American actor Bradley Cooper has revealed he was “so lost” while struggling with drug and alcohol addiction in the early noughties, before making “major breakthroughs” and becoming a father.
The Hangover actor welcomed daughter Lea in 2017 with his ex-partner Irina Shayk.
Speaking on the Smartless podcast, Cooper, 47, said: “I was so lost and I was addicted to cocaine, that was the other thing.”
Cooper told podcast hosts Jason Bateman, Sean Hayes and Will Arnett about turning to alcohol and drugs after he severed his achilles tendon and “got fired slash quit” from American action series Alias.
Cooper explained that Arnett, 52, who was then married to Cooper’s friend and Wet Hot American Summer co-star Amy Poehler, helped him realise he was suffering from addiction issues after the pair attended a party together.
Arrested Development actor Arnett was unimpressed by Cooper’s attempts at “mean humour” and said he was acting like a “real asshole” during the evening.
Cooper added: “That was the first time I realised I had a problem with drugs and alcohol and it was Will saying that to me, and I’ll just never forget it”.
However, the star acknowledged that while he was “totally depressed”, he is thankful he experienced the issues while he was young and before the peak of his fame.
“I will say this: I did have the benefit of that happening when I was 29,” he said.
“So at 29, it wasn’t really until [The] Hangover – I was 36 when I did The Hangover – so I got to go through all of those things before fame even played into my existence on a daily level.”
Cooper starred as Phil in the award-winning comedy The Hangover, which was released in 2009. He also starred in the two sequels.
Speaking about the time he spent overcoming his addiction issues and developing his career, Cooper said: “Still working on self-esteem up until a year ago, still do, but I definitely made major breakthroughs from 29 to 34, where at least I was able to stand in front of somebody and breath and listen and talk.”
The A Star is Born actor also cited the birth of his daughter as a pivotal moment in his life, saying: “Fatherhood is, I mean everything changed… everything is brought out in glorious colours by the fact that I get to be a father to a wonderful human being.
“It’s just the absolute greatest thing.”
Cooper shares custody of daughter Lea with Shayk, who he split from in 2019.
While speaking on the podcast, Cooper played an audio clip of his daughter singing Baha Men’s Who Let the Dogs Out, which features in the first Hangover movie, and revealed he subsequently texted his co-stars Zach Galifianakis and Ed Helms: “Hangover 4, let’s do it!”