Bradley Cooper struggled with drug and alcohol addiction before finding fame

"I was so lost"

Bradley Cooper has spoken out about his past struggles with drug and alcohol addiction.

While featuring on the Smartless podcast – hosted by Jason Bateman, Sean Hayes, and Will Arnett – Cooper opened up about the difficult time in his life, before finding fame in 2009’s The Hangover.

The actor recalled a time in 2004, where Arnett stopped by his home late in the afternoon and noticed that Cooper hadn’t yet let his dogs outside to relieve themselves. “That was the first time I ever realised I had a problem with drugs and alcohol.

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“It was Will saying that to me, I’ll never forget it… It changed my entire life.”

Cooper went on to say that he had “zero self-esteem” at the time. “I was so lost. And I was addicted to cocaine, that was the other thing… I severed my Achilles tendon right after I got fired-slash-quit Alias,” he said.

Bradley Cooper
Bradley Cooper (Credit: Getty)

Now, however, Cooper is grateful that he endured a dark period before finding fame.

“I did have the benefit of that happening when I was 29,” Cooper explained. “I thought I made it when I got a Wendy’s commercial, and I called my dad saying I’m in a hotel that has a window that opens. In terms of the made-it thing, that’s when I made it. But moving to Los Angeles for Alias, [I was] feeling like I was back in high school: I could not get into any clubs, no girls wanted to look at me. I was totally depressed.”

He continued: “It wasn’t really until The Hangover [that things started to change]. I was 36 when I did The Hangover, so I got to go through all those things before fame even played into my existence on a daily level. So all that happened before any of that.”

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Agreeing with Cooper, Arnett added: “You went through this metamorphosis before The Hangover. Having those realisations and having that change allowed you to – that’s what opened you up and allowed you to be you.”

Cooper then credited Arnett for helping him change his life, saying: “I definitely made major breakthroughs 29 to 32, 33, 34 where I was at least able to stand in front of someone and breathe and listen and talk. Will is the reason, he took that risk of having that hard conversation with me in July of 2004, that put me on a path of deciding to change my life.”

Earlier this year, Cooper revealed that he almost gave up acting before director Paul Thomas Anderson asked him to star in Licorice Pizza.

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