Bradley Cooper says he hit a low point while filming Alias more than a decade ago.
The actor — who would go on to become an A-lister thanks to his breakout role in 2009’s The Hangover — says he became frustrated and disillusioned while working as a struggling actor on Alias when his role on the J.J. Abrams TV series was reduced.
“I would only work three days a week,” the American Hustle star says in the January issue of GQ. “And then for the second season, I got even more sidelined. I was like, ‘Ugh.’ And then next thing you know, I was like, ‘I want to f—ing kill myself.’ ”
Despite having no other job lined up, he asked to be written off the show, against the advice of his friends and handlers.
“J.J. was like, ‘OK,’ ” Cooper says. “He probably would’ve fired me, anyway.”
He even thought about quitting acting entirely: “At some point, you have to come to terms with ‘The business just doesn’t want you,’ you know what I mean?”
It also didn’t help that Cooper was struggling with drug and alcohol use, an issue that he’s opened up about previously.
“If I continued it, I was really going to sabotage my whole life,” he tells GQ, adding: “I think work was getting f—ed up. … 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. The more steps I do to not do that, the farther I am away from fulfilling any potential I would have.”
After he got sober, he began taking roles in TV series like Nip/Tuck and Kitchen Confidential and appeared in Wedding Crashers — he describes his character as “a f—ing tyrant” — and in All About Steve opposite Sandra Bullock.
“I was doing these movies, and I got to meet Sandra Bullock and meet these people and work with them. 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? Oh, what the fuck is that about?’ I was rediscovering myself in this workplace, and it was wonderful.”
While he said he wasn’t creatively satisfied, he was “grateful and happy to be working.”