Bradley Cooper got candid about his past struggles with addiction while appearing on Amazon Music and Wondery’s Smartless podcast, which is hosted by Jason Bateman, Will Arnett and Sean Hayes.
“I was so lost and I was addicted to cocaine,” said the 47-year-old actor and director, per PEOPLE. “I severed my Achilles tendon right after I got fired-slash-quit Alias and [struggled with] zero self-esteem.”
He continued, “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. 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.”
Arnett, 52, chimed in. “Having those realizations and having that change allowed you to— that’s what opened you up and allowed you to be you,” he told Cooper.
“It’s true,” said Cooper. “I definitely made major breakthroughs at 29 to 33, 34, where at least I was able to stand in front of somebody and breathe and listen and talk.”
Arnett, who Cooper credits as being “the reason” he started on the “path of deciding to change my life” after a talk back in July 2004, says that he has noticed a “difference” in his friend since those days.
“It has been awesome seeing you in this place and seeing you comfortable. Nothing has made me happier,” said an emotional Arnett. “It’s made me happy to see you so happy with who you are.”
Per PEOPLE, Cooper has long been open about his addiction battle. In December 2013, he told GQ, “If I continued it, I was really going to sabotage my whole life.”
Instead, Cooper says he ‘rediscovered himself’ through his sobriety, which he describes as “wonderful.”
If you or someone you know is struggling with substance abuse, please contact the SAMHSA helpline at 1-800-662-HELP.