"I had a really cool men's group here that was really private and selective, so it was safe," Pitt, 58, shared. "Because I'd seen things of other people, like Philip Seymour Hoffman, who had been recorded while they were spilling their guts, and that's just atrocious to me."
Alcohol isn't the only thing that Pitt removed from his life. After initially trying to minimize the number of cigarettes he smoked in a day, Pitt ultimately quit altogether during the COVID-19 pandemic.
"I don't have that ability to do just one or two a day," he told GQ. "It's not in my makeup. I'm all in. And I'm going to drive into the ground. I've lost my privileges."
Though Pitt's physical health seemed to be getting better, his mental health still needed work. The actor shared that he had "spent years with a low-grade depression."
"I always felt very alone in my life," he said. "Alone growing up as a kid, alone even out here [in Los Angeles], and it's really not till recently that I have had a greater embrace of my friends and family. What's that line, it was either Rilke or Einstein, believe it or not, but it was something about when you can walk with the paradox, when you carry real pain and real joy simultaneously, this is maturity, this is growth."
Pitt's newfound urge for a healthier lifestyle came after his marriage to Jolie seemed to fall apart. At the time she filed for divorce, the Malefecient actress sought physical custody of their six kids—Maddox, 20, Pax, 18, Zahara, 17, Shiloh, 16, and twins Knox and Viviennne, 13—and suggested that Pitt get visitation rights, according to court documents obtained by E! News.
The split came after Pitt and his oldest son allegedly had a verbal altercation onboard a private plane, which lead to an investigation from the Los Angeles Department of Children and Family Services. Pitt was later cleared of any abuse.
Last year, Pitt was granted joint custody of the children, however, that ruling was overturned once the judge presiding over the case was removed in July 2021. Jolie regained full custody of the kids and her ex-husband was granted visitation rights.
In October, a source close to Pitt told E! News, "He supports his kids and what makes them happy. They are old enough now where they can make decisions and he doesn't stand in the way. He's encouraged them to be whoever they want to be. He wouldn't ask for anything different."