Bradley Cooper, GQ

Peggy Sirota/GQ

Silver Linings Playbook star Bradley Cooper once found himself following a much different, well, playbook. And the actor knew he had to make a change.

In the January issue of GQ, the 38-year-old Oscar nominee opens up about his decision to get sober when he was 29.

"If I continued it, I was really going to sabotage my whole life," Cooper tells the magazine regarding his past struggles with drugs and alcohol.

"I think work was getting f--ked up," the American Hustle star explains. "Yes, of course it hindered the work."

And for Cooper, his eventual sobriety became even more of an eye-opener.

"I was doing these movies, and I got to meet Sandra Bullock [his costar in 2009's All About Steve] and meet these people and work with them," he says. "And I'm sober, and I'm like, 'Oh, I'm actually myself. And I don't have to put on this air to be somebody else, and this person still wants to work with me? Oh, what the f--k is that about?' I was rediscovering myself in this workplace, and it was wonderful."

What wasn't so wonderful, apparently, was Cooper's time on the ABC series Alias.

"I would only work three days a week," he recalls. "And then for the second season, I got even more sidelined. I was like, 'Ugh.' And then next thing you know, I was like, 'I want to f--king kill myself.'"

So, against the advice of friends and colleagues, Cooper made the bold move of asking show creator J.J. Abrams to write him off. "J.J. was like, 'Okay.' He probably would've fired me, anyway."

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