Bradley Cooper Considered Quitting Acting After Asking to Leave ‘Alias’

Bradley Cooper is one of Hollywood’s most-respected actors. A director and filmmaker, in addition to being an award-winning performer, Cooper has appeared in everything from raucous comedies to heartbreaking dramas.

To fans, it might seem as though the canvas of Hollywood wouldn’t be the same without Cooper’s contributions.

Bradley Cooper as Will Tippin on 'Alias'
Bradley Cooper as Will Tippin on ‘Alias’ | Mitchell Haaseth/Getty Images

However, there was a time when Cooper seriously considered quitting the acting business – revealing to GQ in late 2013 that he reconsidered his entire career after being asked to leave the TV show Alias

How did Bradley Cooper get started in acting?

Cooper was born in Pennsylvania in 1975. As a child, Cooper never felt drawn to acting, immersing himself in sports like basketball and developing a deep love of cooking. According to IMDb, Cooper first started considering a career in acting after watching movies like The Elephant Man and involving himself in local plays.

After he graduated from high school, Cooper received a degree from Georgetown University in 1997. It was then that he began pursuing his acting career in earnest. Cooper made his first television appearance in 1999, acting alongside Sarah Jessica Parker in an episode of Sex and the City.

He went on to land a variety of smaller roles in film and television projects. In 2001, Cooper scored a supporting role in the TV series Alias. As Will Tippin, a reporter and close friend to Jennifer Garner’s character Sydney Bristow, Cooper started earning fans and even some critical acclaim.

Bradley Cooper once considered quitting acting

Over the seasons, Cooper’s screen time on Alias began to decrease – and the young actor found himself getting frustrated. Eventually, Cooper asked creator J.J. Abrams to write the character of Will off the show, a decision that nearly cost Cooper his passion for acting. In a 2013 interview for GQ, Cooper opened up about that turbulent time in his life, saying, “J.J. was like, ‘OK.’ He probably would’ve fired me, anyway.”

Cooper noted that he seriously considered walking away from acting altogether. “At some point, you have to come to terms with ‘The business just doesn’t want you,’ you know what I mean?” he said. Cooper leaving Alias coincided with the fact that he was struggling with drug and alcohol abuse. As he told GQ:

“If I continued it, I was really going to sabotage my whole life. I think work was getting f***** 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.”

Cooper said, “The more steps I do to not do that, the farther I am away from fulfilling any potential I would have.”

Bradley Cooper landed his big break in 2009


Before ‘American Sniper’: Bradley Cooper’s 8 Best Movie Roles

Fortunately, Cooper opted to stick it out – not only getting sober but getting his big break just a couple of years after Alias. In 2009, Cooper appeared in the comedy hit The Hangover, making waves as part of an outrageous ensemble. The film became a huge hit, spawning several sequels and setting Cooper up for success.

He followed up his role in The Hangover with parts in movies like Valentine’s Day, Silver Linings Playbook, and Serena. Over the years that followed, Cooper’s star continued to rise in Hollywood until he became one of the biggest stars in the industry.

He leveraged his clout to land prominent roles and tackle interesting challenges – with IMDb noting that Cooper is a nine-time Oscar nominee and a two-time Grammy Award winner.

How to get help: In the U.S., contact the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration helpline at 1-800-662-4357.