"I Actually Don't Know"

Bradley Cooper Drops A Decade’s Worth Of Dad Wisdom In 50 Seconds

Come for “Actors on Actors” with Emma Stone, stay for Bradley Cooper’s incredibly wise takes on being a good dad.

Originally Published: 
Bradley Cooper and Lea De Seine Shayk Cooper high-five while attending Netflix's "Maestro" Los Angel...
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Last week, Bradley Cooper and Emma Stone sat down for Variety’s "Actors on Actors" series — which is essentially what it sounds like. The two actors had a wide-ranging, genuinely entertaining 40-minute conversation about an array of topics. At one point, the two briefly touched on the difficulty of talking to kids about death (both Stone and Cooper are parents), as well as Cooper’s take on screen time. In less than 60 seconds, Cooper managed to drop some major dad wisdom that’s worth carrying forward.

Cooper and Stone were going back and forth about the movies they’ve been in (Poor Things for Stone, Maestro for Cooper), and Cooper quipped that he had done research for the interview on Wikipedia, prompting him to share a story about his 6-year-old daughter, Lea, who he co-parents with ex Irina Shayk.

“I was with my daughter the other day. She’s, like, ‘So, what happens when you die?’ I was, like, ‘You know, I actually don't know,’” Cooper admitted. “Because I always tell her the truth.”

But his daughter, Cooper continued, wouldn’t let him get away with that answer. She had a followup: "Doesn't Google know?"

"I was, like… ‘Maybe,’” he recalled, which prompted Stone to ask: "Did you look it up? To see what it said?"

Cooper explained that he didn't look it up because he and his daughter were walking to get ice cream.

"You have a phone, though, right?" Stone asked. "That has internet on it. You can get Google on your phone."

"I don't like to be on my phone around my daughter," Cooper replied. In her signature sarcastic tone, Stone joked back, "That's cool. You're a really good dad."

The clip circulating on social media isn’t long — just 50 seconds. But any eagle-eyed viewer can find serious takeaway parenting wisdom: In short order, Cooper revealed that he doesn't lie to his daughter; will admit when he doesn't know something; and doesn't like to be on his phone when they're spending time together. Stone’s teasing aside, these three “small” decisions do add up to great parenting strategies.

After all, understanding death is hard for an adult, and even more so for a child. It's one of kids’ biggest questions, and it's often asked out of nowhere — just like Lea asking Cooper on their way to get ice cream. The discussion is complicated, and the age of your child will guide how you talk about death and grief and attempt to answer their questions. But Cooper’s approach, explaining the process in general terms and keeping emotions out of the conversation, can be a great way to start. Fatherly has previously reported that, when talking about big topics like death, using honest and clear language is best for kids.

Cooper’s statement about not lying to his kid is a good one. Even white lies about big and small things (death definitely included) can be confusing for kids. And talking to your child before they’re deep into a real-life example of death and grief can help make things a little easier when that time does come.

And, as we know, showing your kid they’re more important to you than your phone — by consistently choosing your kid over screen time — is another great way to model healthy behaviors around screens. Your kids won’t learn that it’s acceptable to ignore people for a text message or a notification, and you get the benefit of feeling present in the moment, not pulled in a thousand different directions.

You can watch the entire interview between Emma Stone and Bradley Cooper on YouTube.

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