On The Record


Poor Brad Pitt. Poor ex­tremely wealthy, highly beau­ti­ful, out­ra­geously ta­lented Brad Pitt. Be­cause de­spite his charmed Hol­ly­wood ex­is­tence and dash­ing, chis­elled fea­tures, the ac­tor is just like you and me.

in the wake of his di­vorce from an­gelina Jolie, Brad, 53, is hurt­ing and he’s hurt­ing bad. tabloid re­ports have re­vealed he’s deal­ing with his vast ar­ray of painful emo­tions by lis­ten­ing to a sad songs playlist filled to the brim with gloomy Bon iver tunes, while va­p­ing and work­ing on a sculp­ture pro­ject. oh Brad, we’ve all been there – well, maybe not the sculp­ture pro­ject. and def­i­nitely not the va­p­ing. But the heartache? the soul-sap­ping feel­ing of ut­ter empti­ness? the long, sleep­less nights and con­stant think­ing? Sure. Who hasn’t been dumped and then im­me­di­ately reached for the glummest tunes pos­si­ble so they can wal­low in their misery and take mi­nor com­fort in the fact that some­one, some­where out there, feels the same way?

there are many op­tions when it comes to artists to soundtrack a split – from adele to Nick Cave to Kanye West – with a strong case to be made for just putting on a whole load of clas­sic coun­try mu­sic, a genre in which lit­er­ally all songs are about be­ing dumped or drink­ing too much whiskey on a bayou. once, dido’s per­fectly an­o­dyne ‘White Flag’ came on Magic ra­dio af­ter i’d just been ditched and my good­ness, i don’t think i’ve ever been as up­set since.

Yet Bon iver – the mil­len­nial, plaid-clad king of the break-up bal­lad – has been Brad’s rather more taste­ful tear­jerker. Bon iver’s Justin Ver­non made his name a decade ago with his de­but al­bum ‘For Emma, For­ever ago’. it’s an ex­cep­tional record, but one that’s ba­si­cally 37 min­utes of a grown man sat in a shed cry­ing, ‘But wh­hyyyyy?’ Brad’s low-key, sen­si­tive fan­boy­ing of Justin Ver­non hasn’t es­caped the man him­self, who tweeted a re­sponse upon dis­cov­er­ing he’s been help­ing an a-lis­ter through his heart­break. “Cool,” he wrote. “Some­one get Brad at me, i guess? We should talk.”

We can pic­ture it now: Justin in his snug­gli­est woollen jumper, stok­ing the fire in the cabin in the woods and pour­ing Grey Goose into a pair of tum­blers, await­ing the ar­rival of a very sad Brad. then, in the dis­tance, a mo­tor­cy­cle en­gine can be heard. it is, of course, the leather-clad movie star, who’s rid­den through the night from La to seek so­lace in Justin’s warm heart and words of wis­dom. as Brad comes through the door, Justin places a hand on his shoul­der – a hand blis­tered from bran­dish­ing an axe and chop­ping down trees all day – but a hand that un­der­stands. Brad sheds a sin­gle tear. Brad will get through this. We all will. @leoniemay­cooper

“Who hasn’t been dumped then reached for the glummest tunes?”

Justin Ver­non (inset) is the plaid-clad king of the break-up bal­lad

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