Brad Pitt has fronted up to using alcohol to deal with the impending breakdown of his marriage to Angelina Jolie, in his first interview since the former Hollywood power couple split last September.
Speaking to GQ, the 53-year-old actor revealed he’d recently started seeing a therapist (“I love it, I love it. I went through two therapists to get to the right one“) and that these days, he eschews booze for cranberry juice and soda water (“I’ve got the cleanest urinary tract in all of L.A., I guarantee you!”).
But he also revealed that the split was “self-inflicted”, revealing that while he gave up both alcohol and weed when he started his family – around 2004, shortly after starring in ‘Mr and Mrs Smith‘ with Jolie – he’d been turning to alcohol in the final year of his marriage.
“For me, personally, I can’t remember a day since I got out of college when I wasn’t boozing or had a spliff, or something,” he said. “Something. And you realise that a lot of it is, um—cigarettes, you know, pacifiers. And I’m running from feelings. I’m really, really happy to be done with all of that. I mean I stopped everything except boozing when I started my family. But even this last year, you know—things I wasn’t dealing with. I was boozing too much. It’s just become a problem. And I’m really happy it’s been half a year now [since drinking], which is bittersweet, but I’ve got my feelings in my fingertips again. I think that’s part of the human challenge: You either deny them all of your life or you answer them and evolve.”
Elaborating further, he said that he enjoys wine “very, very much” but that he “just ran it to the ground. I had to step away for a minute. And truthfully, I could drink a Russian under the table with his own vodka. I was a professional. I was good.”
When GQ asked how he could “just drop [alcohol] like that”, he replied simply: “Don’t want to live that way anymore.”
Jolie filed for divorce in September 2016, five days after an alleged altercation between Pitt and their 15-year-old son Maddox aboard the family’s private jet, resulting in an FBI investigation (because the flight was in the air) and interviews with the LA County Department of Children and Family Services.
No charges were filed, but Pitt says the incident took its toll.
“I was really on my back and chained to a system when Child Services was called,” he said. “And you know, after that, we’ve been able to work together to sort this out. We’re both doing our best. I heard one lawyer say, ‘No one wins in court—it’s just a matter of who gets hurt worse.’ And it seems to be true, you spend a year just focused on building a case to prove your point and why you’re right and why they’re wrong, and it’s just an investment in vitriolic hatred. I just refuse. And fortunately my partner in this agrees. It’s just very, very jarring for the kids, to suddenly have their family ripped apart.”
Pitt only mentions Jolie’s name once throughout the interview, when suggesting a movie of hers the GQ interviewer should see (‘First They Killed My Father‘), but he gets deep into how he’s been dealing with the split all the same, agreeing with GQ’s Michael Paterniti that it’s “like a death”.
He says the first urge is to cling on to the relationship. “And then you’ve got a cliché: ‘If you love someone, set them free.’ Now I know what it means, by feeling it. It means to love without ownership. It means expecting nothing in return. But it sounds good written. It sounds good when Sting sings it. It doesn’t mean fuck-all to me until, you know— until you live it.”
He describes his life now as being in the middle of a long, hard slog. A few months ago, he was having frightening dreams, and when he woke from them, he’d ask himself, “What can I get out of this?”
“And now I have been having moments of joy, and you wake and realise it’s just a dream, and I get a bit depressed for the moment. Just the moment, just glimpse moments of joy because I know I’m just in the middle of this thing now and I’m not at the beginning of it or at the end of it, just where this chapter is right now, just smack-dab in the middle. It’s fucking in the middle of it and, you know, I just don’t want to dodge any of it. I just want to stand there, shirt open, and take my hits and see, and see.”
Read his full profile in GQ HERE.
Photo: Rich Fury / Getty.