Bradley Cooper: It Took 8 Months to Love My Kid

Says that paternal feeling wasn't immediate
By Arden Dier,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 29, 2024 8:22 AM CST
Updated Mar 3, 2024 11:10 AM CST
Bradley Cooper Makes Cringy Dad Confession
Bradley Cooper arrives at the 35th Annual Producers Guild Awards on Sunday, Feb. 25, 2024, at The Ray Dolby Ballroom in Los Angeles.   (Photo by Richard Shotwell/Invision/AP)

Bradley Cooper says he's "not sure I'd be alive" if not for his 6-year-old daughter Lea De Seine. But it took awhile for him to recognize his love for the child born to Cooper and Russian model Irina Shayk in March 2017. "The first eight months—I don't even know if I really love the kid," the 49-year-old told Dax Shepard on Monday's episode of the Armchair Expert podcast. Cooper said it was "cool ... watching this thing morph" over the first few months of life, per Page Six. But he couldn't understand when other parents would say they'd die for their kid without question. "And then all of a sudden, it's like no question," Cooper said of his evolving feelings. "This is gonna dictate everything you do from now on," he went on. "Your DNA is going to tell you that there's something more important than you."

Lea is certainly important in Cooper's life. "I just needed someone to say, like, 'We're gonna drop this massive anchor,'" he told Shepard. "I'm like, 'Why? We're speeding! I just got an upgrade on the boat, and I know where the wind's coming in.' They're like, 'No, no, no, there's a tsunami coming in, and you need an anchor and we're gonna drop it.'" Cooper, who's dating 28-year-old model Gigi Hadid, said fatherhood made him strive to be a better person so he would "do the least amount of damage" possible to his daughter.

"I think I've already logged more hours with my daughter than I did with my dad his entire life," he said, per People. "I want her to have as much as she can," he added, per the outlet. "A foundation that's 25-feet thick cement that she can walk on this earth with. That's the goal." Though some onlookers felt his confession about initially lacking a father-daughter connection should've been kept private, per Fandomwire, Cooper's experience is not uncommon. As Michael Lewis writes in Home Game, An Accidental Guide to Fatherhood, per ABC News: "A month after Quinn was born, I would have felt only an obligatory sadness if she had been run over by a truck. Six months or so later, I'd have thrown myself in front of the truck to save her from harm." (More Bradley Cooper stories.)

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