Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie's split in September of 2016 seemed, at least to the public, absolutely cataclysmic. Hollywood's most high-profile couple filed for divorce amidst rumors of child abuse and alcohol addiction, and fans were heartbroken. Angelina Jolie fought back tears in February during an interview regarding the film First They Killed My Father , but insisted, "I don't want to say much about [the divorce.]" Pitt and Jolie have stayed understandably mum on the subject — rumors circulated that Pitt, driven to solitude post-divorce, was spending hours in a sculpture studio working on an original piece. In a new interview with GQ Style , though, Pitt was quite candid about the events of last fall.
The fact is, he's a 53-year-old who went through a very public divorce during which it seemed he might just lose custody of his five children. The interview, an exclusive cover story written by Michael Paterniti, is raw, intimate, and more than a little upsetting. These days, Pitt is actually working on a sculpture — he admitted it in the interview — and he's grappling with the World's Worst Midlife Crisis. Here are the more heart-wrenching moments in the epic profile.
On What He's Been Listening To
"I've been listening to a lot of Frank Ocean. I find this young man so special. Talk about getting to the raw truth. He's painfully honest. He's very, very special. I can't find a bad one.
And of great irony to me: Marvin Gaye's Here, My Dear [Gaye's touchstone album about divorce]. And that kind of sent me down a road."
"You know, I just started therapy. I love it, I love it. I went through two therapists to get to the right one."
On Booze, Cigarettes & So-Called "Pacifiers"
"But me, personally, I can't remember a day since I got out of college when I wasn't boozing or had a spliff, or something. Something. And you realize that a lot of it is, um—cigarettes, you know, pacifiers. And I'm running from feelings. I'm really, really happy to be done with all of that. I mean I stopped everything except boozing when I started my family."
On Recovering From The Divorce
"...I've got my feelings in my fingertips again," Pitt admitted.
On Missing Alcohol
"I enjoy wine very, very much, but I just ran it to the ground. 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 Where He Went Immediately Following News Of His Divorce.
"It was too sad to be here at first, so I went and stayed on a friend's floor, a little bungalow in Santa Monica. I crashed over here a little bit, my friend [David] Fincher lives right here...I stayed at my friend's house on the floor for a month and a half—until I was out there one morning, 5:30, and this surveillance van pulls up. They don't know that I'm up behind a wall, and they pull up—and it's a long story—but it was something more than TMZ, because they got into my friend's computer. The stuff they can do these days.... So I got a little paranoid being there. I decided I had to pick up and come here."
On Tragedy & Scandal
"It just keeps knocking. I'm 53 and I'm just getting into it."
On Being Misconstrued By The Media
"But, yes, at the same time, it is a drag to have certain things drug out in public and misconstrued. I worry about it more for my kids, being subjected to it, and their friends getting ideas from it. 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."
On His Kids
"...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 The Court Proceedings Following His Divorce
"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."
On Finding Happiness Again
"It's an elusive thing. It's been a more painful week than normal—just certain things have come up—but I see joy out the window, and I can see the silhouette of palms and an expression on one of my kids' faces, a parting smile, or finding some, you know, moment of bliss with the clay."
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