Bradley Cooper, 48, reflects on 20-year-long sobriety and dealing with fame

Bradley Cooper revealed he thought he was ‘lucky’ to have remained sober for the last 20 years, following a string of addictions in the past. 

The 48-year-old actor appeared on a recent episode of Running Wild With Bear Grylls: The Challenge and discussed his health with the British adventurer, 49.

Exploring the Wyoming canyons, the unlikely duo chatted about the star’s industry and how he had been affected by his astronomical fame across the decades. 

Bradley admitted he never felt he had got ‘lost in fame’ however the explorer probed for more, challenging the A Star Is Born actor: ‘But you definitely had some wild years?’

He answered honestly and shared: ‘In terms of alcohol and drugs, yeah, but nothing to do with fame though. 

‘But I was lucky. I got sober at 29 years old and I’ve been sober for 19 years. Very lucky.’

Despite his sobriety, in 2018 he portrayed a struggling addict in the remake of the classic 1937 film alongside Lady Gaga. 

Commenting on his ability to play the part, he explained: ‘It made it easier to be able to really enter in there.

‘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. 

‘I’ve been very lucky with the roles I’ve had to play. It’s been a real blessing. I hope I get to keep doing it.’ 

The episode offered more heartfelt moments as the A-lister shared private, intimate thoughts with Bear, reflecting on the death of his father following a battle with lung cancer in 2011.

He said: ‘He gave me a huge gift. He died in my arms. To see that kind of factual example of mortality… 

‘I definitely had a nihilistic attitude towards life after. Just like, “Oh, I’m gonna die,” you know?’ 

Bradley continued telling the adventurer about the difficult time in his life while they took in the scenery unfolding around them and shared: ‘I don’t know…it was not great for a little bit until I realised I just had to embrace who I actually am. 

‘And try to find peace with that. And then it sort of evened out.’ 

Bear Grylls: The Challenge is available to stream via National Geographic on Disney+.

Need help?

The NHS recommends Drinkline, the national alcohol helpline. If you’re worried about your own or someone else’s drinking, there is a free helpline you can call in complete confidence. Call 0300 123 1110 (weekdays 9am to 8pm, weekends 11am to 4pm).

Or you can use Alcoholics Anonymous (AA), a free self-help group with a 12-step programme.

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