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Bradley Cooper Admits He Intially Struggled to Bond With His Daughter

In a recent interview with Dax Shepard, the Maestro actor and director opened up about his first few days as a parent and how fatherhood has inevitably changed his life.
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By Wyndi Kappes, Associate Editor
Published March 12, 2024
Bradley Cooper and Lea De Seine Shayk Cooper attend Netflix's "Maestro" Los Angeles Photo Call at Academy Museum of Motion Pictures on December 12, 2023 in Los Angeles, California
Image: Axelle/Bauer-Griffin/FilmMagic | Getty Images

The first few days and even months with baby are often romanticized. Yes, there are long nights and smelly diapers, but more often than not, there’s talk of an instant connection, a depthless love and a sense of purpose growing quickly from within. That’s why its often so hard to admit when you don’t immediately feel bonded with baby.

In an effort to show parents that they’re not alone in that uneasy feeling, Maestro star Bradley Cooper is opening up about his experience. In a recent podcast episode of Armchair Expert with Dax Shepard, Cooper talked about his first few weeks as a Dad after welcoming his daughter Lea in 2017.

For the first eight months of her life, he remembers thinking, “I don’t even know if I really love the kid. It’s dope, it’s cool, I’m watching this thing morph, and then all of a sudden, my experience was totally that. Fascinated by it, love taking care of it.”

Cooper admitted that in those first few months, he even wondered if he would die for her if someone “came in with a gun,” and explained that he was thinking, “It’s only been a few months! She could be an asshole!” Eventually, Cooper found his way to feeling connected with his daughter, telling Shepard that he realized that “DNA is going to tell you that there’s something more important than you.”

Nowadays, Cooper is more than ready and willing to take a bullet for 7-year-old Lea. “Fatherhood is … everything changed,” he said on an episode of the podcast Smartless. “Every single thing is absolutely shaded by, or brought into glorious colors, by the fact that I get to be a father to a wonderful human being. … You have this wonderful thing or breakthrough with a script, or you have a wonderful moment on this set or in an editing room … you have like 40 of those moments every day with your kid, that are that level of joy. That’s not spinning it, that’s just the truth.”

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