Bradley Cooper: “I Got Arrested When I Was 15” for Underage Drinking

Bradley Cooper Cliff Watts/Esquire

Bradley Cooper wasn't always the poster child for good behavior growing up in Jenkintown, Pennsylvania — but he was still a pretty good seed.

The 37-year-old Silver Linings Playbook actor appears on the December cover of Esquire. In the accompanying interview, Cooper talks candidly about his small town upbringing and credits his parents for keeping him on the straight and narrow.

"I grew up in an interesting family. My father was Irish, and my mother was Italian. It's a rich tapestry. It's soaking in volatility. But I was raised well. I put them through some hell, of course. I got arrested [for underage drinking] when I was 15," he says. (Cooper has been sober since age 29.)

"My mom [Gloria] always said, 'Just call me. I wanna know where you are,'" the actor continues. "We always had good lines of communication, me and my parents."

Cooper credits his late father, Charles, with shaping the man he is today.

"My father was viciously smart and intellectually curious. We lived across the street from a movie theater. And he would always talk about all these movies, and when I was at the age of being able to appreciate them, he just started throwin' 'em my way," the actor says of his dad, who passed away in early 2011. "He was a huge Tom Courtenay fan. Loneliness of the Long Distance Runner was one of the first ones he showed me. And The Dresser. And Under the Volcano. He loved Albert Finney."

Sign up now for the Us Weekly newsletter to get breaking celebrity news, hot pics and more delivered straight to your inbox!

Want stories like these delivered straight to your phone? Download the Us Weekly iPhone app now!