When Kazu Hiro first started experimenting with makeup as a teenager in the 1980s, one face leapt out at him from books and magazines he saw in shops: legendary conductor Leonard Bernstein.

Four decades later, the two-time Oscar winner has come full circle with "Maestro," in which he transformed Bradley Cooper into the towering musical great. And the makeup effects artist has another Academy Award in his sights.

"Leonard Bernstein was a big inspiration when I was a kid," Hiro, 54, explains. "Every time I create a human face, I need a reference photograph. And at that time, there was no internet. So I had to go to a bookstore."