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Brad Pitt to GQ Style: ‘I’ve got to start from the Bottom’

Published on May 4th, 2017 | Updated on May 3rd, 2017 | By FanFest

GQ Style

Brad Pitt recently sat down for a chat GQ Style about his life, both past and present, and how things have changed for him over the last 6 months. He’s been in the media spotlight on and off through his career (mostly on) but it hasn’t always been the best. However, he’s taken his circumstances, taken responsibility for them, and done his best to make a better life for himself and his loved ones.

The interview is a long one, and it’s worth reading from beginning to end. It’s enlightening, it’s thought-provoking, and it’s something that will have you evaluating your own life and some of your own demons.

One of the first questions Pitt answers is one that means the most – simply, what gives him the most comfort these days. His response is lovely.

I get up every morning and I make a fire. When I go to bed, I make a fire, just because—it makes me feel life. I just feel life in this house.

First, fans get a peek into Pitt’s childhood as he describes how he grew up. ‘Surrounded by cornfields’ and in a life built around religion, specifically First Baptist – which he describes as a stricter, cleaner, more by-the-book Christianity. He doesn’t seem to resent this, he actually says that he knew the people believed it.

He says growing up like that drew him to acting, not just the revival meetings, but being drawn to stories. He also mentions that he was told rock shows were the devil, basically, but that he felt like they were being manipulated.

So acting came out of what you saw in these revival meetings?
Well, people act out. But as a kid, I was certainly drawn to stories—beyond the stories that we were living and knew, stories with different points of view. And I found those stories in film, especially. Different cultures and lives so foreign to mine. I think that was one of the draws that propelled me into film. I didn’t know how to articulate stories. I’m certainly not a good orator, sitting here telling a story, but I could foster them in film.

I remember going to a few concerts, even though we were told rock shows are the Devil, basically. Our parents let us go, they weren’t neo about it. But I realized that the reverie and the joy and exuberance, even the aggression, I was feeling at the rock show was the same thing at the revival. One is Jimmy Swaggart and one is Jerry Lee Lewis, you know? One’s God and one’s Devil. But it’s the same thing. It felt like we were being manipulated. What was clear to me was “You don’t know what you’re talking about—”

He also speaks about listening to music and having a revelation, as well as going to therapy and how he loves it.

I’ve been listening to a lot of Frank Ocean. I find this young man so special. Talk about getting to the raw truth. He’s painfully honest. He’s very, very special. I can’t find a bad one. And of great irony to me: Marvin Gaye’s Here, My Dear [Gaye’s touchstone album about divorce]. And that kind of sent me down a road.
But beautiful—and quite honest…. You know, I just started therapy. I love it, I love it. I went through two therapists to get to the right one.

On to the big question, how he got to where he is now – if things had happened differently, would it have caught up to him? The answer, yes. It would have. He also says that in times where he’s grown tired of himself is when he’s made the most change.

I do remember a few spots along the road where I’ve become absolutely tired of myself. And this is a big one. These moments have always been a huge generator for change. And I’m quite grateful for it. But me, personally, 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.

When the interviewer brought up quitting pot, Brad said it was easy. He went on to talk about other habits in his life, both good and bad ones.

Do you think that’s a thing? (dropping things quickly after going into them just as quickly)
I do it with everything, yeah. I exhaust it, and then I walk away. I’ve always looked at things in seasons, compartmentalized them, I guess, seasons or semesters or tenures or…

The interviewer asked how you get to a point where you stop doing that, and they used a metaphor.

You strip down to the foundation and break out the mortar. I don’t know. For me, this period has really been about looking at my weaknesses and failures and owning my side of the street. I’m an asshole 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.

The interviewer asked about his family as well, about divorce and how it affected their children and what they did to try to lessen the blow on everyone as a whole. At first, it was hard, but they’re learning, and right now – they’re keeping themselves and their children out of court. Right now, they’re figuring it out.

The entire interview really gives you a perspective on Brad, on what he went through and how he took responsibility for it, but more than that – on who he is now and how he’s embracing that and changing his future.

You can read the interview in its entirety here and check out the magazine at a newsstand near you.


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