Bradley Cooper Talks 19 Years Sober, Addiction’s Impact on Career

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Bradley Cooper Talks 19 Years Sober, Addiction’s Impact on Career

By Movieguide® Contributor

While on an episode of RUNNING WILD WITH BEAR GRYLLS, Bradley Cooper opened up about sobriety and how it’s enabled him to play certain roles.

As they were toughing it out in the ice canyons of the Wyoming Basin, Grylls asked Cooper about the roles that have made his career.

“THE HANGOVER was career changing,” Cooper said, as reported by Variety. “I was 36 when that happened, so I was already in the game for 10 years just banging around, so I didn’t get lost in fame.”

“But you definitely had some wild years,” Grylls responded. Cooper said, “In terms of alcohol and drugs, yeah. But that had nothing to do with fame, though.”

“I was lucky,” the actor added. “I got sober at 29 years old, and I’ve been sober for 19 years. I’ve been very lucky.”

This isn’t the first time Cooper has opened up about his past struggles. On an appearance on the “SmartLess” podcast last year, Cooper shared how podcast co-host Will Arnett helped him realize he had a problem.

“That was the first time I ever realized I had a problem with drugs and alcohol,” he said about a conversation with Arnett in 2004. “It was Will saying that to me, I’ll never forget it…It changed my entire life.”

Cooper continued, “That was the first time I ever realized I had a problem with drugs and alcohol. The guy that I think is doing mean humor is telling me the truth and it changed my entire life,” USA Today reported him saying.

“I was addicted to cocaine, that was the other thing…I severed my Achilles tendon right after I got fired, slash, quit ALIAS,” Cooper said, adding that he was depressed and felt “lost.”

While Cooper has worked hard to distance himself from drugs and alcohol, his experience with that lifestyle has helped him better understand some of his roles. For 2018’s A STAR IS BORN, Cooper played Jackson Maine, a rockstar struggling with addiction.

“It made it easier to be able to really enter in there,” he explained, according to Deadline. “And thank goodness I was at a place in my life where I was at ease with all of that, so I could really let myself go.”

“I’ve been very lucky with the roles I’ve had to play,” Cooper added. “It’s been a real blessing. I hope I get to keep doing it.”

Movieguide® previously reported on Cooper:

However, his career success was nothing compared to what it meant to Cooper to become a father. 

“Fatherhood is … everything changed,” the actor shared. “Every single thing is absolutely shaded by, or brought into glorious colors, by the fact that I get to be a father to a wonderful human being.”

“You have this wonderful thing or breakthrough with a script, or you have a wonderful moment on this set or in an editing room … you have like 40 of those moments every day with your kid, that are that level of joy. That’s not spinning it, that’s just the truth,” Cooper concluded.

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