Brad Pitt on Divorce From Angelina Jolie: “I Had to Understand My Own Culpability”

“I had to understand my own culpability in that, and what can I do better.”

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Mario Sorrenti

Brad Pitt, who is usually reticent to talk about his personal life, has opened up about his high-profile, contentious split from Angelina Jolie.

Pitt has been on a promotional tour for his latest film, Ad Astra, a space epic directed by highly respected auteur James Gray. And in a new interview with NPR, the actor was asked how his divorce influenced his performance.

“A breakup of a family is certainly an eye-opener that as one — and I’m speaking in general again — but as one needs to understand, I had to understand my own culpability in that, and what can I do better,” he said. “Because I don’t want to go on like this.”

Pitt also spoke about how men are taught to process trauma, one of the film’s key themes. “I don’t know that we’ve been taught to deal with those painful events very well,” he said. “In fact, we’re better at burying them — at least certainly speaking for myself. You know, it’s this Marlboro Man image of: Don’t show weakness. But then we were questioning: In doing that, are we actually denying our own feelings? Denying a part of ourselves — a vulnerability, in this guise of Superman — to really be open for our loved ones, for our sons and daughters, in the sense that we’re all flawed; most of us are doing the best we can. And is there a peace of mind that comes from embracing one’s foibles and humiliations as well as our successes?”

In a previous interview with the New York Times, Pitt also spoke about getting sober in the wake of his split with Jolie, with whom he shares six children. “I had taken things as far as I could take it, so I removed my drinking privileges,” he said. He ended up attending Alcoholics Anonymous meetings for about a year and a half. “You had all these men sitting around being open and honest in a way I have never heard,” he told the Times. “It was this safe space where there was little judgment, and therefore little judgment of yourself.”

2019 Brad Pitt: older, wiser, introspective, and still very much a sex symbol.