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Bradley Cooper says he questioned if he ‘really loved’ his daughter Lea de Seine at birth

Movie star? Yes. Doting dad? Also yes!
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/ Source: TODAY

Bradley Cooper is getting real about parenthood and what he's learned while being a father to his 6-year-old daughter, Lea de Seine.

In a Feb. 26 episode of the “Armchair Expert” podcast, the 49-year-old agreed with host Dax Shepard that he couldn’t have achieved true self esteem without becoming a dad. Then, Cooper took it a step further.

“Honestly, I’m not sure I’d be alive if I wasn’t a dad,” he admitted.

The "Maestro" actor was also candid about his initial thoughts on being a father after welcoming Lea with Irina Shayk.

“If I’m being honest, the first eight months, I’m like, ‘I don’t even know if I really loved the kid,’” he said. “It’s dope. It’s cool. I’m watching this thing morph ... fascinated by it. Love taking care of it. Would I die if someone came in with a gun? I don’t know.”

But Cooper recalled that eventually a moment came when he “all of a sudden” realized that he would die for his daughter with “no question.”

Bradley Cooper and Lea De Seine Shayk Cooper
Bradley Cooper and daughter Lea De Seine high five on the red carpet at at Netflix's "Maestro" premiere in December 2023.Axelle/Bauer-Griffin / FilmMagic

“Your DNA is going to tell you that there’s something more important than you,” he added.

Read on learn more about Cooper's daughter, Lea.

Lea was born in March 2017

Cooper and Shayk welcomed their first daughter in March 2017 and named her Lea de Seine Shayk Cooper, sharing the last names of both her parents.

The part-Greek, part-French name certainly makes sense for their new arrival, given that “Lea” means “bringer of good news” in Greek. As for “de Seine,” that’s a reference to the river that runs through Paris — and Elle speculates that part may have been inspired by Bradley Cooper's love of all things French. 

The parents split in 2019 after having dated since 2015, but have continued to fully embrace their respective roles as mom and dad.

In March 2021, Shayk told Elle Magazine that she doesn't believe in the idea of "co-parenting," but rather that she and Cooper remain parents together.

“I never understood the term co-parenting,” Shayk said at the time. “When I’m with my daughter, I’m 100% a mother, and when she’s with her dad, he’s 100% her dad. Co-parenting is parenting.”

The couple has been teaching Lea about the importance of kindness from a young age, as Shayk revealed in an April 2023 interview with Harper’s Bazaar.

“We’re teaching our daughter that the most important thing is to be kind to people. Every time we send her to school, we’re like, ‘Just remember kindness and love,’ she said.

Bradley Cooper has spoken about tough conversations with his daughter

While speaking with Emma Stone during an “Actors on Actors” conversation for Variety, released on Dec. 8, Cooper recently gave the 411 about a rather deep conversation he and Lea had.

“I was with my daughter the other day, she’s like, ‘So what happens after, when you die?’” he said.

“I was like, ‘I actually don’t know,’” he continued. “Because I always tell her the truth.”

“Doesn’t Google know?” she asked him.

“I was like, ‘Oh, my God,’” he continued. “I was like, ‘Maybe?’”

Cooper said he held off asking Google then and there because he doesn’t want to be on his phone around Lea.

Lea was dad Bradley Cooper’s date to the “Maestro” premiere in December 2023

Cooper took a very special date to the premiere of his new movie, “Maestro.”

The Oscar-nominated actor was accompanied to the Dec. 12. 2023 event at Los Angeles’ Academy Museum of Motion Pictures by his daughter, Lea.

Cooper gave off classic Hollywood pizazz vibes, sporting a dark suit and buttoned-up vest, while Lea arrived in an animal print dress, with a red and black purse.

Bradley Cooper and Lea De Seine Shayk Cooper
Bradley Cooper proudly smiles with daughter Lea on the red carpet in December 2023.Axelle/Bauer-Griffin / FilmMagic