Bradley Cooper is using his life experience to shape the way he raises his 6-year-old daughter, Lea.
“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, 48, said in a clip from an upcoming episode of Running Wild with Bear Grylls: The Challenge. “To help unburden her with any of my bulls—t.”
Following his father’s death from lung caner in 2011, Cooper has noticed a change in his approach to life. “Yeah, I wish my dad was around to enjoy more of it, but we all recognize how lucky we’ve been,” the Guardians of the Galaxy star shared. “It was a blessing though. He gave me a huge gift. He died in my arms. To see that kind of factual example of mortality.”
Cooper recalled struggling in the aftermath of dad Charles’ passing, saying, “I definitely had a nihilistic attitude after, for a little bit. Just like, ‘Wow, I’m going to 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 sort of evened out.”
The Academy Award nominee expanded his family in 2017, two years after he started dating Shayk, 37. The pair split in June 2019.
While they have continued to stay on friendly terms as they shifted their focus to raising their daughter, the model admitted that she “never understood” the concept of coparenting. “When I’m with my daughter, I’m 100 percent a mother, and when she’s with her dad, he’s 100 percent her dad,” she shared during an interview with Elle in March 2021. “Coparenting is parenting.”
Shayk, who was later briefly linked to Kanye West, also discussed her decision to remain tight-lipped about her bond with Cooper. “My past relationship, it’s something that belongs to me, and it’s private. It’s just a piece of my inner self that I don’t want to give away,” she added.
Shayk later praised Cooper for being a “full-on, hands-on dad,” telling Highsnobiety in September 2021, “No nanny. Lea went on holiday with him for almost two weeks — I didn’t call them once.”
According to Shayk, the duo enforces “strict” parenting when it comes to raising Lea together.
“When [Lea] finishes eating, she gets up from the table, takes her plate, says, ‘Thank you.’ Without ‘please’ or ‘thank you,’ she’s not getting anything,” Shayk explained. “It’s hard, because she has so many toys. I had one doll, and I still have this doll. Blonde, blue eyes, big Russian doll. My grandma used to make clothes for her. And I always explain, ‘Look, this is my doll. I had only one.’ Or sometimes, ‘You have this candy. I used to have candy only for Christmas.'”