Bradley Cooper thanks his lucky stars for overcoming drug and alcohol addiction
The Oscar-nominated actor opened up about his journey to sobriety on a recent episode of National Geographic’s Running Wild With Bear Grylls: The Challenge. When asked about his “wild years” by the adventurer of the same name, Cooper was rather candid.
“‘The Hangover’ changed my career quite a bit” he told Grylls. “I was 36 when this happened, so I’d been in the game for 10 years just playing around so I wouldn’t lose myself in fame. In terms of alcohol and drugs yes, but that has nothing to do with fame.”
The 48-year-old was “very lucky” to have accepted sobriety at 29 before overwhelming fame took hold. Cooper, who has a six-year-old daughter with Irina Shayk, was almost derailed when his father died of cancer in 2011.
“I definitely had a nihilistic attitude to the afterlife, just like I thought I was going to die,” Cooper told Grylls. “I don’t know, it wasn’t great for a while until I thought I have to accept who I really am and try to make peace with that, and then it kind of evened out.”
Cooper previously admitted he almost quit acting while starring alongside Jennifer Garner in Alias. He told GQ in 2013 He begged showrunner JJ Abrams to write him off before realizing drug abuse would mean “sabotage.” [his] his whole life” if he didn’t get sober.
He famously faced these demons for the whole world after co-writing, directing and starring in ‘A Star is Born’ (2018) to critical acclaim. Grylls reminded him of that between snowy tasks in the canyons of the Wyoming Basin.
“That made it easier to really get in there,” he told Grylls. “And thank God I was at a point in my life where I was comfortable with all of this and I could really let myself go. I got really lucky, bear, with the roles I got to play. I mean I really have.”
“It was a real blessing,” he continued. “I hope that I can continue with that.”
Cooper’s seat at the table will certainly remain open, if his modesty is any indication. However, the great outdoors could become a new sanctuary when it doesn’t, as he bravely ate a boiled bear’s tongue while camped at dizzying heights and rappelling himself between cliffs.
Do you need help with a substance use disorder or mental health issue? In the US, call 800-662-HELP (4357). National SAMHSA Helpline.