Bradley Cooper Opens Up About Sobriety

By Shawn Dwyer 12/17/13

In an interview with GQ, the ‘Hangover’ actor talked about his quiet struggle with drugs and alcohol, and how getting sober led to a career rebirth.

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Unbeknownst to most of his fans, there was a point in Bradley Cooper’s life where he had hit rock bottom.

It was during his stint on the popular spy series, Alias, on which he played enterprising reporter Will Tippin that Cooper began feeling that his substance abuse was affecting his work. He was given less and less screen time, and eventually the actor asked series creator and executive producer J.J. Abrams to write him off the show. Abrams agreed, though “he probably would've fired me, anyway,” Cooper said. At that point, the 29-year-old actor sank even further following an Achilles injury that led to spending his days lounging around downing Vicodin and watching television. He even considered leaving acting altogether. "If I continued [using], I was really going to sabotage my whole life," he said.

But a year or two before marrying Jennifer Esposito – a union that lasted a scant four months – Cooper managed to get himself sober and suddenly found his life and career reborn. “I was doing these movies, and I got to meet Sandra Bullock and meet these people and work with them,” he told GQ. “And I’m sober, and I’m like, ‘Oh, I’m actually myself. And I don’t have to put on this air to be somebody else, and this person still wants to work with me? Oh, what the fuck is that about?’"

Cooper began landing roles with more frequency until finally breaking through, ironically, with the hit comedy The Hangover (2009). "The one thing that I've learned in life is the best thing I can do is embrace who I am and then do that to the fullest extent, and then whatever happens, happens,” he said.

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Shawn Dwyer is a writer, editor and content producer living in Los Angeles. You can find him on Linkedin.