Bradley Cooper Recalls Being 'Totally Depressed' and 'Addicted to Cocaine'

Bradley Cooper made some rare comments on his history with addiction this week in a new episode of the Smartless podcast. Cooper is now 47 years old and is acclaimed both in front of the camera and behind it. It's easy to forget that he once suffered from serious addiction and alcoholism and that he is now clean and sober.

Cooper spoke to co-hosts Jason Bateman, Will Arnett and Sean Hayes about his career in Monday's episode of Smartless and he did not hold back. He bluntly discussed his time on Alias from 2001 to 2003 – and his unceremonious departure from the show. He recalled: "I was so lost and I was addicted to cocaine – that was the other thing. I severed my Achilles tendon right after I got fired-slash-quit Alias and struggled with zero self-esteem."

Cooper struggled with addiction throughout his 20s during the early days of his career. Ultimately, he now looks back on leaving Alias as a positive experience in his life. He said: "I did have the benefit of that happening when I was 29."

Cooper explained that part of the vicious cycle in his own thoughts came from trouble reconciling what success should look like. He said: "I thought I made it when I got a Wendy's commercial. In terms of the 'made it' thing, that's when I made it. But I definitely did not feel, moving to Los Angeles for Alias feeling like I was back in high school. I could not get into any clubs, no girls wanted to look at me. I was totally depressed."

"It wasn't really until The Hangover. I was 36 when I did The Hangover, so I got to go through all those things before fame even played into my existence on a daily level. So all that happened before any of that," he recalled. Even then, Cooper described his recovery from addiction in small, imperceptible steps that left him frustrated with his progress at times. However, Arnett remembered it differently.

"It has been awesome seeing you in this place and seeing you comfortable. Nothing has made me happier," Arnett said. "It's made me happy to see you so happy with who you are."

Cooper has been sober since 2004, and he speaks about it publicly from time to time. He has several major projects coming up including another musical biopic Maestro and more MCU films as Rocket Raccoon. He is also involved in the adaptation of Dan Simmons' Hyperion Cantos, but it is not clear how active that project still is today.