Brad Pitt is known to be one of the most dedicated actors in Hollywood — and he used that quality to get sober following his split from ex-wife Angelina Jolie. The Once Upon a Time in Hollywood star detailed his journey in a new profile The New York Times published on Wednesday, September 4.
“The fact is, we all carry pain, grief and loss,” Pitt, 55, said of his post-breakup emotions. “We spend most of our time hiding it, but it’s there, it’s in you. So you open up those boxes.”
“I had taken things as far as I could take it, so I removed my drinking privileges,” the Ad Astra actor explained before sharing what it was like to attend more than a year of Alcoholics Anonymous meetings. “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.”
Pitt added of the group of men in which he found strength and catharsis: “It was actually really freeing just to expose the ugly sides of yourself. There’s great value in that.”
The Oklahoma native was in a dark place when the Maleficent actress, 44, decided to pull the plug on their two-year marriage in September 2016 after an alleged fight aboard a private plane regarding Pitt’s excessive drinking. The former couple share six children: Maddox, 18, Pax, 15, Zahara, 14, Shiloh, 13, and twins Knox and Vivienne, 11.
In May 2017, Pitt opened up about making the decision to put down the bottle.
“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,” he told GQ at the time. “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. It’s just become a problem. And I’m really happy it’s been half a year now, which is bittersweet, but I’ve got my feelings in my fingertips again.”
Pitt and Jolie reached a custody agreement in late 2018 following a lengthy legal battle. While the two “have joint physical and legal custody of the children,” Maddox is free to make his own decisions due to his age, an insider told Us Weekly at the time. (The eldest Jolie-Pitt recently started classes at Yonsei University in South Korea.)
The Fight Club star’s relationship with his eldest son has been strained since the aforementioned plane incident, a second insider told Us earlier this year, explaining that “Maddox doesn’t really see himself as Brad’s son.”
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