Brad Pitt's Most Candid Quotes About Sobriety and Addiction

Brad Pitt recently credited Bradley Cooper with helping him get sober.

By Corinne Heller Jan 09, 2020 5:32 PMTags

Brad Pitt recently credited fellow actor Bradley Cooper with helping him get sober, in a touching, candid display of gratitude.

Pitt has battled addictions to both alcohol and marijuana for years and attended Alcoholics Anonymous meetings for more than a year after Angelina Jolie filed for divorce from him in 2016. On Wednesday, at the National Board of Review Annual Awards Gala, the 56-year-old Oscar-winning star publicly credited Bradley Cooper with helping him overcome his struggles.

"I got sober because of this guy," Pitt said after Cooper presented him with the award for Best Supporting Actor for his role in Once Upon a Time in Hollywood. "And every day's been happier ever since."

He then gave Cooper a thumbs up and said, "I love you, and I thank you."

Both Pitt and Cooper have been candid about their past substance abuse. Pitt recently opened up about battling alcoholism in a December interview with former Legends of the Fall and Meet Joe Black co-star Anthony Hopkins for Interview magazine. 

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Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt's Kids Through the Years

Here are some of the things Pitt has said about his addictions and sobriety over the years:

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Credit to Bradley Cooper

"I got sober because of this guy," the actor said about Bradley Cooper after the latter presented him with an award at the 2020 National Board of Review Annual Awards Gala. "And every day's been happier ever since."

"An Escape"

Pitt discusses his past alcohol addiction with former Legends of the Fall and Meet Joe Black co-star Anthony Hopkins in a December 2019 Interview magazine chat. He says, "I just saw it as a disservice to myself, as an escape."

Recovery With AA

The New York Times reports in 2019 that the actor spent a year and a half in Alcoholics Anonymous after Angelina Jolie filed for divorce in 2016. He says, "I had taken things as far as I could take it, so I removed my drinking privileges."

The outlet says his recovery group was composed entirely of men.

"You had all these men sitting around being open and honest in a way I have never heard," the actor tells the newspaper. "It was this safe space where there was little judgment, and therefore little judgment of yourself...It was actually really freeing just to expose the ugly sides of yourself. There's great value in that."

Quitting Pot and Alcohol

"Back in my stoner days, I wanted to smoke a joint with Jack and Snoop and Willie," Pitt tells GQ Style in 2017. "You know, when you're a stoner, you get these really stupid ideas. Well, I don't want to indict the others, but I haven't made it to Willie yet."

When asked if he misses drinking alcohol, he says, "I mean, we have a winery. I enjoy wine very, very much, but I just ran it to the ground. I had to step away for a minute. And truthfully I could drink a Russian under the table with his own vodka. I was a professional. I was good."

He adds, "Don't want to live that way anymore," and says he replaced alcohol with "cranberry juice and fizzy water," joking, "I've got the cleanest urinary tract in all of L.A., I guarantee you!"

"Running From Feelings"

"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 tells GQ Style in 2017, several months after Angelina Jolie, with whom he shares six kids, files for divorce. "And you realize that a lot of it is, um—cigarettes, you know, pacifiers. And I'm running from feelings. I'm really, really happy to be done with all of that. I mean I stopped everything except boozing when I started my family."

"But even this last year, you know—things I wasn't dealing with. I was boozing too much. It's just become a problem," he adds. "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. I think that's part of the human challenge: You either deny them all of your life or you answer them and evolve."

 

Dropping Out of College

The actor tells Esquire in 2013 that he dropped out of college due to his drug habit. He was an avid marijuana user in the '90s. 

"I'm two credits short of graduating college. Two credits," he says. "All I had to do was write a paper. What kind of guy is that? That guy scares me — the guy who always leaves a little on his plate. For a long time, I thought I did too much damage — drug damage. I was a bit of a drifter. A guy who felt he grew up in something of a vacuum and wanted to see things, wanted to be inspired. I followed that other thing. I spent years f--king off. But then I got burnt out and felt that I was wasting my opportunity. It was a conscious change."

Overcoming Pot Addiction

"I got really sick of myself at the end of the 1990s: I was hiding out from the celebrity thing; I was smoking way too much dope; I was sitting on the couch and just turning into a doughnut; and I really got irritated with myself," the actor tells the Hollywood Reporter in 2012. "I got to: 'What's the point? I know better than this.'"

He says that after a trip to Casablanca, Morocco in the mid-to-late 1990s, where he witnessed a lot of poverty and sick children, he "just quit," adding, "I stopped grass then — I mean, pretty much — and decided to get off the couch."

"Hiding Out"

"I spent the '90s trying to hide out, trying to duck the full celebrity cacophony," Pitt tells Parade magazine in 2011. "I started to get sick of myself sitting on a couch, holding a joint, hiding out. It started feeling pathetic. It became very clear to me that I was intent on trying to find a movie about an interesting life, but I wasn't living an interesting life myself. I think that my marriage [to Jennifer Aniston] had something to do with it. Trying to pretend the marriage was something that it wasn't."

Motivation to Quit Marijuana

The actor says on Real Time With Bill Maher in 2009 that he quit marijuana when he had kids. He and ex-wife Angelina Jolie are parents of six. He says, "I'm a dad now. You want to be alert."