Bradley Cooper Opens Up About Past Challenges With Addiction

Bradley Cooper Vanity Fair - P 2014

Bradley Cooper Vanity Fair - P 2014

"The bottom line is that all I got is me"

Bradley Cooper covers the new issue of Vanity Fair, and in the interview he talks about his past struggles with addiction and the loss of his father. The actor said these challenges helped him prepare for the role of Navy SEAL sniper Chris Kyle in American Sniper.

"Losing someone close to me, going through love and loss ... knowing what's important," said Cooper, explaining what helped him prepare. "Realizing that the bottom line is that all I got is me, so it's about time to stop trying to be something that I think you would want me to be. Or that would give me what I think I need. As you get older, thank God, your body deteriorates, but your soul sort of flourishes."

Cooper has been sober since August 2004 and said this was why he decided not to use any stimulants to undergo his physical transformation for the role of Kyle. "I did it naturally because I've been sober for 10 years and didn't want to do anything," he told interviewer Buzz Bissinger. "I had a realistic conversation. Can I do this in three months naturally? Can I gain 30 pounds of f—king muscle? I didn't know if I would be able to do it or not. Thank God — luckily— my f—king body reacted fast."

The issue hits newsstands on Dec. 9. Watch the behind-the-scenes video of Cooper's shoot — including an elephant — below.