Bradley Cooper

Bradley Cooper Recalls Being Held Up at Knifepoint in a NYC Subway

He shared details of the incident, which took place on a subway, on Dax Shepard's podcast

actor Bradley Cooper
Photo by Kevin Winter/Getty Images

Bradley Cooper is sharing the scary details of a mugging incident in New York City when he was held up at knifepoint.

During the latest episode of Dax Shepard’s “Armchair Expert” podcast, the "Licorice Pizza" star, 46, opened up about the incident, which took place on a subway as he was on his way to pick up his daughter, Lea, now 4, at school in October 2019.

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

"It was pretty insane. But I realized I had gotten way, way too comfortable in the city. My guard was down," he added.

The "A Star Is Born" actor recalled his senses being dulled because in addition to his headphones, he was also wearing sunglasses and a hat in an effort to be "incognito."

"I'm all the way at the end of the subway — I would just innately go all the way down to the end — and I felt somebody coming up," Cooper recalled. "And I thought, oh, they want to take a photo or something.

"I'm up against the post like it’s 'The French Connection' or some s—, and then I, like, turned. I looked down and I see a knife," he continued, describing the assailant's knife as being approximately 2 1/2 inches long, with a wooden handle. "I remember thinking, oh, it's a nice knife," he said.

Cooper, who shares Lea with ex-girlfriend Irina Shayk, also recalled the holdup had a soundtrack: the music on his own headphones.

"I have my headphones on the whole time. So I can’t hear anything. I’m just listening to music. So it’s scored, the whole thing is scored," he said, laughing.

When Cooper saw the mugger's eyes, he was surprised by how young he was. Though he knew it may not have been wise to try to run from an assailant, Cooper did just that.

"I just started booking, just started running," he said. "I jumped over the ... turnstile, hid around the white, tiled foyer entrance to the subway, took my phone out. He jumped over, running away, and I took a photo of him. Then I chased him up the stairs. He started running up 7th Avenue. I took two more photographs of him.

"I ran down two police officers in an SUV, showed them the photograph and I’m, like, talking to them, and the guy kept saying — it was so interesting — he’s like, 'Are you stabbed?' I was like, 'No, no, no.' And he goes, 'No, check to see if you’re stabbed.'"

That's when Cooper learned that mugging victims are often so shocked, they don't realize until later that they've been injured.

Luckily, Cooper was fine, just shaken up. "It was crazy, bro," he said.

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