“American Sniper” actor Bradley Cooper rarely talks about his 6-year-old daughter, Lea, or his parenting style. He likes to be a private father to his only daughter.
However, the experience of watching his dad die in his arms left him with some important lessons that made him talk about his relationship with his little girl. He opened up about how his life changed after his father’s death and how it affected his own parenting.
In an episode of the second season of “Running Wild With Bear Grylls: The Challenge,” Cooper talked about missing his late father and the “nihilistic attitude” he had for a time after his father’s death.
The actor admitted that he soon realized that he had to accept himself and his circumstances, which improved his situation. When asked how his relationship with his father affected his fatherhood, the actor replied:
“I mean, you learn from your predecessor’s mistakes, and I make tons that I hope Lea learns from and then be rigorous with myself to grow.”
Cooper began dating Irina Shayk in 2015, but the couple kept their relationship low profile by rarely making public appearances. In March 2017, they welcomed their daughter, Lea, while maintaining their privacy.
According to an insider who spoke to E! News, the couple was “extremely excited” and “blessed” to welcome their baby girl. But in 2019, news of their breakup broke.
. After their split, they decided to raise their little girl together and stayed in touch. Cooper and Shayk, who live just blocks away from each other, are raising their daughter as a team.
“He’s a very hands-on father, no nanny,” the Russian model revealed about her ex’s parenting.
She described their parenting style as “very strict,” sharing that they teach Lea to clear the table after eating and to always say “thank you” and “please” or she won’t get what she wants.
Being raised by separated parents means Lea has to spend time with one parent in the absence of the other, and Shayk isn’t worried. In fact, she shared that Cooper took Lea on a two-week vacation and she “didn’t call her once.
Becoming a father for the first time was something that changed Cooper. He confessed that being the father of “a wonderful human being” changed everything in his life. It gave him a new perspective he didn’t know existed.
In an interview recorded before their split, the American Hustle actor said he had “always dreamed” of being a father and having a family, and that the experience had taught him to live in the moment.
During his successful acting career, Cooper has had the opportunity to meet many different types of people. By interacting with them, he’s learned how everyone’s upbringing shapes their personality.
He says he can “see in them” whether or not they had a good childhood, which has made him realize the importance of good parenting. Aiming to raise their little girl in the best way possible, he said:
“I just want her to always feel loved.”
Fatherhood introduced Cooper to a different meaning of joy that he likened to the feeling of experiencing a “breakthrough with the script.” He revealed that he has that feeling multiple times a day while being around his daughter.
In his 2019 appearance on the Ellen DeGeneres show, Cooper opened up about how fatherhood changed his life. When asked by DeGeneres how his life changed after becoming a father, he said:
“It allowed me to embrace my childlike self without any fear of being judged.”
Cooper added that he enjoys watching cartoons and playing with toys with his little girl without feeling like he’s wasting time. He has fun in Lea’s company, something he had never experienced before becoming a father.