Bradley Cooper opens up over cocaine battle and path that 'changed his life'

Darcy Rafter June 16, 2022
Bradley Cooper opens up over cocaine battle and path that 'changed his life'
Photo by ANGELA WEISS/AFP via Getty Images


Bradley Cooper has opened up about struggling with cocaine addiction throughout his 20s before finding fame in The Hangover movies in 2009.

Bradley starred as Phil in comedy The Hangover, which was released in 2009. He went on to star in two sequels and have an immensely successful movie career.

The 47-year-old spoke candidly on the latest episode of the SmartLess podcast hosted by Will Arnett, Jason Bateman and Sean Hayes. On the show, the actor opened up about his battle with drug and alcohol addiction. He also spoke of low points in his career and how he got himself back on track.

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Photo by ANGELA WEISS/AFP via Getty Images

Bradley Cooper opens up over cocaine battle

Cooper has spoken about addiction previously but revisited the topic in the SmartLess podcast. The actor revealed how he dealt with overcoming intrusive thoughts. He felt people didn’t want to know “him for him”, in turn using cocaine to feel “interesting”.

Cooper told his Hollywood podcast hosts he went into a downward spiral after he was let go from the show Alias; partly due to substance abuse issues.

The actor said: “I was so lost and I was addicted to cocaine – that was the other thing.” He added he “severed (his) Achilles tendon right after he got fired/quit Alias”, which left him with “zero self-esteem”.

Brad was 36 when he filmed The Hangover and plunged into fame. The star said he’s thankful he had dealt with all of his hardships away from the public eye. He elaborated: “I got to go through all those things before fame even played into my existence on a daily level.”

Cooper reveals how he took the path that ‘changed his life’

Arrested Development star Will Arnett had a conversation with Cooper about his own struggles with alcoholism in 2004. This helped get him on a “path of deciding to change my life”. 

Cooper and Arnett were neighbours and had gone out together one night. When Will asked him how he thought the night had gone, Cooper said it was great. He may have felt his humour was on top form but Arnett told him at the time: “You were a real a*****e.”

Cooper said that was his moment of realisation. “And that was, like, the first time I ever realised I had a problem with drugs and alcohol. And it was Will saying that to me, and I’ll just never forget it.”

Brad massively credits Will for helping him through his addiction. Arnett added he’s loved seeing the “difference” in him. He continued: “It has been awesome seeing you in this place and seeing you comfortable.”

Fatherhood is ‘the greatest thing’

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Cooper also said becoming a father to daughter Lea in 2017 changed everything. The doting dad said it was “just the absolute greatest thing.” Lea, who he co-parents with ex-partner Irina Shayk, made him feel as though “everything is brought out in glorious colours by the fact I get to be a father to a wonderful human being”.

Brad gushed over his daughter on the podcast. He even played a clip of Lea singing Who Let the Dogs Out, which features in the first Hangover movie. He even sent his co-stars Zach Galifianakis and Ed Helms the clip and wrote: “Hangover 4, let’s do it!”

Forget Hangover 4, Cooper has enough on his plate. The A-lister will next star in Thor: Love And Thunder, Guardians Of The Galaxy Vol 3, and Maestro.

If you’ve been affected by this story you can contact American Addiction Centers on (877) 686-7688 or Talk To Frank on 0300 123 6600 in the UK.

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Darcy is an experienced journalist passionate about celebrity culture and entertainment. After gaining a degree in Media and Communications at Goldsmiths University she has also become a social media specialist, always keeping informed on the latest trends. With almost five years of experience in media, her expertise is analysing platforms such as Instagram, Twitter and TikTok. When she's not tracking the latest trending content, she’s watching films and eating lots of chocolate.