Bradley Cooper says he was "totally depressed" during cocaine addiction

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Photo credit: Kevin Winter - Getty Images
Photo credit: Kevin Winter - Getty Images

Bradley Cooper – best known for his starring roles in A Star Is Born, Silver Linings Playbook and The Hangover – has opened up about battling a cocaine addiction, admitting that he was "totally depressed" during that time of his life.

Speaking on the Smartless podcast, Cooper revealed he had felt "so lost" during the early noughties but that he hadn't realised he was on a path to self-destruction until his friend, Will Arnett (who is married to Mean Girls star Amy Poehler), called him out.

"I was addicted to cocaine," Cooper recalled, explaining that his addiction stemmed from being "fired-slash-quit" from Alias – a popular TV series he was acting in at the time – and an injury that saw him sever his Achilles tendon. As a result, Bradley says he had "zero self-esteem" and resorted to using "mean humour" as a way to deflect from his own insecurities. Although, he was unaware this had started "really hurting people's feelings."

Looking back at what lead him to change, Cooper says Arnett confronted him after a party in July 2004 – Cooper thought he had been "so funny" with the other party guests, but later found out he had been a "real asshole" the whole night. "That was the first time I ever realized I had a problem with drugs and alcohol⁠," the 47-year-old admitted. "I'll just never forget it."

Photo credit: Stephen Shugerman - Getty Images
Photo credit: Stephen Shugerman - Getty Images

In fact, Cooper says his friend Arnett is "the reason" he went sober, adding: "He took that risk of having a hard conversation with me that put me on a path of deciding to change my life."

After deciding to go sober, the actor said he made "major breakthroughs at 29 to 33" which helped him excel in both in his career and his personal life. Also appearing on the podcast with him, Arnett described Cooper's sobriety journey as a "metamorphosis" that has been "awesome" to witness.

Since going sober, Cooper welcomed a daughter with his ex-partner, Irina Shayk – something which he also attributes to his newfound self-discovery. "Every single thing is absolutely shaded or brought out in glorious colours by the fact that I get to be a father to a wonderful human being," he said. "It's just the absolute greatest thing."

For help and support with drug addiction, visit Addiction at addiction.org.uk or the NHS' drug addiction support page.


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