The actor discusses his struggle with alcohol, his divorce and his new passion for sculpting in an in-depth interview with GQ magazine
Last September, the world was stunned by the news that the era of Brangelina was over. Hollywood's most-envied couple were getting divorced. The press wrote about Jolie's depression, Pitt's struggle with alcohol, and both actors' addiction to work.
Until recently, Jolie and Pitt avoided speaking to the media about what had happened. Overwhelmed by the drastic changes in their lives, they decided to deal with their issues in private. Now, however, after eight months of silence, Pitt has finally opened up in an in-depth interview for GQ.
'I was boozing too much. It just became a problem,' the 53-year-old actor confessed to interviewer Michael Paterniti. '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 is unafraid to admit that his alcohol consumption was one of the main factors behind the divorce. But he seems to have beaten his addiction with the help of self-discipline and an effective substitute:
'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... (I've replaced it with) cranberry juice and fizzy water. I've got the cleanest urinary tract in all of L.A., I guarantee you!'
Despite the controversy that's been stirred up around their divorce, Pitt only has good things to say about Jolie. 'I hit the lottery and I still would waste my time on those hollow pursuits.'
He also criticised the media for exploiting his family's breakup for commercial gain. '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. I worry more in my current situation about the slideshow my kids have. I want to make sure it's well-balanced.'
Pitt has come to recognise that the only thing that really matters to him now are his children. He worries about how they are being affected by the divorce and vows to listen to them more.
'Family first. People on their deathbeds don't talk about what they obtained or were awarded. They talk about their loved ones or their regrets – that seems to be the menu. I say that as someone who's let the work take me away. Kids are so delicate. They absorb everything. They need to have their hand held and things explained. They need to be listened to. When I get in that busy work mode, I'm not hearing. I want to be better at that.'
Pitt and Jolie are working out the custody arrangements, so that he can stay as close to his family as possible. '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.'
As well as continuing his acting work, and putting his personal life in order, Pitt has found a new passion and comfort in sculpting. 'I'm working with clay, plaster, rebar, wood,' he says.