Bradley Cooper doesn't place much value on the number of awards he wins. In the April issue of British GQ, the Silver Linings Playbook star — who recently lost the Academy Award for Best Actor to Lincoln's Daniel Day-Lewis — insists accolades have never been a driving force in his career choices.
In the interview — presumably conducted before the annual awards show aired live in L.A. Feb. 24 — the first-time nominee explains that the loss of his stockbroker father, Charles Cooper, forced him to reevaluate what matters most in life. "Death became very real. And very tangible. Because my father — someone who had been in my life for 36 years is just f-cking gone," the Hangover star recalls. "I watched him dying and I was there by his bed watching him, breathing with him, and then I saw his last breath and he was gone. I experienced the whole thing. And that was a watershed moment that I was privileged to experience. And it changed everything. Nothing has ever been the same since."
Bradley continues, "You know William Blake's Songs of Innocence? Well, right there, in that moment, the innocence was gone. Done. Never to return. The beauty is that I just don't sweat sh-t anymore."
"My father gave me two gifts: having me and dying with me. I used to be the kid that got the shakes if I had to talk in public; now, I just don't get nervous about stuff. I can't control everything. I watched my father die and I realized that is the way we are all going to die," he tells British GQ. "For me, it was a switch from knowing something intellectually to knowing it by tangibly experiencing it. It rewired my neurological system. It almost did the opposite of motivating me. It was about keeping the main thing the main thing."