Bradley Cooper Gets Candid About Fatherhood: 'Learn from Your Predecessor's Mistakes'
Bradley Cooper is opening up about how his father's death has affected his own experience as a dad. In an exclusive clip shared with PEOPLE from an upcoming episode of Running Wild with Bear Grylls: The Challenge, Cooper, 48, begins discussing his father's death with host Bear Grylls, 49, as they hang off the side of a canyon in the Wyoming Basin. "Yeah, I wish my dad was around to enjoy more of it, but we all recognize how lucky we've been," Cooper says. "Yeah, that's a hard thing, isn't it?" Bear Grylls responds. "It was a blessing though," Cooper says. "He gave me a huge gift; he died in my arms. To see that kind of factual example of mortality." "Did that change how you look at things?" Grylls asks. "Oh yeah. Some ways for the worst," the Guardians of the Galaxy star reveals. "I definitely had a nihilistic attitude after, for a little bit. Just like, wow I'm gonna die." "It was not great for a little bit until I realized I had to just embrace who I actually am and try to find peace with that. And then it sorta evened out." "So how do you approach fatherhood now?" Grylls asks. "You've had that whole journey with your dad and now you're a dad." "I mean you learn from your predecessor's mistakes and I'll make tons that hopefully Lea will learn from and then being rigorous with myself to grow," the actor says. "To help unburden her with any of my bulls---." Cooper shares his daughter Lea, 6, with Irina Shayk. Although the A Star Is Born director is very private about his daughter, he spoke candidly about adjusting to fatherhood in a 2018 NPR interview. "I guess having a child, and having a family of my own — which is a miracle and something I've always dreamt of — has opened me up even more, I guess, to the day, and to be present," he said. Shayk told ELLE in 2021 that they don't use the term "co-parenting" when raising their daughter, explaining, "I never understood the term co-parenting. [...] Co-parenting is parenting." See more of Bradley Cooper's conversation with Bear Grylls when the full episode premieres Sunday, July 9th at 9:00 pm on National Geographic.