Bradley Cooper recalls feeling “so lost” and “hooked on cocaine” in his 20s: “I was totally depressed”


Bradley Cooper. Kristin Callahan/Shutterstock

His candid experience. Reflecting on his past struggle with addiction, Bradley Cooper spoke about how it affected his career and why he decided to become sober.

Stars who told that they became sober

During an appearance on the podcast “Smartless”, which aired on Monday, June 13, 47-year-old Cooper recalled how he got to a place where he had “problems” with drugs and alcohol. “I was so lost and addicted to cocaine — that was another thing. I tore my Achilles tendon right after I was fired-slash-dropped the alias and struggled with zero self—esteem,” he told co-hosts Jason Bateman, Will Arnett and Sean Hayes about the problems he faced in his 20s.

According to the American Hustle star, his view of the trajectory of his career influenced personal problems. Cooper played Will Tippin alongside Jennifer Garner in Alias from 2001 to 2003 before being demoted to guest star status.

“I had the advantage that it happened when I was 29 years old. I thought I did it when I got the Wendy’s ad. In terms of “did it”, that’s when I did it. But I definitely didn’t feel that moving to Los Angeles for Alias didn’t feel like I was back in high school,” he clarified. “I couldn’t get into any clubs, no girl wanted to look at me. I was completely depressed. In fact, it wasn’t until The Hangover. I was 36 when I starred in The Hangover, so I had to go through all this before fame even played a role in my existence on an everyday level. So, everything that happened before all this.”

Bradley Cooper over the Years: From Guest Star to Starring role

The 52-year-old co-host Arnett noted that Cooper’s appearance in the movie “The Hangover” in 2009 helped him to make a “metamorphosis” in his life. “These realizations and these changes allowed you — that’s what opened you up and allowed you to be yourself,” the comedian said.

Bradley Cooper. Runa Hellestad/UPI/Shutterstock

The Golden Globe nominee, for his part, called his friend the “reason” why he decided to get rid of his addiction. “I definitely made a big breakthrough at the age of 29 to 33, 34, when at least I could stand in front of someone and breathe, listen and talk,” he added, calling this transition “by making a decision to change my life.”.

In response, Arnett recalled that he noticed a “difference” when Cooper sobered up. “It was great to see you in this place and feel comfortable. Nothing has made me happier,” the graduate of “Delayed Development” emotionally shared. “It was nice to see you so happy with who you are.”

Earlier, Cooper discussed that he got into a spiral because of his addiction. “If I had continued this, I would have really sabotaged my whole life,” the Pennsylvania native told GQ in 2013. “I think the work has reached a dead end. The only thing I’ve learned in life is that the best thing I can do is accept myself for who I am, and then do it to the fullest, and then everything that happens happens. The more steps I take not to do this, the further I move away from realizing my potential.”

Confessions of celebrities in drug use

The “Alley of Nightmares” star also explained how his outlook on life changed when he sobered up.

“I did these films and I managed to meet Sandra Bullock, get to know these people and work with them,” he added at the time. “And I’m sober, and I’m like this:”Oh, I’m actually on my own. And I don’t have to pretend to be someone else, and this person still wants to work with me? Oh, what the fuck is going on?” I was rediscovering myself in this workplace, and it was wonderful.”

If you or someone you know is struggling with substance abuse, call the National Substance Abuse and Psychiatric Services Administration (SAMHSA) Hotline at 1-800-662-HELP (4357).