Bradley Cooper has credited his relationship with Irina Shayk and their daughter Lea De Seine with changing his life

By Maria Pasquini
June 07, 2019 01:43 PM

Bradley Cooper and Irina Shayk have always kept their relationship private, but in the months before their split, the actor and director opened up about the profound impact both Shayk and their young daughter have had on him.

During a February conversation with Oprah Winfrey, the Academy Award-nominated star, 44, explained that having a family “changed everything” for him.

“Our daughter, she’s incredible,” he said of 2-year-old daughter Lea De Seine during a chat for Oprah’s SuperSoul Conversations from Times Square, adding that he sees a lot of his late father Charles, who died in 2011 after battling with lung cancer, in his baby girl.

“I can’t believe I’m gonna admit this, but I had moments when … I was in the room with her, I would say, ‘Dad?’” he shared. “There are some moments where she looks just like my father.”

Bradley Cooper and Irina Shayk
Steve Granitz/WireImage

RELATED: Bradley Cooper and Irina Shayk Split After 4 Years Together

Cooper, who spent years jumping from one project to the next, has also credited becoming a father with helping him slow down and appreciate the present.

“I spent about 15 years going from movie to movie to movie. And then I hit 39 and I stopped and I said, ‘What do I really want to do?’ I want to tell Joseph Merrick’s story in The Elephant Man. So I did that for a year,” Cooper told NPR last September. “Then this story came to me, A Star Is Born, and then I spent the next four years doing that. And the one thing that I know in the future is: It’s worth all the time to dedicate, even if one piece of art comes out of it in a half a decade, that would still be incredible as long as I can feel like it’s the movie I wanted to make, which is this movie.”

“So I guess having a child, and having a family of my own — which is a miracle and something I’ve always dreamt of — has opened me up even more, I guess, to the day, and to be present,” he added.

Bradley Cooper and Irina Shayk
Jamie McCarthy/Getty Images for National Board of Review

While attending the BAFTA awards earlier this year, where Cooper’s A Star Is Born was nominated for seven of the night’s top honors, the star shared a sweet moment with Shayk, 33, who also made the trip across the pond.

Accepting the award for best original music, Cooper sincerely thanked the supermodel for “putting up with me” throughout the years-long creative process.

“Most of all I have to thank Irina, for putting up with me for all the music I was trying to make in our basement for a year,” he said. “Thank you very much. Thank you.”

RELATED: Irina Shayk Said She Was ‘Happy’ Keeping Life with Bradley Cooper ‘Quiet’ Months Before Split

After four years of dating, Cooper and Shayk decided to end their relationship and are amicably working out how to share custody of their daughter, an insider told PEOPLE on Thursday.

Since they began dating in the spring of 2015, the pair have largely kept their relationship out of the spotlight, a decision which Shayk spoke about just four months ago.

“I have a lot of friends who share a lot of their personal life on Instagram or social media, very publicly. I admire it and I think it’s great – but I think it’s all about personal choice,” she told Glamour UK in February. “Because my work requires me to be out there, I just decided my personal life will be quiet. That’s why it’s called personal, because it’s something for you and your family, and I feel happy with it.”

Irina Shayk and Bradley Cooper
Jamie McCarthy/Getty

A source previously told PEOPLE that after wrapping up awards season for hit film A Star Is Born, Cooper made spending time with their family a priority.

“Bradley spends every day with his family,” the source said. “Most days, Bradley and Irina take Lea out for activities together. Sometimes they just stroll on the beach. Bradley and Irina seem great.”

The source added, “He has been all about his family.”

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