Bradley Cooper Says His ‘First 8 Months’ He Didn’t Know If He Loved His Daughter

The Oscar-nominated actor welcomed his daughter, Lea, with Irina Shayk in 2017.

Michael Blackshire / Los Angeles Times via Getty Images

Bradley Cooper welcomed his first and only child, Lea, with ex Irina Shayk in March 2017.

But at first, he found it difficult connecting with the now-six-year-old. The Oscar-nominated actor opened up about those first few months as a father on Dax Shepard’s Armchair Expert podcast on Monday.

“The first eight months—I don’t even know if I really love the kid,” he said, per Page Six. “It’s dope. It’s cool. I’m watching this thing morph.”

“That’s my experience,” the actor explained. “Fascinated by it. Loved taking care of it. But would I die if someone came in with a gun?” He added, “And then all of a sudden, it’s like no question.”

His focus is now to be the best version of himself “to do the least amount of damage that [he] could do to [his] daughter.”

“I’m not sure I’d be alive if I wasn’t a dad,” he said. “I just needed someone to say, like, ‘We’re gonna drop this massive anchor.” He continued, “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.”

Cooper and Shayk dated off-and-on from 2015 until 2019, and remain co-parents to Lea. In 2023, both sought new romances. Shayk has been linked to Tom Brady since last summer, and Cooper has moved on with Gigi Hadid, first sparking dating rumors in October 2023. The pair recently confirmed that they are dating in London in late January.

Last week, Cooper made headlines when he revealed in an interview with the SAG-AFTRA Foundation that once, when he met Beyoncé at her home to discuss her involvement in A Star is Born, and saw Jay-Z watching Judge Judy.

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