Since his split from Angelina Jolie back in 2016, Brad has spent over a year at Alcoholics Anonymous. Speaking on the issue that was apparently the culprit behind Bradgelina’s break up and the general strain in their marriage, Pitt said he had “taken things as far as I could take it, so I removed my drinking privileges”.
Back in April of this year, actress turned humanitarian Jolie officially dissolved Pitt from her last name after being granted a dissolution in status of their marriage citing ‘irreconcilable differences’. The two have since been legally single.
In an honest recent interview with The New York Times, the 55-year-old actor spoke candidly on his profession, loneliness, masculinity and getting sober. The interviewer described Pitt as being “both penitent and private, as though he were toggling between the person giving confession and the priest receiving it.”, and observed that “Pitt is quieter in person and more thoughtful than you might expect”.
Speaking frankly on his role in Ad Astra back in 2017 following his split from ex-wife Angelina Jolie, a galactic movie focussing more on the protagonist’s (Pitt) inner life over the external starscape, the award-winning father-of-six reveals the loneliness of the character really appealed to him, “We wanted to investigate the inability to connect with others, and the self-protection mechanisms one builds up that keep us from really being open.”. He continued “The ultimate place for my style of acting, as I understand it, is to get to a place of just absolute truth, I’ve got to be experiencing something that’s real to me for it to read real to you.”
Ad Astra’s director and screenwriter James Gray noted “He definitely used the stimuli from his life. Now, I didn’t get personal with him about it at all — I don’t think it’s my business, or even my job — but he investigated the essence of the character through himself.” When asked by the interviewer if he used his role to navigate its resonance to his personal life, Pitt said “The fact is, we all carry pain, grief and loss. We spend most of our time hiding it, but it’s there, it’s in you. So you open up those boxes”.
The AA recovery group Pitt attended was all men. His decision to join came after a pivotal dispute he had with Jolie back in September 2016 over his drinking problem while aboard their private plane. Pitt was very moved by the vulnerability of the members, “You had all these men sitting around being open and honest in a way I have never heard. It was this safe space where there was little judgment, and therefore little judgment of yourself.”
Reflecting on his childhood earlier in the interview, Pitt shared “I grew up with that be-capable, be-strong, don’t-show-weakness thing.” and opened up about the ways in which he sees himself emulating his father in his performances, saying “In some ways, I’m copying him. He had grown up in extreme hardship and poverty, always dead set on giving me a better life than he had — and he did it. But he came from that stoic ilk.”
Reaching the end of the interview, Pitt cathartically concludes that “It was actually really freeing just to expose the ugly sides of yourself. There’s great value in that.”