Brad Pitt is opening up.
The star hasn’t made many public statements or appearances since the news broke last fall that he and wife Angelina Jolie were getting a divorce. But Pitt, who has a new movie, War Machine, hitting Netflix later this month, is on the cover of the summer issue of GQ Style, posing in different national parks.
Inside the magazine, he gives a revealing interview. Though he only mentions his estranged wife once (by telling the interviewer he should see her new movie, First They Killed My Father), he does get honest about his life now, his relationship with alcohol and the struggles he’s gone through over the past six months.
Here are some of the highlights from the interview.
On giving up alcohol
“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,” Pitt, 53, said, also revealing that he now goes to therapy. “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.” He added, ” 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.”
On custody issues
“I was really on my back and chained to a system when Child Services was called,” Pitt explained about the custody proceedings, citing the investigation that sparked last fall (no charges were filed). “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 also said he “worries” about his and Jolie’s kids, Maddox, 15, Pax, 13, Zahara, 12, Shiloh, 10, and twins Vivienne and Knox, 8, being “subjected” to the various media narratives around the divorce. “And of course it’s not done with any kind of delicacy or insight — it’s done to sell. And so you know the most sensational sells, and that’s what they’ll be subjected to, and that pains me. I worry more in my current situation about the slideshow my kids have (about the divorce). I want to make sure it’s well-balanced.”
On changing for his family
For Pitt, the past six months has been about “looking at my weaknesses and failures and owning my side of the street.”
“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,” he added. “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.”
On his future in Hollywood
“I don’t really think of myself much as an actor anymore,” Pitt said when asked if his recent life experiences would affect future roles. “It takes up so little of my year and my focus. Film feels like a cheap pass for me, as a way to get at those hard feelings. It doesn’t work anymore, especially being a dad.” Though he did add that acting in “comedic stuff, where you’re taking gambles” was still exciting.