Brad Pitt opens up about 'impermanence' and his role in 'Ad Astra'

Brad Pitt opens up about 'impermanence' and his role in 'Ad Astra' originally appeared on

Brad Pitt opened up about how much he relates to his astronaut character in the new film "Ad Astra," saying they were both at a point where they are dealing with "the soul."

"Ad Astra" stars Pitt as maverick astronaut Roy McBride on a mission that takes him on a thrilling journey of self-discovery while in search of his missing astronaut father played by Tommy Lee Jones.

Writer-director James Gray said he wanted the film to be the most realistic depiction of space ever seen. At the same time, however, much of the movie involves McBride's inner voice and psyche.

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"Maybe James and I are both at an age where, you know, we probably lived more than we have left, and you start thinking about ... impermanence," Pitt said. "You start thinking of ... your own personal values."

Pitt said his character was "getting to a point" where "the life he's constructed doesn't work for him anymore."

He is "forced to confront" what he once avoided, Pitt added, "dealing with ... the soul."

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"I find myself drawn to projects -- with subject matter that -- that I'm already focused on," Pitt said. "And the beautiful thing about what we get to do is you get to focus on it intensely."

"It's really coming to terms with knowing yourself, a full acceptance of yourself instead of a -- living with regrets or the grief we carry, the loneliness we carry," he said. "I just believe that -- in being really open about that and understanding that in yourself ... which is not fun."

Still, Pitt said, "peace comes ... from that."

"And [it] makes me better with the people I love," he added.

Because of this, Pitt said he felt he brought an authenticity to the role.

"It is the universal human experience," he said. "It's quite poetic that we have to go out to the abyss, the endless space, you know, which might as well be a grave, you know?"

Pitt has had a whirlwind past few years and is finally putting peace ahead of pressure after his divorce from actress Angelina Jolie, with whom he has six children, and a year and a half in Alcoholics Anonymous. Now sober, he is even more in demand than ever after two major performances in 2019.

"This film ... is really delicate, and it walks the line because it's sincere," he said. "It stands right on the line of being too earnest."

The film's title, "Ad Astra," means "to the stars," according to Pitt.

"I think it's, 'Through hardship, to the stars,'" he explained. "There's no avoiding it, so you better buckle up!"

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