Like mother, like son. Anderson Cooper grew up in one of America’s most famous families, and now he’s revealing intimate new details about his storied life with mom Gloria Vanderbilt. Speaking with Us Weekly‘s Ashley Spencer at the Us Weekly Video Lounge at ChefDance at the Sundance Film Festival, the CNN anchor and director Liz Garbus opened up about their HBO documentary, Nothing Left Unsaid: Gloria Vanderbilt & Anderson Cooper, and waxed nostalgic about Cooper’s far-from-ordinary upbringing.
“I never viewed my mom as a traditional mom. My mom took me to Studio 54 when I was 11 years old — twice,” the 48-year-old journalist said of New York City’s infamous nightclub. “I’ve looked into it. I know it’s illegal. This was like ‘quaaludes in basements’ Studio 54.”
Despite his unconventional childhood, Cooper developed and maintained a close bond with his mother, now 91.
“The heart of it and what really sold me that there was a special film [to be made] was the relationship between Anderson and Gloria,” Academy Award–nominated Garbus said of the doc, which also details how the tragedies of losing Cooper’s author father, Wyatt Emory Cooper, at age 50 during open-heart surgery, and later his 23-year-old brother, Carter, to suicide in 1988, shaped the heiress and her family.
“For me, it’s just asking her all the questions that I’d never asked her before,” Cooper said of his desire to executive produce the film. “I think it’s the kind of conversation a lot of people would like to have with their parents, to leave nothing unsaid.”
As for whether the Anderson Cooper 360 host considers himself a mama’s boy?
“Well, let’s see, I’m a gay guy who made a film about his mom,” he said. “That’s probably the definition of a mama’s boy.”
The HBO documentary Nothing Left Unsaid: Gloria Vanderbilt & Anderson Cooper is currently at the Sundance Film Festival and will debut on HBO on April 9.
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