In the January issue of GQ, Cooper recalled how his excitement at the role soon turned to frustration as he screen time quickly began to diminish. "I would only work three days a week. 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---ing kill myself.'"
Cooper then decided to take a risk and asked to be written off the spy drama. "[J.J. Abrams] was like, 'OK.' He probably would've fired me, anyway," he said.
A few years later, Cooper sobered up after a serious struggle with drugs and alcohol after realizing, "if I continued it, I was really going to sabotage my whole life."
"The one thing that I've learned in life is the best thing I can do is embrace who I am and then do that to the fullest extent, and then whatever happens, happens," the actor explained. "The more steps I do to not do that, the farther I am away from fulfilling any potential I would have ... Yes, of course it hindered the work."
Once sober, Cooper was grateful for any roles he could get, even the Razzie winner All About Steve opposite Sandra Bullock . "I was doing these movies, and I got to meet Sandra Bullock and meet these people and work with them. 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--- is that about?' I was rediscovering myself in this workplace, and it was wonderful," he said. "Now, in the back of my head, or in a place of my heart of, like, creativity, did I feel utterly fulfilled? Absolutely not. But I was grateful and happy to be working, and filling that void in smaller moments."