The New Yorker:

It’s the ultimate paradox of campaigning: an actor must somehow be dedicated but not try-hard, authentic but not award-hungry.

By Michael Schulman

On Valentine’s Day, Bradley Cooper strode onto the stage of Lincoln Center’s David Geffen Hall, flush with exuberance in his tux. “What we’re going to watch is an experiment,” he told the audience, which included Candice Bergen, Spike Lee, and Ellen Burstyn. Out came Yannick Nézet-Séguin—Cooper’s conducting consultant for “Maestro,” his Oscar-nominated bio-pic of Leonard Bernstein—who led the New York Philharmonic in lush musical selections from the film, sprinkled with audio and video clips. The evening, “Orchestrating Maestro: Music and Conversation,” was presented by a curious pair: the Philharmonic and Netflix. Cooper returned for the conversation, alongside Nézet-Séguin and Carey Mulligan, his co-star and fellow Oscar nominee. “It’s hard to get my head around, honestly,” Cooper gushed, of the orchestra. “I was, like, scared to even talk to them years ago. They were, like, ‘What is this guy doing here? Are you going to do a movie about Leonard Bernstein? O.K., you’re going to come, like, once.’ ‘No, I’ll be here, like, five times a week for four years.’ ”

Why was this happening? One reason is that the New York Philharmonic was making Cooper’s musical dreams come true. But the real reason is that we’re at peak Oscar season, with final voting ending on Tuesday. Now is the “Look at me! Look at me!” hour, and nothing is accidental. It’s why you are seeing Cooper on the cover of the Times Magazine, submerging himself in a freezing creek. It’s why you are seeing Cillian Murphy, of “Oppenheimer,” dressed like a salsa dancer on the cover of GQ, or Ryan Gosling, of “Barbie,” climbing to the top of the Warner Bros. water tower. It’s why you are seeing Messi, the Border collie from “Anatomy of a Fall,” turning heads at the Oscar Nominees Luncheon. Yes, even the dog is doing press! According to Variety, Messi trained for two months to master the art of playing dead. Like Cooper, he’s an immersive actor.

Go to link