Bradley Cooper Recalls Being ‘Addicted to Cocaine’ and Feeling ‘Totally Depressed’ in His Late 20s

Bradley Cooper is reminiscing about his earlier battles with mental illness and addiction, and how he overcame them.

On Monday, the Nightmare Alley star joined Will Arnett, Jason Bateman, and Sean Hayes for an edition of their podcast, Smartless, in which he discussed the incidents early in his career when he understood just how “lost” he genuinely was.

Cooper described a time when he was 29 and Arnett, a longtime friend, had a difficult chat with him about his behavior and his scathing sense of humor, which Cooper hadn’t realized he’d started going too far.

“I didn’t think I was harming anybody, because how could I if I was worthless?” the actor remarked, noting that he had “zero self-esteem” at the time and that he thought his nasty jokes and stinging sarcasm were harmless.

Cooper revealed, “I was so confused… and I was hooked to cocaine, you know, that was the other problem,” adding that he “severed my Achilles tendon” shortly after leaving Alias in 2003, adding to his inner suffering.

Cooper felt like he was “back in high school” when he moved to Los Angeles to film Alias.

“No girls wanted to look at me, and I couldn’t get into any clubs. I was depressed to the point of being unable to function “Cooper participated in the conversation. “It wasn’t until The Hangover, which I did at the age of 36.”

“So I got to go through all those things before fame even entered into my existence on a daily basis,” he explained, explaining that his biggest personal problems were driven by emotional concerns rather than recognition.

“So, before any of that, everything happened.”

Finally, Cooper praises Arnett for that one pivotal talk, which he believes provided him with his first moments of self-awareness and prompted him to reconsider his actions.

“I definitely had huge breakthroughs between the ages of 29 and 33, 34, where at least I was able to stand in front of someone and breathe, listen, and talk,” Cooper said.

“It’s been wonderful to see you here and to see you at ease. I’ve never been happier in my life “Arnett expressed his feelings to Cooper in an emotional exchange. “Seeing you so content with yourself makes me happy.”

Cooper’s 5-year-old daughter Lea, whom he has with ex-girlfriend Irina Shayk, has also aided his self-improvement efforts.

“The fact that I get to be a father to a lovely human being shades or brings out in glorious colour everything,” Cooper exclaimed.

“It’s simply incredible.”


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Later, the actor revealed that he is now filming in New York with his daughter. He has the clarity of mind to recognise when to seek aid from others because he is sober and psychologically healthy.

“Another thing about being sober and humble is that I recognise I can’t make this movie and look after Lea without support,” he explained. “So, someone is arriving tonight, just minutes away, who will stay in New York and assist with the filming until the conclusion. Which I would never have done if I hadn’t been forced to.”

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