In a podcast with Will Arnett, Cooper credited the actor with putting him "on a path of deciding to change my life."
Bradley Cooper opened up about struggling with substance abuse earlier in his career, during a new podcast with longtime friends Jason Bateman, Sean Hayes and Will Arnett — the latter of whom he credited with helping him when he needed it most.
Appearing on the Smartless podcast this week, Cooper and Arnett talked about the actor’s battle In the early 2000s, when the “A Star Is Born” star would have been in his late 20s. “I loved you and I wanted you to be okay and I knew you weren’t feeling great about stuff,” recalled Arnett.
“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,'” said Cooper, who added he had “zero self-esteem” at the time.
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Looking back, Cooper believed it was a positive he went through all this when he was 29, before he had really struck it big in Hollywood.
“I did have the benefit of that happening when I was 29. 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. Totally depressed,” he continued. “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 said that he had “major breakthroughs” in his life at 29, 33 and 34 years of age — working on his self-esteem and getting to a place where he “was able to stand in front of somebody and breathe and listen and talk.”
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Arnett called the change in Cooper a “metamorphosis,” something Cooper actually credited to his longtime friend.
“Will is the reason, he took that risk of having that hard conversation with me in July 2004 that put me on a path of deciding to change my life. Will Arnett, he is the reason,” said Cooper. “It helped that it was the guy that I thought I was emulating. The king told me. That was the thing that was so crazy. The king came down to tell you what you’re doing is not what you should be doing.”
Cooper previously revealed he got sober in August 2004, but didn’t disclose what specific substances he struggled with in the past.
Arnett noted that the two have been hanging out together recently more than they had in years and said of Cooper that “it has been awesome seeing you in this place and seeing you comfortable.” He added, “Nothing has made me happier. Now I’m gonna cry. It’s made me happy to see you so happy with who you are.”
Speaking with GQ back in 2014, Cooper said that had he continued drinking and using drugs, he “was really going to sabotage my whole life.” While it took him some time for that huge break to come with “The Hangover” in 2009, he was thrilled to just have work.
“I was doing these movies, and I got to meet Sandra Bullock and meet these people and work with them. 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 f— is that about?'” he said at the time. “I was rediscovering myself in this workplace, and it was wonderful.”
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