Bradley Cooper: Why I Chose to Become Sober

09/05/2012 at 04:30 PM EDT

Bradley Cooper Sobriety: Why He Chose It
Bradley Cooper
Courtesy The Hollywood Reporter
Bradley Cooper lives a relatively tame life these days, but that wasn't always the case.

The actor, 37, who stars alongside Zoë Saldana in The Words, has calmed down a lot since his 20s.

On one occasion, "I was at a party, and deliberately bashed my head on the concrete floor," Cooper recalls for the Hollywood Reporter in its Sept. 14 cover story. "Like, 'Hey, look how tough I am!' "

The incident, which occurred while he was under the influence, left Cooper with blood dripping from his body, but still wanting more.



"I did it again," he says. "[And] I spent the night at St. Vincent's Hospital with a sock of ice, waiting for them to stitch me up."

This was just one of many moments that led Cooper to much healthier decision-making.

"I don't drink or do drugs anymore," he says, adding that he gave them up at age 29. "Being sober helps a great deal … I remember looking at my life, my apartment, my dogs [when I was still using], and I thought, 'What's happening?' "

Before becoming an actor – and PEOPLE's 2011 Sexiest Man Alive – Cooper wasn't comfortable in his own skin.

"I was so concerned what you thought of me, how I was coming across, how I would survive the day," he says. "I always felt like an outsider. I just lived in my head. I realized I wasn't going to live up to my potential, and that scared the hell out of me. I thought, 'Wow, I'm actually gonna ruin my life. I'm really gonna ruin it."

Your Reaction

Follow Us

On Newsstands Now

Bindi Irwin: Remembering My Dad
  • Bindi Irwin: Remembering My Dad
  • Adam Levine's Wedding Details!
  • James Garner: 1928-2014

Pick up your copy on newsstands

Click here for instant access to the Digital Magazine

blog comments powered by Disqus
Advertisement

From Our Partners

Watch It

Editors' Picks

From Our Partners