Brad Pitt opens up

Ac­tor talks about al­co­hol, ther­apy and matcha tea in his first post-split in­ter­view

The Hamilton Spectator - - A & E - STEPHANIE MERRY

For the first time since news of his split with An­gelina Jolie last Septem­ber, Brad Pitt is back on the in­ter­view cir­cuit. The oc­ca­sion is his new Netflix movie, “War Ma­chine,” which comes out May 26.

As a work­ing ac­tor, he couldn’t hide from re­porters for­ever, though he didn’t have to be quite so forth­com­ing as he was in a sit-down with GQ. The take-away: He seems de­pressed — un­der­stand­ably. After all, he’s holed up in his long­time Hol­ly­wood home while his six kids are liv­ing with their mom. But he also sounds in­tro­spec­tive, if oc­ca­sion­ally self­flag­el­lat­ing: He says he’s done with drink­ing “I can’t re­mem­ber a day since I got out of col­lege when I wasn’t booz­ing or had a spliff, or some­thing. Some­thing.”

Pitt said he re­al­izes now he was try­ing to es­cape from his feel­ings. By the time he started a fam­ily, he was done with mar­i­juana and was just using al­co­hol as his numb­ing agent of choice. But it came to a point where things got out of con­trol. (There were ru­mours that the al­ter­ca­tion on an air­plane, which sparked the sep­a­ra­tion, was the re­sult of Pitt’s drunk­en­ness.) So he quit. “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.”

He isn’t go­ing to drag his fam­ily through a big cus­tody bat­tle

Pitt heard one lawyer say, “No one wins in court — it’s just a mat­ter of who gets hurt worse.” Luck­ily for him, he and Jolie agreed to work things out pri­vately and says they’re both do­ing their best. He thinks that court bat­tles in­evitably turn into long-term night­mares that typ­i­cally re­sult in “vit­ri­olic ha­tred.” “For­tu­nately my part­ner in this agrees,” he said. He’s hav­ing an ex­is­ten­tial cri­sis Pitt has a lot to sort out, ap­par­ently. Not only has he come to terms with the fact that he’s been using sub­stances to es­cape his emo­tions, but he seems some­what dis­gusted with him­self, even call­ing him­self an “a------” at one point. He delved a bit into his ten­dency to ruin a good thing (and his failed mar­riage to Jen­nifer Anis­ton will in­evitably come to mind for some read­ers): “I tend to run things into the ground,” he said. “That’s why I’ve got to make some­thing so calami­tous. I’ve got to run it off a cliff.”

These days, he’s sculpt­ing, see­ing a ther­a­pist and tak­ing a good look at his short­com­ings.

“For me this pe­riod has re­ally been about look­ing at my weak­nesses and fail­ures and own­ing my side of the street,” he said, be­fore get­ting into his bizarre ten­dency to as­sume the cards are per­pet­u­ally stacked against him. “And this is com­ing from a guy who hit the lot­tery, I’m well aware of that,” he said. “I hit the lot­tery, and I still would waste my time on those hollow pur­suits.” He’s lis­ten­ing to a lot of Frank Ocean He said for the first time he’s un­der­stand­ing R&B, see­ing it as a cel­e­bra­tion that comes from pain. He has Ocean on re­peat, but he’s also been play­ing Marvin Gaye’s “Here, My Dear.”

He also kept com­ing back to a story about an African mother he met once. She had lost nine of her fam­ily mem­bers but had the big­gest laugh he’d ever heard.

His con­stant com­pan­ion is a bull­dog named Jac­ques

He doesn’t do much ex­cept lie around but he’s very loyal. He’s got­ten re­ally into matcha green tea Pitt may have given up al­co­hol, but he’s found a new bev­er­age of choice and he’s tak­ing it very se­ri­ously. Some peo­ple might just throw all the in­gre­di­ents for their matcha tea into a blender, but not this guy.

“He de­lib­er­ately sprin­kles some green pow­der in a cup with a sifter, then pours in the boil­ing wa­ter, whisk­ing with a bam­boo brush, un­til the liq­uid is a har­le­quin froth,” ac­cord­ing to GQ’s Michael Pa­ter­niti. It seems to be just one of the many ways Pitt is de­lib­er­ately try­ing to keep him­self oc­cu­pied.

“If I’m not cre­at­ing some­thing, do­ing some­thing, put­ting it out there, then I’ll just be cre­at­ing sce­nar­ios of fiery demise in my mind,” he said. “You know, a hor­ri­ble end.”

RICH FURY, GETTY IMAGES

Brad Pitt sounds in­tro­spec­tive, if oc­ca­sion­ally self-flag­el­lat­ing.

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