‘Jewface’ Critic Sarah Silverman Joins Cast of Netflix Movie Bradley Cooper as a Jew
JTA — She popularized the term “Jewface” to describe non-Jewish actors playing Jewish roles and sparked a lively cultural conversation in the process.
Today, Jewish actress and comedian Sarah Silverman joins the cast of a film that features non-Jewish Bradley Cooper as highly influential Jewish bandleader and composer Leonard Bernstein – complete with a prosthetic nose. , in addition.
Deadline reported that Silverman has joined “Maestro,” an upcoming Netflix biopic of Bernstein starring, written and directed by Cooper (and co-written by Jewish screenwriter Josh Singer). The film will cover several decades of Bernstein’s career and tumultuous personal life, and will also feature Carey Mulligan, Jeremy Strong and Maya Hawke; Steven Spielberg is a producer.
Deadline speculates that Silverman will play Bernstein’s sister.
The film, which is currently filming in preparation for a likely 2023 release, is being developed in cooperation with Bernstein’s family. But it still sparked controversy after recently released set photos showed Cooper donning his nose to play Bernstein as an older man. Critics on social media said the film’s choice to use the nose plays into anti-Semitic stereotypes, even though it makes Cooper look more like Bernstein.
Silverman became the most prominent voice on Jewish casting issues after angrily opposing a planned miniseries about Jewish comedian Joan Rivers that would have played non-Jewish actress Kathryn Hahn.
“There’s this long tradition of non-Jews playing Jews, and not just people who happen to be Jewish, but people whose Jewishness is their whole being,” Silverman said on his podcast last year. “You could say, for example, that a non-Jew playing Joan Rivers properly would do what is actually called ‘Jewface’.”
Silverman, whose autobiographical musical “The Bedwetter” based on his 2010 memoir just premiered on Broadway, has yet to share his “Maestro” news on any of his social media channels.