Why Brad Pitt Committed to His Sobriety After His Split From Angelina Jolie

The Ad Astra star opens up about the topic to The New York Times

By Elyse Dupre Sep 04, 2019 12:14 PMTags

When it comes to acting, Brad Pitt aims to "get to a place of absolute truth." However, digging deep isn't always easy. The 55-year-old A-lister proved this to be true during an interview with The New York Times published Wednesday.

In 2017, Pitt was cast in the movie Ad Astra. He was also making headlines over his split from Angelina Jolie, who had filed for divorce just a few months prior. James Gray, the director of the film, claimed Pitt "definitely used the stimuli from his life" while working on the movie.

"Now, I didn't get personal with him about it at all—I don't think it's my business, or even my job—but he investigated the essence of the character through himself," the filmmaker said.

When asked about that period in his life, Pitt acknowledged he had "family stuff going on" but said he'd "leave it at that." But after he was questioned if Ad Astra helped him work through some loneliness he may have been feeling at the time, the star began to open up.

"The fact is, we all carry pain, grief and loss," he replied. "We spend most of our time hiding it, but it's there, it's in you. So, you open up those boxes."

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According to the newspaper, Pitt spent a year and a half at Alcoholics Anonymous after the divorce filing. The Ocean's Eleven star has opened up about his past drinking habits before, including during a 2017 interview with GQ Style in which he described himself as a "professional."

"I had taken things as far as I could take it, so I removed my drinking privileges," he told The New York Times

Per the publication, the celebrity's recovery group was composed entirely of men—not one of whom shared Pitt's truths with the tabloids. During the interview, Pitt said it was "actually really freeing just to expose the ugly sides of yourself" and that there's "great value in that." 

"You had all these men sitting around being open and honest in a way I have never heard," he recalled. "It was this safe space where there was little judgment, and therefore little judgment of yourself."  

The Once Upon a Time in Hollywood star remains committed to his sobriety.

While his divorce from Jolie brought a whole new level of scrutiny to his private life, Pitt was used to making headlines. The press had covered everything from his movies to his dating history for years. However, he's learned to tune out the noise surrounding the public's opinions. 

"Those dubious thoughts, the mind chatter, the rat in the skull—that's comedy," he said. "It's just ridiculous that we would beat ourselves up that way. It doesn't matter. I spent too much of life wrestling with those thoughts, or being tethered to those thoughts, or caged by those thoughts."

To read Pitt's full interview, check out The New York Times' profile.