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‘I Don’t Even Know If I Really Love the Kid’: Bradley Cooper Blasted For Comment About His Daughter

The actor has come under fire for his comments about his daughter in a recent interview.

Actor Bradley Cooper stands with the cast of Maestro in front a poster that says Maestro in yellow lettering. His daughter is stood in front of him, she is seven years old, blonde and in a long leopard print dress
Bradley Cooper and his daughter Lea with the cast of Maestro. Credit: Shutterstock/Featureflash Photo Agency

Actor Bradley Cooper has sparked a parenting debate online after making a controversial confession about fatherhood during a recent podcast appearance.

On the February 26th episode of Dax Shephard’s podcast, Armchair Expert Cooper opened up about struggling to connect with his daughter when she was firstborn. The star has a seven-year-old with his ex-partner, Russian supermodel Irina Shayk.

What did he say?

‘The first eight months – I don’t even know if I really love the kid. It’s dope. It’s cool. I’m watching this thing morph,’ Cooper said. “That’s my experience. Fascinated by it. Loved taking care of it. But would I die if someone came in with a gun?’

Bradley Cooper, Armchair Expert Podcast

The actor followed this up by explaining that although he struggled at first, one day, fatherhood just clicked for him and shifted his mindset,

‘And then all of a sudden, it’s like no question. I’m unsure if I’d be alive if I weren’t a dad. Because this is gonna dictate everything you do from now on. Your DNA is going to tell you that there’s something more important than you.’

A tall brunette woman in a black low-cut gown and red lipstick with her hair in a bun
Cooper dated Irina Shayk until 2019 and they have a daughter together. Credit: Shutterstock/magicinfoto

Social media reaction

Cooper’s comments appear to have divided those on social media, with some noting that his view sounds similar to post-natal depression and commending him for being candid. Post-natal depression refers to a period of depression a parent may feel following the birth of a child. Others believe he should have kept this to himself or chosen his words more carefully for the sake of his daughter.

A screenshot from Reddit. It reads 'XeroxWarriorPrntTst • 2d ago This is a legit thing that happens for men and women after the birth of their child and talking about it needs to be normalized. It is also not impossible to think the baby isn’t yours even though the baby is obviously yours and even though you KNOW your partner didn’t cheat. Bringing a life/helping bring a life into the world is a mind fuck that isn’t all poops that smell like roses and snuggles that feel like rainbows. Upvote 21 Downvote Share Share Charming_Miss • 2d ago You know...sometimes it's good to keep your thoughts for yourself or the people that won't use them against you. It really helps. There is no need to share every single thought with media. Really no need. Your daughter will see it. It's everywhere. And it will be used against you.'
Users on Reddit are divided over Cooper’s comments. Credit: r/popculturechat on Reddit

One user said on Reddit ‘I don’t think it’s that uncommon for new parents to struggle with bonding with their babies (and it’s something that is almost taboo to talk about), but there is a way to discuss that with sensitivity and appreciation for the fact that your child is also a person with feelings and a point of view and will almost certainly find out you said this.’

Other users were less sympathetic, with one user on X saying ‘Bradley Cooper saying that he didn’t love his baby daughter and that he would not protect her from a gunman is an insane statement to make. I feel bad for that kid. Did not deserve that.’

Cooper has become increasingly disliked on social media after a string of interviews where he has made bizarre admissions such as being comfortable being nude at home because he used to shower with his father as a child, who also embraced nudity in the home.

Cooper shrouded in controversy of late

The actor most recently starred in and directed Maestro, a biopic about composer Leonard Bernstein, which has received several nominations at this year’s Oscars. Cooper faced controversy when his role as Bernstein was announced due to the actor not being Jewish like the composer. This is part of an ongoing debate in Hollywood about actors playing characters they don’t share characteristics with, such as non-Jewish actors playing Jewish characters.

This controversy only got worse once photos of filming emerged and people saw Cooper wearing an exaggerated prosthetic nose to help him look more like Bernstein. Many people felt the dramatic nature of the nose was playing into anti-Semitic stereotypes of Jewish facial features.

An interview he did during promotion for the film has left people feeling particularly confused and uncomfortable and accusing the actor of ‘Oscar bait’. Cooper participated in an interview with Bernstein’s children, and when asked if he missed his on-screen role, he began to tear up about missing their father. The issue people have with this is that Bernstein died in 1990, and Cooper never met him.

 Now, coupled with the comments about struggling to connect with his daughter, people are baffled as to how he has expressed more emotion towards a man he never met than to his own child.

This string of bizarre statements coming out of interviews has people labeling Cooper as too honest, with one X user saying, ‘This guy needs a copy of Jerry Maguire’s ‘The Things We Think But Do Not Say’ memo.’

Click here to see who Maestro is in competition with for this year’s Oscars.

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