Bradley Cooper has been sober 19 years and feels lucky to be alive

Bradley Cooper went adventuring with Bear Grylls for a new episode of National Geographic’s Running Wild With Bear Grylls: The Challenge. He probably signed up to do this thinking it would tie in with Maestro promotion, which is premiering at the Venice Film Festival that begins August 30. Bradley has already confirmed he won’t be going to Venice, in solidarity with the SAG-AFTRA strike. He could have made a case for showing up as a director—the DGA is not on strike—but I think he’s doing the right thing. So in the end he scaled Wyoming cliffsides and dined on bear tongue (the animal, not the host) just for kicks! During the episode, Bradley opened up about his history with addiction and celebrating 19 years of sobriety:

“‘The Hangover’ was pretty career changing,” he told Grylls. “I was 36 when that happened so I was already in the game for 10 years just banging around, so I didn’t get lost in fame. In terms of alcohol and drugs, yeah, but nothing to do with fame, though.”

The 48-year-old was “very lucky” to have accepted sobriety at 29 before the overwhelming fame took hold. Cooper, who shares a six-year-old daughter with Irina Shayk, was nearly knocked off-course when his father died of cancer in 2011.

“I definitely had a nihilistic attitude towards life after, just like I thought ‘I’m going to die,’” Cooper told Grylls. “I don’t know, it wasn’t great for a little bit until I thought I have to embrace who I actually am and try to find a peace with that, and then it sort of evened out.”

Cooper previously admitted he almost quit acting while starring opposite Jennifer Garner in “Alias.” He told GQ in 2013 he begged showrunner J.J. Abrams to write him off before realizing substance abuse was going to “sabotage [his] whole life” if he didn’t get sober.

He famously confronted those demons for the whole world to see after co-writing, directing and starring in “A Star is Born” (2018) to critically-acclaimed results. Grylls reminded him about that between snow-blanketed tasks in the canyons of the Wyoming Basin.

“That made it easier to be able to really enter in there,” he told Grylls. “And thank goodness I was at a place in my life where I was at ease with all that, so I could really let myself go. I’ve been really lucky, Bear, with the roles I’ve had to play. I mean I really have.”

“It’s been a real blessing,” he continued. “I hope I get to keep
doing it.”

[From HuffPost]

Serious congratulations to him, because 19 years of sobriety is no joke, especially when that includes losing a parent. To me he sounds genuinely grateful when he talks about how lucky he’s been in his career. And I’m sure he’s getting the last laugh over the fact that his big break was with a film called The Hangover. But of course, this does mean we have to eliminate one possible explanation for his Leonard Bernstein prosthetic nose. The nose was a sober decision. So I have to echo the question Kaiser raised in yesterday’s podcast: why did no one stop him along the way?? Where was the art department at these meetings??

Now if I may, please permit me to go off on a family tangent: when my mother was growing up she had to deal multiple times with people expecting her to be a boy, because her name is Jamie. Finally my mother had enough of it and asked her parents why they gave her a boy’s name. They responded “Leonard Bernstein’s daughter is named Jamie.” To which her seven-year-old response was “Who the f— is Leonard Bernstein?!” Ok, she didn’t swear, but she did feel it that deeply! If he had thought to contact us, my mother would have given Bradley Cooper an excellent deal on licensing Who the F— is Leonard Bernstein?! for the title of his biopic. His loss.

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8 Responses to “Bradley Cooper has been sober 19 years and feels lucky to be alive”

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  1. Kirsten says:

    Congratulations to him on 19 years — that’s a huge achievement.

    I don’t think the nose is that big of a deal. The family has said it’s totally fine, and plenty of actors use prosthetics to look like others — Lily James did in Pam & Tommy, Nicole Kidman did as Virginia Woolf… they’re not doing it as an insult; it’s just to look more like a real person. It’s the same as using wigs, contacts, faux-baby bumps, fake wrinkles…

    • Normades says:

      Except it doesn’t. Leonard B was actually a pretty good looking guy and the nose makes Bradly look like Pinocchio. But I’m actually more upset by the miscasting of Carey Muligan.

      • CJT says:

        The Anti-Defamation League just came out in a statement, I believe yesterday, saying the nose is not antisemitic. If it’s good enough for them, then I suppose it’s good enough for me?

    • CJT says:

      I agree and as of yesterday, so does The Anti-Defamation League. Enough already with the nose.

  2. Chantal says:

    Many congrats to him! 19 years sobriety is incredible and incredibly difficult to maintain, esp in that industry and with his level of fame.

    “he… dined on bear tongue (the animal, not the host) 😂😂😂😂

    • bananapanda says:

      So. I’m a little dubious of the 19 yrs timeline unless he’s talking alcohol.

      Bradley was on Smartless and Will Arnett talked about a mini-intervention he had with BC over cocaine (basically BC came over for a dinner party, was a coked up douchebag and next day WA confronted him about how not-charming he was). It sounded like it was ~10 yrs ago. I could be wrong. Either way sobriety is good!

  3. SarahCS says:

    Antisemitic or not, the nose makes him look less like the person he is portraying. Simply at that level I don’t understand the choice.

  4. Flamingo says:

    Off Topic but I would just like to say how much I enjoy the new writers. I think they have some refreshing new topics daily. Giving different perspectives on various Celebrities and really enjoyable to read. Love the established writers too. CB has created an amazing team.