Bradley Cooper Gets Candid About Nearly 20 Years of Sobriety: “I’ve Been Very Lucky”
Bradley Cooper is opening up about being sober. While filming an episode of “Running Wild With Bear Grylls: The Challenge,” the actor gave some insight into nearly two decades of sobriety, saying he was “lucky” to quit drugs and alcohol when he did. After Grylls asked about any “wild years” earlier in his career, Cooper mentioned that his sobriety kept him grounded when “The Hangover” started to take off. “I was 36 when that happened, so I was already in the game for 10 years just banging around,” he said. “I didn’t get lost in fame. In terms of alcohol and drugs, yeah, but nothing to do with fame.”
Cooper also credited sobriety with helping him navigate this newfound fame. “I was lucky. I got sober at 29 years old, and I’ve been sober for 19 years. I’ve been very lucky,” he said. His personal experience continued to prove helpful later on, while playing the troubled Jackson Maine in “A Star Is Born” (for which he earned three Oscar nominations). “It made it easier to be able to really enter in there,” Cooper said, referencing his own past addiction. “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.”
Cooper previously thanked Will Arnett for helping him get sober in his 20s. Following a dinner party at the time, Arnett pointed out that Cooper’s attempted jokes were out of line, giving him a much needed wake-up call. “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,” Cooper said on a June 2022 episode of Arnett’s “SmartLess” podcast.
Now, almost 20 years later, he’s grateful for all the opportunities to come his way. “I’ve been very lucky with the roles I’ve had to play,” he told Grylls. “It’s been a real blessing. I hope I get to keep doing it.”