Bradley Cooper Said It Took Will Arnett Calling Him An "A-Hole" To Give Him The Wake-Up Call He Needed To Change His Act

  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
·3 min read
In this article:
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.

During a recent appearance on the Smartless podcast, Bradley Cooper opened up about getting started in Hollywood and the drug addiction he dealt with early in his career.

  Theo Wargo / WireImage / Getty Images
Theo Wargo / WireImage / Getty Images

Bradley sat down with hosts Jason Bateman, Will Arnett, and Sean Hayes and explained how he benefited from going through this addiction before his career truly took off.

Bradley recalled a time where he used mean humor to cover up his lack of self-esteem and his desire to fit in. After having dinner in 2004 with Will and another friend, Will called out Bradley for being an "asshole." That moment changed everything for Bradley.

  Alberto E. Rodriguez / Getty Images
Alberto E. Rodriguez / Getty Images

"And that was, like, the first time I ever realized I had a problem with drugs and alcohol," Bradley said. "And it was Will saying that to me, and I’ll just never forget it."

  Dimitrios Kambouris / WireImage / Getty Images
Dimitrios Kambouris / WireImage / Getty Images

“I was so lost and I was addicted to cocaine — that was the other thing,” Bradley said about his 20s while trying to make a name for himself in Hollywood. “I severed my Achilles tendon right after I got fired-slash-quit Alias” and had “zero self-esteem.”

  Kevin Foley /Disney General Entertainment Content via Getty Images
Kevin Foley /Disney General Entertainment Content via Getty Images

The Nightmare Alley star went on to admit that he had the "benefit" of this happening when he was 29. The now-47-year-old actor felt like he was "back in high school" when he joined Alias. "I could not get into any clubs, no girls wanted to really look at me. I was totally depressed."

  Mitchell Haaseth / Disney General Entertainment Content via Getty Images
Mitchell Haaseth / Disney General Entertainment Content via Getty Images

"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.”

  Ethan Miller / Getty Images
Ethan Miller / Getty Images

Bradley said he made "a major breakthrough" at age 29 to 33/34. He finally felt like he was able to feel more comfortable in his own skin, "stand in front of somebody, and breathe, and listen and talk."

  Dia Dipasupil / WireImage / Getty Images
Dia Dipasupil / WireImage / Getty Images

He credits Will for giving him the wake-up call he needed: "But Will is the reason — he took that risk of having that hard conversation with me, in like July of 2004, that put me on a path of deciding to change my life."

  Ethan Miller / Getty Images for CinemaCon
Ethan Miller / Getty Images for CinemaCon

As for his self-esteem, Bradley admitted learning to like himself is a "lifelong exploration." It wasn't until a year and a half ago that he decided that while he "loves so much of [his] life," he still felt "so lost." So he started seeing a new therapist who helped him work through those feelings.

  Jeff Kravitz / FilmMagic / Getty Images
Jeff Kravitz / FilmMagic / Getty Images

"Today, I can sit in front of you and say I actually do have self-esteem not related to any outside thing. I didn't have that for 46 years. It's taken me quite a long time to do that."

  Jacopo Raule / FilmMagic / Getty Images
Jacopo Raule / FilmMagic / Getty Images

To learn more about Bradley, be sure to check out his full Smartless podcast interview.