Bradley Cooper revealed he once felt his struggle with drug and alcohol use would cost him his life.
“The Hangover” star, 48, had an open and honest conversation about the lowest points in his life in a recent episode of the hit National Geographic series “Running Wild With Bear Grylls: The Challenge.”
“You definitely had some wild years?” famed survivalist Grylls, 49, asked the actor in the rugged canyons of the Wyoming Basin.
“In terms of alcohol and drugs, yeah, but nothing to do with fame,” Cooper said. “But I was lucky. I got sober at 29 years old, and I’ve been sober for 19 years. Very lucky.”
Cooper has spoken about his alcohol and cocaine addiction in the past, explaining that he sought comfort in substances after he severed his Achilles tendon and “got fired/quit” the action-thriller series “Alias” in 2003.
The troubled star credits his then-roommate and fellow actor Will Arnett for sitting him down in 2004 and having a stern talk with him that started Cooper down on a path to recovery.
Bear Grylls and Bradley Cooper pose for a portrait during their journey through the Pathfinder Canyon area in Wyoming in an episode of “Running Wild With Bear Grylls: The Challenge.” National Geographic for Disney/Jeff Ellingson
Cooper pictured out and about on June 6 in New York City. GC ImagesYet Cooper admitted to Grylls that he almost fell off the wagon again in January 2011 after his father died in his arms of lung cancer.
“I definitely had a nihilistic attitude towards life after, just like I thought ‘I’m going to die,’” Cooper recalled.
“I don’t know, it wasn’t great for a little bit until I thought I have to embrace who I actually am and try to find a peace with that, and then it sort of evened out.”
Cooper was addicted to alcohol and cocaine in the early 2000s. National Geographic for Disney/Jeff EllingsonThankfully, the actor weathered the storm and went on to channel his experiences into directing and appearing opposite Lady Gaga in “A Star Is Born,” in which he played addict Jackson Maine.
“It made it easier to be able to really enter in there,” Cooper told Grylls about his Oscar-nominated performance in the 2018 film. “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,” he added.
Grylls and Cooper chat atop the snowy mountain at the end of their journey.National Geographic for Disney/Jeff Ellingson
Next up for Cooper is the already controversial Netflix film “Maestro” — a Leonard Bernstein biopic that features Cooper wearing a large prosthetic nose.
Social media users made the actor the center of a “Jewface” debate, while Bernstein’s three kids defended him, adding that their composer/conductor father, who died in 1990, “would have been fine with it as well.”