Brad Pitt quickly became Hollywood’s most in-demand heartthrob after 1991’s Thelma & Louise, but the fast rise took a toll on the actor.
In a new profile for the New York Times, Pitt opens up about his early days of fame when every move he made was endlessly talked about and scrutinized.
“In the ’90s, all that attention really threw me,” Pitt, 55, said. “It was really uncomfortable for me, the cacophony of expectations and judgments. I really became a bit of a hermit and just bonged myself into oblivion.”
Pitt said he eventually learned how to tune out outside noise and expectation.
“Those dubious thoughts, the mind chatter, the rat in the skull — that’s comedy,” Pitt said. “It’s just ridiculous that we would beat ourselves up that way. It doesn’t matter. I spent too much of life wrestling with those thoughts, or being tethered to those thoughts, or caged by those thoughts.”
Elsewhere in the profile, Pitt also got candid about his future in the movie industry.
“It’ll be fewer and farther in between for me, just because I have other things I want to do now,” Pitt said. “When you feel like you’ve finally got your arms around something, then it’s time to go get your arms around something else.”
Pitt previously spoke to PEOPLE at the Los Angeles premiere of Once Upon a Time… in Hollywood, where he weighed in on whether he had ever considered retiring.
“No, I don’t know. I don’t know. I enjoy doing other things,” Pitt said of whether he’s thought about leaving his acting career behind. “I think that one day I’ll just wake up and organically it’ll be done. Maybe I won’t wake up and that’s why it’ll be done.”
His new film Ad Astra opens Sept. 20.