‘Alias’: Bradley Cooper Was So Miserable He Asked to Be Written Off the Series

Alias will always be remembered as a show that helped launch two fairly prominent Hollywood careers: lead star Jennifer Garner and executive producer JJ Abrams. While Abrams was already a major player, it was a true revelation for Garner, who became a big star following her run with the show. There was another actor, then an unknown, who got a big break from the show as well: Bradley Cooper.

Cooper’s obviously gone on to do a lot since then, but the show helped him break out. Despite it being a big opportunity for him, he wasn’t truly happy when he was on the show. Here’s the story of how he asked to be written off. 

Bradley Cooper’s career since he left ‘Alias’

It’s an understatement to say that Cooper has done well for himself since leaving Alias. His first major part came as the villainous Sack Lodge in Wedding Crashers. He continued to steadily get work, but the role that really put him on the map was in the ensemble comedy The Hangover. He starred alongside Ed Helms and Zach Galifianakis. The film made millions worldwide and spawned two sequels. 

Cooper veered away from comedy, winning an Oscar for his role in David O. Russell’s Silver Linings Playbook. He’d later get nominated for an Academy Award as Best Director for his work behind the camera in A Star is Born, a film in which he also starred. There’s little question that Cooper is an A-list star at this point. He’s highly in demand as a performer and has drawn critical acclaim for his work as a director. He’s also gotten a part in the most famous franchise in Hollywood, voicing the role of Rocket in Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy. His star is likely to continue to rise. 

Of course, even the most accomplished actors have to start somewhere. One of the first big opportunities he received was across from Garner in Alias

Who did Bradley Cooper play on ‘Alias?’

According to Decider, Cooper’s role on Alias was that of Will Tippin. Tippin was the “best guy friend” of Sydney Bristow (Garner’s character). Tippin was “left for dead” at the end of the Season 2 finale, only to return for a couple of guest-starring roles in Season 3 as well as in the show’s final season. Tippin had an unrequited love for the main character, though eventually, the two do hook up. 

It was a role that most young, struggling actors would kill for: a major part on a hit network series. But Cooper’s run on the series was somewhat short-lived. He was off the show by the second season. While some may have seen this as an unfortunate occurrence, Cooper actually requested it. So why was it that he was looking for an out? 

Why Bradley Cooper asked to be written off ‘Alias’

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According to an interview with GQ, Cooper had a significant role in the show that gradually decreased. As the first and second seasons rolled along, Cooper saw himself working less and less. It took a considerable toll on his mental health: 

“I would only work three days a week. 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.’

It was then that Cooper asked Abrams to axe him, saying he’d had enough. Abrams obliged, and in Cooper’s estimation, it was likely heading that way regardless of his request:  

“J.J. was like, ‘Okay.’ He probably would’ve fired me, anyway.”

Obviously, it ended up working out for Cooper. Though he tore his Achilles tendon the next week playing a game of pickup basketball, after he recovered he was cast in Wedding Crashers

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