Brad Pitt Opens Up About Divorce, Quitting Drinking in Exclusive GQ Style Interview

Actor has started therapy since his split with actress Angelina Jolie.

May 3, 2017 11:03 am

Brad Pitt is in rare form on the cover of GQ Style this month. In an exclusive interview with the publication, the actor reveals a raw and intimate side of himself, in which he acknowledges the flaws that led to his high-profile divorce from Angelina Jolie following an alcohol-fueled altercation with the couple’s 15-year-old son, Maddox, on a private flight last fall. Below, we’ve pulled out some of the most interesting components of the interview, which touch on loneliness, grief, and the importance of human evolution.

On quitting drinking:

“These moments have always been a huge generator for change. And I’m quite grateful for it. But 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. Something. And you realize 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, 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.”

On self-reflection:

“Metaphors are my life. You strip down to the foundation and break out the mortar. I don’t know. For me this period has really been about looking at my weaknesses and failures and owning my side of the street. I’m an asshole when it comes to this need for justice. I don’t know where it comes from, this hollow quest for justice for some perceived slight. I can drill on that for days and years. It’s done me no good whatsoever. It’s such a silly idea, the idea that the world is fair. And this is coming from a guy who hit the lottery, I’m well aware of that. I hit the lottery, and I still would waste my time on those hollow pursuits.”

On his children and his estranged wife, actress and humanitarian Angelina Jolie:

“Family first. People on their deathbeds don’t talk about what they obtained or were awarded. They talk about their loved ones or their regrets—that seems to be the menu. I say that as someone who’s let the work take me away. Kids are so delicate. They absorb everything. They need to have their hand held and things explained. They need to be listened to. When I get in that busy work mode, I’m not hearing. I want to be better at that.”

He continued:

“I grew up with a Father-knows-best/war mentality—the father is all-powerful, super strong—instead of really knowing the man and his own self-doubt and struggles. And it’s hit me smack in the face with our divorce: I gotta be more. I gotta be more for them. I have to show them. And I haven’t been great at it.”

Pitt added: “’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…and by the way: There’s no love without loss. It’s a package deal.”


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