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Brad Pitt Names Bradley Cooper as an Inspiration for His Sobriety

When getting sober, everyone needs support. For Brad Pitt, that support—and inspiration—came from another famous figure in Hollywood—his friend and fellow actor Bradley Cooper.

At the National Board of Review Gala earlier this month, Cooper presented Pitt with an award for his performance in Once Upon a Time in Hollywood, for which he is also nominated for an Oscar and has already won a Golden Globe.

As he began his acceptance speech, the normally secretive Pitt revealed that Cooper had encouraged his personal sobriety, stating that, “I got sober because of this guy and every day has been happier since.”

He then gave a thumbs-up to Cooper, saying “thank you” and “I love you.”

Cooper and Pitt fought separate battles with substance abuse, making the moment especially profound for the two friends, who are known for their senses of humor, as well as their depth of emotion on film.

Brad Pitt’s Battle with Alcoholism

For Brad Pitt, the struggle for sobriety has been ongoing.

The 46-year-old actor has been candid about his battle, especially in the past two years. Pitt’s drug of choice is alcohol, as well as marijuana.

After arguing about his drinking on a private plane in 2016, Pitt’s ex-wife Angelina Jolie filed for a divorce. Others began to notice Pitt’s reliance on alcohol and other substances, and the media tracked his every move. Pitt knew it was time to make a change.

In 2017, he described his drinking as out of control. In an interview with GQ Style, he said he had to “remove his drinking privileges,” stating that, “I had taken things as far as I could take it.”

During this time, Pitt sought help from Alcoholics Anonymous, where he began addressing his substance abuse in weekly meetings. The program helped Pitt tremendously, and he has publicly credited it with his success in sobriety, saying that the discussions in small groups allowed him to share his story without the fear of judgement.

In a particularly honest interview with the New York Times, Pitt opened up about the feelings that led to his substance dependence.

“The fact is, we all carry pain, grief and loss. We spend most of our time hiding it, but it’s there, it’s in you. So, you open up those boxes,” he said.

As Pitt continues to “open those boxes,” he is thriving in sobriety, receiving accolades for his performances, and paying tribute to those who helped him along his path.

Bradley Cooper’s Journey to Sobriety

Sober since the age of 29, Bradley Cooper realized early on that if he were to continue drinking and doing drugs, he would be putting himself in serious jeopardy.

While also an extremely private person, Cooper has revealed his feelings about sobriety in bits and pieces, stating in an interview with GQ that if he hadn’t gotten sober, he “[…] was really going to sabotage [his] whole life.”

In 2018, Cooper famously starred alongside Lady Gaga in A Star is Born, where he portrayed a troubled musician who struggled with addiction. Cooper stated in interview that his personal experiences with substance abuse played an important part in his understanding of the character.

“And that’s all part of the beauty of turning whatever things you’ve gone through into a story. I find that to be very cathartic. I remember learning that in grad school, our teacher said all the insecurities, all the dark stuff you get to use that and that’s really the truth,” he told Variety at the time of the film’s release.

Now 45 years old, Cooper has remained sober for over 15 years, and through his art he has inspired millions who are struggling across the world—even his friend Brad Pitt. 

Finding Strength in Numbers

Finding strength in sobriety is a personal journey, though it is a path that cannot be walked alone. Recovery creates crucial bonds between those who are facing similar struggles, as they are reminded of the power of support, empathy, and compassion.

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