Back in 2016, the seemingly perfect and idyllic marriage between Mr. and Mrs. Smith co-stars Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie came to a screeching halt when it was revealed that Brad’s substance abuse was a major point of contention between the two.
Now in a new profile with British GQ, the Fight Club star has revealed he’s made some major life changes since his acrimonious divorce from the Lara Croft star.
Revealing to writer Ottessa Moshfegh that he’s been in Alcoholics Anonymous for a year and a half, he admits that attending the regular meetings gave him some stability.
“I had a really cool men’s group here that was really private and selective, so it was safe,” he says in the profile. “Because I’d seen things of other people who had been recorded while they were spilling their guts, and that’s just atrocious to me.”
He also reveals during the multi-day in-depth interview (which took place both in his home and over email) that he’s given up his life-long addiction to cigarettes, opting instead for nicotine-flavoured gum.
“I don’t have that ability to do just one or two a day,” he says of his past cigarette usage. “It’s not in my makeup. I’m all in. And I’m going to drive into the ground. I’ve lost my privileges.”
On September 14, 2016, a flight the Se7en actor took with then-wife Angelina was the catalyst for the dissolution of their marriage, when according to reports and insider interviews published in Us Weekly, Brad was drinking heavily – so much so, that Angelina told him to “sober up.”
At a stopover, he urinated on the tarmac, hopped behind the wheel of a fuel truck, and "backed up and crashed into another airport vehicle."
Back on the plane, an argument broke out between the couple, and that’s when their eldest son Maddox intervened. “'It got physical,” a source told TMZ (via The Daily Mail). This is understood to mean that Brad physically assaulted his son. Angelina has accused Brad in court documents of “domestic abuse,” and Maddox has expressed his wish to drop “Pitt” from his last name.
In addition to the talk of alcoholism and addiction, the profile goes in many other different directions. We learn that he has a quote from 13th century Persian poet Rumi tattooed on his right bicep. We learn that he keeps a pen and notebook handy in the morning so he can write down all of his dreams. We learn that he’s been haunted by his dreams for years, one in particular where he’s violently robbed and stabbed.
“For a solid four or five years there, the most predominant dream I would experience would be getting jumped and stabbed,” he writes in an email to Ottessa.
“And I would awake in a terror. I didn’t understand why it/they would want to hurt me. This stopped a year or two ago only when I started going straight back into the dream and asking simply why?”
The profile and conversation with Ottessa goes to very dark and philosophical places, with Brad commiserating with the writer over her issues with her husband, telling her, “'I think all our hearts are broken … I always felt very alone in my life, alone growing up as a kid, alone even out here, and it’s really not till recently that I have had a greater embrace of my friends and family.”
Despite winning an Oscar in 2020 for his performance in Quentin Tarantino’s Once Upon a Time in Hollywood, Brad also reveals that he’s reaching the final stages of his acting career. “I consider myself on my last leg,” he reveals. “This last semester or trimester. What is this section gonna be? And how do I wanna design that?”
The profile has hit the interwebs hard, with many people feeling like Brad has been working overtime to rehabilitate his public image since his substance abuse and divorce proceedings have dominated the headlines.
But some people cannot get over the photographs that accompany the profile, taken by Elizaveta Porodina, which some cannot help but mock.
Earlier this month, Brad sued Angelina over the sale of their wine brand Miraval, accusing her of attempting to damage his reputation.