Bradley Cooper Opens up About His Past Drug and Alcohol Addiction

Cooper says he was "very lucky" to get sober at 29.

Bradley Cooper has been sober for nearly a decade, and recently opened up about his past drug and alcohol addiction. Variety reports that Cooper was a guest on a Season 2 episode of National Geographic's Running Wild With Bear Grylls. During their Wyoming adventure, Cooper shared with the British adventurer about some of his past work and how he was lucky to have gotten sober in his younger years.

"The Hangover was pretty career-changing," Cooper said, speaking about the 2009 comedy from director Todd Phillips. "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." Grylls responded, "But you definitely had some wild years," to which Cooper replied, "In terms of alcohol and drugs, yeah. But that had nothing to do with fame, though."

"I was lucky," Cooper went on to say. "I got sober at 29 years old, and I've been sober for 19 years. I've been very lucky." The actor also explained that his history with substance abuse was helpful with his role as fictional country-rock singer Jackson Maine in A Star Is Born (2018), which Cooper also directed. "It made it easier to be able to really enter in there," he said of the film. "And thank goodness I was at a place in my life where I was at ease with all of that, so I could really let myself go."

Next up for Cooper is Maestro, a biographical movie about the life of late composer Leonard Bernstein. In addition to directing, producing, and co-writing the film, Cooper stars as the late musical legend. Previously, Cooper spoke with The Hollywood Reporter about working on the film, and shared how Berstein's family had been very helpful and supportive. "I just did all this research about this incredible family, the Bernsteins, and Felicia Montealegre, [Leonard's] wife. Their relationship – fascinating – and the kids. They're so articulate about their feelings," he said in 2022. 

Cooper continued, "There's the movie; a movie about marriage, a movie about family. That's it. Why is it nuclear? Because it's this f—ing music. Music is nuclear. I had a secret weapon in A Star Is Born. It was Lady Gaga. The secret weapon I have in this movie is f—ing Leonard Bernstein and Gustav Mahler. The music!" Maestro is scheduled to premiere at the 80th Venice International Film Festival, where it will compete for the Golden Lion on September 2. It is set for limited theatrical release on November 22, before streaming on Netflix on December 20.