On Brad Pitt’s birthday, every time he has spoken honestly about alcoholism, anger, and Angelina Jolie

On Brad Pitt’s 56th birthday, here are all the times he has spoken honestly about alcoholism, anger and Angelina Jolie.
Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie split in 2016.(REUTERS)
Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie split in 2016.(REUTERS)
Updated on Dec 18, 2019 09:09 AM IST
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Hindustan Times | By

Actor Brad Pitt turns 56 on Wednesday. In 2019 alone, he has delivered acclaimed performances in films such as Once Upon a Time in Hollywood and Ad Astra, but the discourse around him invariably loops back around to his personal life, and his split from Angelina Jolie.

Over the years, Pitt has been very honest about his personal demons, his battles with alcoholism, his struggles with anger, and his attempts to become a better person.

“I just started therapy,” the actor told GQ Style in 2017, in his first interview post the split. “I love it. I love it. I went through two therapists to get to the right one.”

“I can’t remember a day since I got out of college when I wasn’t boozing or had a spliff, or something... 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,” he said.

Pitt said he loved wine, adding “Truthfully I could drink a Russian under the table with his own vodka. I was a professional. I was good.” He said he has quit drinking, replacing alcohol with cranberry juice and fizzy water.

In 2019, the actor revealed some more details an interview with The New York Times,“I had taken things as far as I could take it, so I removed my drinking privilege.” He said that he started attending Alcoholics Anonymous meetings, where he shared the most personal parts of his life. “You had all these men sitting around being open and honest in a way I have never heard. It was this safe space where there was little judgment, and therefore little judgment of yourself,” he said. “It was actually really freeing just to expose the ugly sides of yourself. There’s great value in that,” Pitt added.

Cast member Brad Pitt poses at the premiere for the film Ad Astra in Los Angeles. (REUTERS)
Cast member Brad Pitt poses at the premiere for the film Ad Astra in Los Angeles. (REUTERS)

In an interview to NPR, ahead of the release of his new film Ad Astra, Pitt admitted that he channelled his personal conflicts into his character. He said, “A breakup of a family is certainly an eye-opener that as one -- and I’m speaking in general again -- but as one needs to understand, I had to understand my own culpability in that, and what can I do better. Because I don’t want to go on like this.”

In a chat with actor Anthony Hopkins for Interview magazine, Pitt said, “I’m realizing, as a real act of forgiveness for myself for all the choices that I’ve made that I’m not proud of, that I value those missteps, because they led to some wisdom, which led to something else. You can’t have one without the other. I see it as something I’m just now getting my arms around at this time in my life. But I certainly don’t feel like I can take credit for any of it.”

He added, “I’m seeing that these days. I think we’re living in a time where we’re extremely judgmental and quick to treat people as disposable. We’ve always placed great importance on the mistake. But the next move, what you do after the mistake, is what really defines a person. We’re all going to make mistakes. But what is that next step? We don’t, as a culture, seem to stick around to see what that person’s next step is. And that’s the part I find so much more invigorating and interesting.”

Jolie filed for divorce from Pitt in September 2016 after two years of marriage and nearly 12 years together. Pitt and Jolie share six children together: daughters Zahara (14), Shiloh (13), and Vivienne (11), and sons Maddox (18), Pax (15), and Knox (11).

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