Bradley Cooper Gets Candid About Becoming A Dad Following The Death Of His Father

The A Star Is Born director and star also opened up to Bear Grylls on how the death of his own father has changed him, too.
Bradley Cooper
Bradley Cooper
ROBYN BECK via Getty Images

Bradley Cooper has opened up about being a father to six-year-old Lea.

The Oscar-nominated actor welcomed his daughter, who he shares with former girlfriend Irina Shayk, back in 2017.

In a teaser clip for his stint on Running Wild With Bear Grylls: The Challenge, Bradley explained that his outlook on being a dad has been shaped by his own father Charles, who died in 2011.

“I mean you learn from your predecessor’s mistakes and I’ll make tons that hopefully Lea will learn from and then being rigorous with myself to grow,” he said. “To help unburden her with any of my bulls**t.”

The A Star Is Born writer and director said that he wished his dad “was around to enjoy” being a grandfather, and explained he briefly had “a nihilistic attitude” in the wake of Charles’ death.

“He gave me a huge gift - he died in my arms,” Bradley said. “To see that kind of factual example of mortality.”

When Bear asked him if that experience had changed him, he answered: “Some ways for the worst. I definitely had a nihilistic attitude after, for a little bit. Just like, wow, I’m gonna die.

“It was not great for a little bit until I realised I had to just embrace who I actually am and try to find peace with that. And then it sorta evened out.”

Bradley tends to keep his family life out of the spotlight, although he previously spoke effusively about parenthood during an appearance on the SmartLess podcast last year.

“Every single thing is absolutely shaded by, or brought into glorious colours by, the fact that I get to be a father to a wonderful human being,” he told hosts Jason Bateman, Will Arnett and Sean Hayes.

“You have this wonderful thing or breakthrough with a script, or you have a wonderful moment on this set or in an editing room … you have like 40 of those moments every day with your kid, that are that level of joy,” he added. “That’s not spinning it, that’s just the truth.”

In a recent interview with Harper’s Bazaar, his former partner Irina said that Lea’s confidence is “a big part of why I started to love myself even more”.

I’m looking at my daughter and I’m like,’Wow, I wasn’t like that at six years old,’” she told the magazine. “I didn’t have her thoughts at six years old. But this is what we need to teach our kids. We’re teaching our daughter that the most important thing is to be kind to people.”


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