Bradley Cooper Opens Up About His Sobriety Journey
Trigger warning: This piece contains mentions of substance use.
Bradley Cooper is getting candid about his sobriety. On a recent episode of Running Wild With Bear Grylls: The Challenge, the Maestro star stated that he’s been “lucky,” revealing that he’s now been sober for nearly two decades.
In the midst of tackling death-defying nature stunts, Grylls asked Cooper whether he experienced any “wild years” in his career, leading the actor to reflect on how he got his breakout role a decade into his career. “The Hangover was pretty career-changing,” he answered. “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.” He added that he got lost “in terms of alcohol and drugs,” but it had “nothing to do” with fame. “I was lucky,” he said. “I got sober at 29 years old, and I’ve been sober for 19 years. I’ve been very lucky.”
He went on to explain that his own struggles with addiction helped shape his Oscar-nominated performance as rockstar Jackson Maine in A Star Is Born. “It made it easier to be able to really enter in there,” he said. “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. It’s been a real blessing. I hope I get to keep doing it.”
Cooper has previously been open about his sobriety, revealing that Will Arnett helped him realize when he had hit “rock bottom” in a 2022 episode of Arnett, Jason Bateman, and Sean Hayes’ SmartLess podcast. In 2004, Cooper said he had adopted a “mean humor” based on popular comedians, which didn’t translate at a dinner party. “I was like ‘I thought it was great. I thought I was killing.’ Will Arnett was like, ‘You were a real *sshole, man,’” he recalled. “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.”
He went on to share another pivotal moment that led him to get help, revealing that Arnett once asked if he had taken his dog out, and he realized it was already 4 p.m. “I was so lost and I was addicted to cocaine,” he said. “Will took that risk of having that hard conversation with me in July of 2004 and that put me on a path of deciding to change my life. It truly was Will Arnett. He is the reason.”
If you or someone you know is seeking help for substance use, call the SAMHSA National Helpline at 1-800-662-HELP (4357).
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