shoes for about six months; I couldn’t take them off. I don’t know why; it just sort of happened. I remember, uh, Laurence Fishburne coming to our school, talking about how he wore his, uh, camouflage fatigues for a whole school year after he came back from the Philippines and ‘Apocalypse Now,’ he wore to school. Um, this one, you’d have to ask people close to me. I think I was speaking with that sort of, um, melody. I mean, Josh could probably tell you– that stopped maybe just a couple of months ago. W, ’cause it was infectious, the way that he spoke, you know, it really was very intoxicating.

STEVEN: Yeah, when you get a chance, if you just, just YouTube some of the young people’s concerts, you know, uh, it just really, it’s amazing what he did for classical music.

BRADLEY: 15 seasons, yeah. I mean, yeah, this, if this movie does anything, it’s Spotify Bernstein and Mahler, you know, and rethink what it is to be married.

STEVEN: Well, listen, on that, they’re giving me the wave off here. Um, this has been an extraordinary road that you’ve traveled. I am so happy and, and, um, I feel real good about myself that I, that I hired you, and I’m so proud of you for once I hired you for taking over and becoming everything that gave all of us the experience that we’ve had tonight. Thank you, Bradley.

BRADLEY: Thank you Steven.


Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Read More

Weekly Magazine

Get the best articles once a week directly to your inbox!