Another day, another revelation in the second coming of one of Hollywood’s most notable names. Today, the world learned how Brad Pitt spent the ’90s — and it apparently involved quite a bit of, ahem, herbal refreshments. In a candid new interview with The New York Times, the actor opens up about the evolution of his attitude toward fame and how, at times, it led to him “hiding out and smoking pot.” Like, for almost an entire decade.
Times staff writer David Marchese picked Pitt’s brain about his two big roles of 2019, Once Upon a Time…in Hollywood and Ad Astra. But in doing so, Marchese also uncovered quite a bit of interesting intel about Pitt during at the start of his career. Pitt’s pot-smoking extracurriculars came by way of a question about whether the actor uses his looks as a tool in his craft. Pitt insisted he doesn’t consider his looks a particularly effective actorly tool, partially because there has often been a disconnect between his perception of himself and the outward perception of him.
“I’ve had moments where I’ve seen pictures of myself from years ago and gone, ‘That kid looks all right.’ But I didn’t feel that way inside. I spent most of the ’90s hiding out and smoking pot,” he said. “I was too uncomfortable with all the attention. Then I got to a place where I was aware that I was imprisoning myself. Now I go out and live life, and generally people are pretty cool.”
Pitt also acknowledged that there is more of a stillness and ease to his work now than there was in his early career — but that doesn’t necessarily mean he’s gotten better at picking roles. “In the ’90s, I did become aware that there was this kind of leading-man role that you could plug any of us into and it didn’t even matter. We would all have the same result. So as I’ve gotten older, I’ve become more conscious of thinking, If I am the one to play something, what can I bring that’s unique?”
In both “Once Upon a Time … in Hollywood” and “Ad Astra,” Brad Pitt uses the same tools — laconic cool, understated emotion — to build two entirely different versions of masculinity.
— NYT Magazine (@NYTmag) December 10, 2019
Of course, it’s no secret that Pitt is quite introspective at this point in his life. In the past year, he’s opened up more than once about the fact he spends much more time pondering his emotions than he did in the past.
In a profile with Anthony Hopkins for Interview Magazine last week, he revealed, “I am quite famously a not-crier. Is that a term?’ he joked. “I hadn’t cried in, like, 20 years, and now I find myself, at this later stage, much more moved — moved by my kids, moved by friends, moved by the news. Just moved. I think it’s a good sign. I don’t know where it’s going, but I think it’s a good sign.”
No word on whether pot is still part of that emotional journey, but maybe that’s a revelation for another day.