Bradley Cooper on His Childhood Dreams of Becoming an Actor on CBS SUNDAY MORNING, 12/23

Bradley Cooper on His Childhood Dreams of Becoming an Actor on CBS SUNDAY MORNING, 12/23

Hollywood superstar Bradley Cooper knew as a child growing up in a Philadelphia suburb he wanted a career as an actor, he tells correspondent Serena Altschul in an interview on CBS SUNDAY MORNING WITH Charles Osgood to be broadcast Dec. 23, 2012 on the CBS Television Network.

In a wide-ranging and emotional interview, Cooper goes back to his hometown, where he tells Altschul he fell in love with movies at 11 or 12 years old when his father would take him to see such films as "The Elephant Man," "Apocalypse Now," "The Deer Hunter" and "Taxi Driver."

"I was mainly excited because I saw how much he was excited and I idolized him," Cooper tells Altschul of those outings with his late father. He knew then he wanted to act. "It was a joke for people around me that this little kid was saying he's going to be an actor. But I did. When I saw 'Elephant Man,' I knew it. It crystalized and I said, 'That's what I want to do with my life and I never swayed from that."

Before embarking on an acting career, Cooper attended Georgetown University, graduating with honors. Later he moved to New York City to work on a graduate degree, while also auditioning for roles. He picked up work on one episode of "Sex and the City" and his career was on its way. He eventually moved to Los Angeles where he earned a part on the spy drama "Alias."

While in Hollywood, he admits to Altschul, he gave into temptation, which got the best of him. He credits friends for getting him back on track.

"Watching myself peer into the abyss, and I thought, 'Wow, I'm, actually going to sabotage my whole life," he says. "I didn't really recognize myself. I was lost."

In 2005 he starred in the box-office hit, "Wedding Crashers" and then in 2009 he landed the blockbuster comedy, "The Hangover," which changed everything. He's been called the Sexiest Man Alive by People magazine and is earning critical praise for his latest film, "Silver Linings Playbook," playing a bi-polar former teacher trying to put his life back together after being released from a mental hospital.

Cooper says he never expected this level of success, and is still amazed and humbled by it. "The truth is, I couldn't believe that I got cast in 'The Hangover,'" he says. "So I sort of gave up trying to rationalize my life a long time ago. The fact that I'm here with you on this show that I grew up watching with my grandparents with Charles Kuralt, that's surreal."

Altschul's profile of Cooper will be broadcast Dec. 23, 2012 on CBS SUNDAY MORNING (9:00 AM, ET) on the CBS Television Network. Rand Morrison is the executive producer.