Bradley Cooper: 19 Years Sober and 'Lucky'

Bradley Cooper reflects on his measured ascent in Hollywood.

by Nouman Rasool
Bradley Cooper: 19 Years Sober and 'Lucky'

Bradley Cooper, renowned for his impeccable acting prowess, recently celebrated 19 years of sobriety, reminiscing about his battle with drug and alcohol addiction before his rise to stardom. The "A Star is Born" actor spoke candidly to Bear Gryllis on the show "Running Wild with Bear Gryllis: The Challenge," saying, "I was fortunate to find sobriety at the age of 29, and now, 19 years on, I still count my blessings."

Cooper's Gradual Rise to Stardom

At 48, Cooper expressed gratitude for the phased nature of his rise to fame.

"I was already in Hollywood for a decade before I landed the career-transforming role in 'The Hangover' in 2009. My journey had been incremental, saving me from the intoxicating whirlwind of overnight fame," he shared. When Gryllis probed about his "reckless years," Cooper acknowledged his struggle with substance abuse but was clear to distinguish it from the pressures of celebrity.

Interestingly, Cooper felt that his sobriety allowed him to delve deeper into his portrayal of an addict in "A Star is Born," making his performance raw and genuine. Previously, on the "Smartless" podcast, Cooper opened up about his tumultuous period post his stint on the spy series "Alias" (2001-2003) with Jennifer Garner.

Leaving the show left him feeling directionless, battling cocaine addiction and grappling with low self-worth. His move to Los Angeles felt like a painful flashback to high school. Despite his career, he felt outcasted, and his personal life wasn't flourishing.

However, a turning point came with an intervention from his then-roommate, actor Will Arnett. "Will's candid conversation in 2000 set me on a transformative journey," Cooper emphasized. The "Silver Linings Playbook" actor also spoke of a personal tragedy, the death of his father to cancer in 2011.

Holding his father as he took his last breath instilled a sense of nihilism in Cooper, a period he described as a challenging emotional roller-coaster. However, he learned to embrace his true self and sought inner tranquility.

As a father, Cooper aspires to unburden his daughter from his past and to continually evolve. Wrapping up his episode on "Running Wild," Cooper reflected on the exhilarating climbing challenges Gryllis presented. He mused, "Whether I succeeded or failed, each experience has made me more evolved, enriching my relationships and enhancing my role as a father and human."

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