A new interview with the New York Times sees Brad Pitt opening up about the year and a half he spent in Alcoholics Anonymous. The 55-year-old actor sought support following his September 2016 split from Angelina Jolie, who filed for divorce after an alleged confrontation about Pitt’s drinking aboard a private plane with their children.
Though Pitt declined to explicitly address the break-up — “I had family stuff going on,” he said of his work in the upcoming Ad Astra — he acknowledged that his issues with drinking had come to a head.
“I had taken things as far as I could take it, so I removed my drinking privileges,” he explained.
And so he joined an AA group in which men — none of whom broke his trust by revealing his presence to the press — shared their own struggles with alcohol.
“You had all these men sitting around being open and honest in a way I have never heard,” Pitt said. “It was this safe space where there was little judgment, and therefore little judgment of yourself.
“It was actually really freeing just to expose the ugly sides of yourself,” he continued. “There’s great value in that.”
This contemplative recovery process appears to have translated on the big screen in Ad Astra, which is already generating Oscar buzz.
“The fact is, we all carry pain, grief and loss,” Pitt said of playing an isolated astronaut in the film. “We spend most of our time hiding it, but it’s there, it’s in you. So you open up those boxes.”
But despite all the accolades coming his way, the star insisted that he’ll be scaling back his film work.
“It’ll be fewer and farther in between for me, just because I have other things I want to do now,” he shared. “When you feel like you’ve finally got your arms around something, then it’s time to go get your arms around something else.”
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