Bradley Cooper Reveals He Was Once 'Held Up at Knifepoint' in N.Y.C.: 'My Guard Was Down'

"It was pretty insane," Bradley Cooper said of the incident on a New York City subway back in October 2019

Bradley Cooper
Photo: Kevin Winter/Getty

Bradley Cooper is opening up about being held at knifepoint while on the way to pick up his daughter from school.

The Nightmare Alley actor, 46, revealed on the Armchair Expert podcast Monday that in October 2019, a stranger pulled a knife on him while he was on the subway in New York City. Cooper recalled wearing noise-canceling headphones, sunglasses and a hat trying to be "incognito" while going to pick up his daughter Lea De Seine, who was 2½ years old at the time.

"I used to walk around New York City all the time with [headphones] on — and this was pre-pandemic — and I was on the subway, 11:45, to pick Lea up downtown at Russian school, and I got held up at knifepoint," Cooper began.

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Co-host Dax Shepard, who made the 2012 movie Hit and Run with Cooper, asked, "How are we best friends and I'm just learning" about this story? They laughed together as Cooper said, "Yeah, it was pretty insane."

"I realized I had gotten way, way too comfortable in the city. My guard was down," continued Cooper.

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The Oscar nominee, who shares his daughter with ex Irina Shayk, explained he was at the end of the subway when someone approached him. He thought at first it was someone asking for a selfie, however: "I look down and I see a knife." He estimated that it was maybe a two-and-a-half-inch blade, joking, "I remember thinking 'That's a nice knife.' "

"Now, I had my headphones on the whole time so I can't hear anything. I'm just listening to music. It's scored, the whole thing is scored," Cooper said. "I see the person's eyes. I'm taken by how young they are. And then, I'm sure you were taught this, you don't ever run from knife, you just try to, like, stay there."

But Cooper recalled that he "knocked" the attacker's arm up and ran to escape, jumping over the turnstile. When the person also started running away, the actor took photos of him and approached police officers outside the subway station.

Cooper said, "Then I got back in the subway and picked up my daughter. It was crazy."

Nightmare Alley is out Dec. 17.

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