Bradley Cooper once found himself held up at knifepoint in New York City. During the most recent episode of the Armchair Expert podcast, the Nightmare Alley actor opened up about the terrifying encounter, which took place in October 2019 in a NYC subway station while he was on his way to pick up his daughter Lea De Seine, now four, from school.
“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,” he recalled.
Bradley added, “It was pretty insane. But I realized I had gotten way, way too comfortable in the city. My guard was down.”
The actor was standing at the end of the subway when he felt somebody coming up. “I thought, ‘Oh, they want to take a photo or something,’” he said. “I’m up against the post like it’s The French Connection or some sh-t, and then I like turned and I looked down and I see a knife.”
Bradley estimated that the knife was about two-and-a-half-inches or three inches with a wooden handle. “I remember thinking, ‘Oh, it’s a nice knife,” he said.
The dad of one had his headphones on the whole time, so he couldn’t hear anything. “I’m just listening to music. It’s scored. The whole thing is scored,” he said. “I see the person’s eyes and I’m like 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, kind of like, stay there.”
However, Bradley “knocked” the knifeman’s arm up and “started booking.” “Just started running,” the director said. “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 and 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, no. Check to see if you’re stabbed.’ Realizing, what happens is people get stabbed and they’re in shock. I looked to see if he was right. It was crazy bro,” the Silver Linings Playbook star continued. “And then I got back on the subway and picked up my daughter. Like it was crazy.”