Bradley Cooper says he got “way, way too comfortable” with AirPods, leading to an incident on a New York City subway platform that could have ended with him being stabbed.
While appearing on the latest episode of the Armchair Expert podcast, the Nightmare Alley star recalled the event, which he said took place pre-pandemic when he “used to walk around New York City all the time” with AirPods on. In a discussion that began with co-host Dax Shepard sharing how he used the Apple headphones to cope with overstimulation while in Paris with his and wife Kristen Bell’s kids, Cooper jumped in with his own experience about how the noise-canceling earbuds made him completely unaware of the dangerous situation he was in.
The actor said the incident occurred while he was on his way to pick up his young daughter Lea — whom he shares with his ex-girlfriend and model Irina Shayk — from school. “I was on the subway — 11:45 to pick Lea up downtown,” he explained. “And I got held up at knifepoint.
“It was pretty insane. But I realized I had gotten way, way too comfortable in this. My guard was down because of the headphones,” he added. “That takes away one sensory guidepost — gone.”
Cooper — who noted that in addition to wearing the AirPods, he was trying to be “incognito” in sunglasses and a hat — had walked to a spot on the platform to wait for the train when someone approached him. “I’m all the way at the end of the subway, which I would just innately go all the way down to the end, right? And I felt somebody coming up 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 shit, and then I turn and I look down and I see a knife.”
The actor described the knife as about 2.5 inches long with a wooden handle, similar to a pocketknife. “I remember, I go, ‘It’s a nice knife.’ It’s got some history. That’s an heirloom, like it was his father’s,” Cooper joked.
Once he became aware of the knife, Cooper said he looked at the person who was holding it, and was “taken by how young they [were]” before going against his instincts and “booking” it.
“I just started running, jumped over the turnstile, hit around the white-tiled foyer entrance to the subway, took my phone out,” he recalled before explaining that whoever was holding the knife also got out of there quickly, resulting in Cooper chasing after him.
“He jumped over, running away. And I took a photo of him, and then I chased him up the stairs. He started running up Seventh Avenue. I took two more photographs of him,” the Star Is Born actor said. “I ran down two police officers in an SUV.”
After showing the officers the photograph, one asked Cooper to check if he was physically harmed, something the actor said he hadn’t thought about, but it turns out he wasn’t stabbed.
“The guy kept saying, ‘Are you stabbed?’ And I was like, ‘No, no.’ He goes, ‘No, no. Check to see if you’re stabbed.’ What happens is people get stabbed, and they’re in shock. So I look to see if he was right. It was crazy.”