When St Angie Jolie said words about the fall of Brangelina in Cambodia in February, she kept it pretty short and let us know that her most private thoughts are still locked in her bulging forehead vein of protection. It’s now Brad Pitt’s turn to say words about everything that’s happened and the human form of Rodin’s The Thinker really spilled out all of his thoughts.
To promote his new movie War Machine for Netflix, Brad did a photo shoot for GQ Style at “America’s Greatest National Parks,” the Everglades, White Sands and Carlsbad Caverns. All of the pictures are here and they look like pictures that an art student would take if they were really inspired by Terrence Malick and wanted to artistically show all the stages of sadness. (In the pictures, Brad Pitt also looks like a fetus who just watched all of Terrence Malick’s movies in a row while totally sober.) They are that emotionally raw. And during the interview, Brad talks about breaking up with Angie, quitting boozing, making HIGH ART, and his kids. My favorite Jolie-Pitt, Jacques Jolie-Pitt, was hanging out during Brad’s interview so I’m sure that many shady bulldog side-eyes were thrown.
Michael Paterniti, who interviewed Brad for GQ Style, brought up people saying that he’s going through a mid-life crisis. But according to Brad, you won’t find him leaning up against his bright yellow Ferrari as he makes out with his 18-year-old Instagram THOT girlfriend while wearing a backless tank top that shows off his totally awesome back tattoo. Because he says he’s not going through a mid-life crisis. Cut to Jacques throwing the first of several bulldog side-eyes.
No, this isn’t that. I interpret a midlife crisis as a fear of growing old and fear of dying, you know, going out and buying a Lamborghini. [pause] Actually—they’ve been looking pretty good to me lately! [laughs]
Ever since Brad was investigated by CPS and the FBI (both cases were closed without charges being made) for allegedly getting into it with Maddox Jolie-Pitt on a private plane, he quit boozing. (Brad reportedly had to undergo booze and drug testing in order to see his kids.) Brad also claims that his lips haven’t touched the good shit since he got married to Angie in 2014. Cut to Jacques throwing his second bulldog side-eye.
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. 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. I think that’s part of the human challenge: You either deny them all of your life or you answer them and evolve.
Brad says that saying goodbye to weed wasn’t hard for him even though he never fulfilled his goal of toking it up with the Stoner Santa that is Willie Nelson:
No. Back in my stoner days, I wanted to smoke a joint with Jack and Snoop and Willie. You know, when you’re a stoner, you get these really stupid ideas. Well, I don’t want to indict the others, but I haven’t made it to Willie yet.
As for the sweet nectar, he says that Cranberry juice with soda water is now his go-to drink since he quit boozing, which by the way, he apparently had a PhD in.
I mean, we have a winery. 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.
And then, Brad and Michael strolled into THE DIVORCE section of the interview. Brad started by saying that he’s always been “retarded” about checking in with his emotions. (“I’ll co-sign that in BLOOD,” said all of his exes.)
I’m personally very retarded when it comes to taking inventory of my emotions. I’m much better at covering up. I grew up with a Father-knows-best/war mentality—the father is all-powerful, super strong—instead of really knowing the man and his own self-doubt and struggles. And 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.
Angie and Brad were working on his child visitation schedule at the time of the interview. He adds that they’re really trying to work the custody situation.
It was all that for a while. I was really on my back and chained to a system when Child Services was called. And you know, after that, we’ve been able to work together to sort this out. 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. I just refuse. And fortunately my partner in this agrees. It’s just very, very jarring for the kids, to suddenly have their family ripped apart.
And finally, he says that they want to stay away from court because that can really turn into a smegma tsunami of awful and they don’t want to go there. Brad also spit out this about telling the child army about their parents’ divorce:
Well, there’s a lot to tell them because there’s understanding the future, there’s understanding the immediate moment and why we’re at this point, and then it brings up a lot of issues from the past that we haven’t talked about. So our focus is that everyone comes out stronger and better people—there is no other outcome.
There’s a lot, lot more to Brad’s interview. What I got from it is that he’s no longer the “angry and drunk dad” that the media (and St. Angie’s team) painted him out to be, and now he’s booze-free, calmer, getting therapy and spends his nights reading Churchill by the fire (really, he quotes Churchill in this interview and says that he lights a fire after getting up and before he goes to bed). So, I’m actually surprised that there wasn’t a picture of Brad rising like a phoenix out of a pile of flaming broken bongs, booze bottles and a busted fuel truck. That should’ve been the cover, honestly.
Pics: GQ Style/Ryan McGinley