Bradley Cooper Says He’s Not Sure He’d Be Alive Without His Daughter

Bradley Cooper Says He’s Not Sure He’d Be Alive Without His Daughter

preview for Maestro trailer

BRADLEY COOPER IS opening up about his experience of fatherhood. The actor and director, who is nominated for an Oscar for his work in the Leonard Bernstein biopic Maestro, sat down with comedian Dax Shepard on the Armchair Expert podcast this week and revealed that he struggled to find his parental instincts at first—but that now, he believes his daughter Lea changed the entire trajectory of his life for the better.

Cooper admitted that when Lea (whom he shares with his ex Irina Shayk) was first born, he felt self-conscious that he didn’t feel more immediately connected to her.

“The first eight months — I don’t even know if I really love the kid,” he said. “It’s dope. It’s cool. I’m watching this thing morph… That’s my experience. Fascinated by it. Loved taking care of it. But would I die if someone came in with a gun?”

He added: “And then all of a sudden, it’s like no question.”

Almost seven years later, Cooper cannot imagine his life without Lea, and describes being her father as an “anchor” that came along at a time when he felt out of control. Having previously been very frank about his mental health and addiction issues, he stated that he can imagine a version of events where he might not even be around any more if he hadn’t become a father.

“I’m not sure I’d be alive if I wasn’t a dad… I don’t know, man,” he said. “I just needed someone to say, like, ‘We’re gonna drop this massive anchor.’ I’m like, ‘Why? We’re speeding! I just got an upgrade on the boat, and I know where the wind’s coming in.’ They’re like, ‘No, no, no, there’s a tsunami coming in, and you need an anchor and we’re gonna drop it.’ Because this is gonna dictate everything you do from now on. Your DNA is going to tell you that there’s something more important than you.”

bradley cooper

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“I’ve clocked that she’s going to be 7 in March,” he continued. “You know my relationship with my dad, [I didn’t ] spend a lot of time with him. I think I’ve already logged more hours with my daughter than I did with my dad his entire life. So that alone is bonkers.”

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Philip Ellis

Philip Ellis is News Editor at Men’s Health, covering fitness, pop culture, sex and relationships, and LGBTQ+ issues. His work has appeared in GQ, Teen Vogue, Man Repeller and MTV, and he is the author of Love & Other Scams.

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