Bradley Cooper is riding high at the top of the Hollywood A-list these days, but reveals he struggled with alcoholism, drug abuse, and depression during his twenties.
Cooper, 38, has been sober since the age of 29, but said getting to sobriety was a long, tough haul. He turned himself around after realizing he could ruin his career and his personal life if he continued down that road.
"If I continued [drinking and drugs], I was really going to sabotage my whole life," Bradley told GQ Dec. 17.
Cooper said his frustration over his stalled career during his twenties is what led him to abuse alcohol and drugs. A turning point came when his character Will Tippin on the TV series "Alias" got cut back after the show's 2001 premiere.
"I was like, 'Ugh!'" Bradley recalled. "And then next thing you know, I was like, 'I want to f---ing kill myself.'"
Cooper slowly started to make the move away from booze and drugs after realizing he liked how clear-headed he felt when he was sober. Not surprisingly, his career took off after that.
"I was doing these movies, and I got to meet Sandra Bullock and meet these people and work with them," he said. "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? I was rediscovering myself in this workplace, and it was wonderful."
In 2013, Cooper was nominated for an Oscar for "Silver Linings Playbook." Cooper was recently nominated for a 2014 Golden Globe for "American Hustle."
Another major turning point for Cooper occurred after the 2011 death of his dad, Bill, who died after battling lung cancer for years.
"Watching him die, all of a sudden I was like, 'Oh right, I'm going to die too,' " Bradley told Details. "Here it is. It's not in a movie. It's not in a story that was told to me. It's not driving by an accident or watching it on TV. It's someone you love dying in front of you. I was like, 'Okay. This is death. And this is going to happen to me one day.' "
Cooper said the experience made him realize how useless it was to obsess over inconsequential things. "Now I just don't sweat the sh*t, the small stuff," said Cooper. "My mind is just less busy now."