Brad Pitt rolls off the tongue easily. Everything about him, at first glance, is easy — he’s easy on the eyes, his demeanor is easy, even the loping way he walks is easy. But he’s complicated, obviously, and in a new interview with the New York Times, Pitt acknowledged his struggle with drinking and journey getting sober after his marriage with Angelina Jolie busted open.
In 2016, Jolie and Pitt split, going down in a blaze with a reported fight on a private plane about Pitt’s drinking. After that, Pitt had enough. As he put it, “I had taken things as far as I could take it, so I removed my drinking privileges.” The breakup marked the beginning of Pitt’s time in Alcoholics Anonymous, where he spent a year and a half.
Pitt detailed his experience with AA with a touch of wonder. “You had all these men sitting around being open and honest in a way I have never heard,” he said. “It was this safe space where there was little judgment, and therefore little judgment of yourself.”
He was able to open up and be honest and vulnerable, and none of the other AA members sold his stories to the tabloids. The ability to trust, he said, was a good feeling. “It was actually really freeing just to expose the ugly sides of yourself,” he said. “There’s great value in that.”
For good measure, Pitt threw in some philosophy into the interview. “The fact is, we all carry pain, grief and loss,” he said, musing on his experience with channeling emotion into his performance in the coming film Ad Astra, in which he stars. “We spend most of our time hiding it, but it’s there, it’s in you. So you open up those boxes.”
He added that the movie asks big questions — the ones that don’t necessarily have answers. “We’re asking questions like, ‘What’s it all about?’ and ‘Why are we here?’ That’s a bit of a minefield, because there are so many traps,” Pitt told the Times. “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.” From the horse’s mouth, folks. Anyone else ready to preorder tickets?