Brad Pitt Talks Therapy, Taking Accountability & More Since Split From Angelina Jolie With ‘GQ Style’

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Brad Pitt is taking some ownership in his highly publicized and at one time bitter split from Angelina Jolie.

In the new issue of GQ Style, the famed actor passionately opens up about starting therapy, quitting drinking and what he’s learned from the life changing ordeal. Check out excerpts from his feature below:

On turning to therapy: “You know, I just started therapy. I love it. I love it. I went through two therapists to get the right one.”

 

On the physical altercation with 15-year-old son Maddox that lead to an FBI investigation and Jolie filing for divorce: “I was really on my back and chained to a system when Child Services was called. After that, we’ve been able to work together to sort this out. We’re both doing our best. I heard one lawyer say, ‘No one wins in court—it’s just a matter of who gets hurt worse.’ And it seems to be true. You spend a year just focused on building a case to prove your point and why you’re right and why they’re wrong, and it’s just an investment in vitriolic hatred. I just refuse. And fortunately my partner in this agrees. It’s just very, very jarring for the kids, to suddenly have their family ripped apart.”

 

On him and Angelina handing their divorce “with great care and delicacy”: “There’s a lot to tell them because there’s understanding the future, there’s understanding the immediate moment and why we’re at this point, and then it brings up a lot of issues from the past that we haven’t talked about. So, our focus is that everyone comes out stronger and better people—there is no other outcome.”

 

On his house in the Hollywood Hills no longer feeling like a “home”: “This house was always chaotic and crazy, voices and bangs coming from everywhere, and then, as you see, there are days like this: very…very solemn.” Brad’s been “squatting” at sculptor pal Thomas Houseago‘s place for a month and a half. “They’ve been kind. I’m taking a sh*t on their sanctity.”

On what he’s learned from this life changing ordeal: “I remember literally having this thought a year, a year and a half ago; someone was going through some scandal. Something crossed my path that was a big scandal—and I went, ‘Thank God I’m never going to have to be a part of one of those again.’ I live my life, I have my family, I do my thing, I don’t do anything illegal, I don’t cross anyone’s path. What’s the David Foster Wallace quote? ‘Truth will set you free, but not until it’s done with you first.’. I’m really good at cutting myself off, and it’s been a problem. I need to be more accessible, especially to the ones I love. I certainly shield. Shield, shield, shield. Mask, escape. Now I think: ‘That’s just me.'”

 

On initially not wanting a divorce: “The first urge is to cling on. And then you’ve got a cliché: ‘If you love someone, set them free.’ Now I know what it means, by feeling it. It means to love without ownership. It means expecting nothing in return. But it sounds good written. It sounds good when Sting sings it. It doesn’t mean f*ck-all to me until you live it. That’s why I never understood growing up with Christianity—don’t do this, don’t do that—it’s all about don’ts, and I was like, ‘How the f*ck do you know who you are and what works for you if you don’t find out where the edge is, where’s your line?’ You’ve got to step over it to know where it is. Delusion is not going to let you go…We, as humans, construct such mousetrap mind games to get away from it all. You know, we’re almost too smart for ourselves.”

 

On substance abuse: “I can’t remember a day since I got out of college when I wasn’t boozing or had a spliff, or something. Something. 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. 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. 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. I didn’t want to live that way anymore.”

 

On what he’s learned: “For me this period has really been about looking at my weaknesses and failures and owning my side of the street. I’m an a**hole when it comes to this need for justice. I don’t know where it comes from, this hollow quest for justice for some perceived slight. I can drill on that for days and years. It’s done me no good whatsoever. It’s such a silly idea, the idea that the world is fair. And this is coming from a guy who hit the lottery, I’m well aware of that. I hit the lottery, and I still would waste my time on those hollow pursuits. In the end, you find: I am those things I don’t like. That is a part of me. I can’t deny that. I have to accept that. And in fact, I have to embrace that. I need to face that and take care of that. Because by denying it, I deny myself. I am those mistakes. For me every misstep has been a step toward epiphany, understanding, some kind of joy. Yeah, the avoidance of pain is a real mistake. It’s the real missing out on life. It’s those very things that shape us, those very things that offer growth, that make the world a better place, oddly enough, ironically. That make us better. By the way, there’s no love without loss. It’s a package deal.”

Great interview!

Images: Ryan McGinley for GQ Style

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