The 47-year-old actor reflected on the start of his career and sobriety journey during a recent appearance on Jason Bateman and Sean Hayes’ podcast, Smartless. According to Cooper, he had a fairly mean sense of humour at 29-years-old, as Arnett had previously told him that he was taking his jokes too far and called him “a real a**hole”.
The filmmaker went on to note that he was at a point where he had “zero self esteem” and didn’t think he was “hurting anybody” because he felt like he was “worthless”, before discussing his addiction and how much he was struggling mentally.
“I was so lost, and I was addicted to cocaine,” he explained, noting how he had also “severed [his] Achilles tendon” and had gotten “fired/quit” the show Alias, in the early 2000s.
Cooper acknowledged that there was a “benefit” of battling his addiction when he did, as he had not “made it” in his career yet. However, he also confessed that when he moved to Los Angeles to film Alias, he felt like he was “back in high school” and was “totally depressed”.
“I could not get into any clubs, no girls wanted to look at me. I was totally depressed,” he said, adding how he didn’t feel success until he starred in The Hangover at age 36.
“So I got to go through all those things before fame even played into my existence on a daily level,” he continued. “So all that happened before any of that.”
Cooper then emphasised how his conversation with Arnett was a moment of self-realisation, where he took a look at his behaviour and discovered that he needed to make a change.
“I definitely made major breakthroughs at 29 to 33, 34, where at least I was able to stand in front of somebody and breathe and listen and talk,” he said.
“Will is the reason, as he took that risk of having a hard conversation with me, in like July of 2004, that put me on a path of deciding to change my life,” he added. “It is truly Will Arnett, he is the reason”.
In response, Arnett expressed how proud he’s been of Cooper over the years.
“It’s been awesome seeing you in this place and seeing you comfortable. Nothing has made me happier,” Arnett said. “It’s made me happy seeing you so happy with who you are.
Elsewhere in the interview, the American Sniper star highlighted how he’s currently working in New York for a film and spending time with his five-year-old daughter, Lea, who he shares with his ex-girlfriend Irina Shayk.
He also noted that throughout his busy schedule, he’s been focused on staying sober, which has encouraged him to reach out to others for help.
“Here’s another thing about being sober and having humility is, like, I realise I can’t do this movie and take care of Lea without any help,” he said. “So, literally tonight, like minutes away, someone is coming that’s gonna stay in New York and help out until the end of the shoot. Which I never would have done, but thank goodness I’m doing it.”