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Bradley Cooper Opens Up About Past Drug, Alcohol Addictions

Image: Bradley Cooper Opens Up About Past Drug, Alcohol Addictions

By Ken Mandel   |  

While riding a wave of Oscar-worthy performances and accolades, Bradley Cooper hasn't forgotten his life's dark period.

In the January issue of GQ, the "American Hustle" star opened up about his struggles with drug and alcohol addiction that nearly cost him his life.

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"If I continued it," he told the magazine, "I was really going to sabotage my whole life."

The 38-year-old has already received a Golden Globe nomination for his work on "American Hustle," which also stars Jennifer Lawrence, Amy Adams, Christian Bale, and Jeremy Renner. Cooper has also starred in "Silver Linings Playbook" (with Lawrence) and "The Hangover" films.

He told GQ that he hit rock bottom during his time on the TV show "Alias," from 2001-03. At that time, he was working just three days a week, which was marginalized further during the second season.

"I was like, 'Ugh.' And then next thing you know, I was like, 'I want to f—ing kill myself,'" he said.

He asked show creator J.J. Abrams to write his character off the show.

"J.J. was like, 'OK,'" Cooper said. "He probably would've fired me, anyway."

But Cooper overcame his addictions and found happiness and success. He was cast in 2004's "Wedding Crashers" and hasn't looked back from the horrors that nearly sank him.

"The one thing that I've learned in life is the best thing I can do is embrace who I am and then do that to the fullest extent, and then whatever happens, happens," he said. "The more steps I do to not do that, the farther I am away from fulfilling any potential I would have."

Cooper was addicted to Vicodin, which he took after he tore his Achilles tendon while playing basketball.

He shares that drug of choice with actor Matthew Perry, who waged a similar battle in 1997, and entered a 28-day program. Perry recently got into a heated debate on addiction with British journalist and anti-drug campaigner Peter Hitchens on the show "Newsnight."

Robert Downey Jr. also had a well-documented drug problem before vaulting to the upper echelon in the "Iron Man" movies.

"American Hustle" opens Dec. 20 and has already received a 96 percent rating on Rotten Tomatoes.

Film critic Richard Roeper called it "The best time I've had at the movies all year."

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While riding a wave of Oscar-worthy performances and accolades, Bradley Cooper hasn't forgotten his life's dark period in which he struggled with drug and alcohol addictions.
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