Why Bradley Cooper Begged To Leave Alias (& How His Characer Left)


Bradley Cooper played a major role during the first two seasons of spy drama Alias, but here’s why he “begged” creator J.J. Abrams to leave.

Here’s why Bradley Cooper was so unhappy during his time on Alias that he begged J.J. Abrams to write his character Will off the series. Prior to Alias, Abrams had found success as a screenwriter on films such as Armageddon and as the showrunner on Felicity. It was the latter show that sparked the concept for Alias, where Abrams – who has some upcoming DC shows – imagined an episode where Felicity worked as a government agent for a summer before returning to school. Alias debuted in 2001 and followed Sydney Bristow (Jennifer Garner), who works as a double agent to bring down a sinister spy organization called SD-6.


Alias was famously for its many shocking twists and turns, in addition to Garner’s elaborate disguises. It also gave Bradley Cooper one of his first big roles as Will Tippin, a journalist friend of Sydney who has no idea about her double life as a spy. During season one, Will worked to uncover the truth about SD-6, which placed his life in danger. He was eventually rescued by Syd and began working with the CIA in season 2 – but Cooper (who was nearly The Crow) was unhappy with his character’s arc. Will had little of interest to do during Alias season 2 and recalled to GQ that he “begged” Abrams to write Will off – despite having been advised to stay and having no work lined up afterwards. Cooper left Alias as a regular at the end of season 2, though his career took a little time to gain momentum.

Related: Every Greg Grunberg Character In J.J. Abrams Movies & TV Shows

How Will Left Alias And His Return Appearances

A major plot thread of Alias season 2 was that Sydney and Will’s friend Francie (Merrin Dungey) has been murdered and replaced by a doppelganger. Evil Francie used her romance with Will to steal information about the CIA, but after being uncovered, she stabs him. This leads to a brawl between Sydney and fake Francie, while Will’s fate was left ambiguous.

Alias season 3 revealed he survived but was taken into witness protection and started a new life. Cooper – who returned for the Limitless TV series – made a guest appearance in the episode “Remnants” when Sydney needs his help, and they have a little spy adventure; he also gained revenge for Francie’s murder. Cooper returned as Will for the last time during Alias‘ 100th episode, which was intended as a celebration of the show and its success.

Cooper Almost Quit Acting After Alias

In the aftermath of leaving Alias, Cooper has opened up about his personal and professional struggles. After quitting the show, Cooper tore his Achilles playing basketball and spent the better part of a year recovering. He was also addicted to drugs and alcohol during this period and feeling his career was going nowhere, considered quitting acting altogether.

He later credited friend Will Arnett with helping him realize the extent of his substance abuse issues, and he has been sober since 2004. Following this, he landed a role in The Wedding Crashers, which in turn led to The Hangover movies making him a leading man. It’s unlikely Bradley Cooper regrets leaving Alias now, but if a revival ever happens, he probably won’t play a major role in it.Next: 10 Cloverfield Lane: Bradley Cooper’s Cameo Role Explained


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