Actor Brad Pitt

Actor Brad Pitt arrives at the premiere of “The Devil’s Own” in New York City March 13, 1997.

Evan Agostini/Liaison

Brad Pitt has revealed that he had a rough time during his prime heartthrob years.

In a candid new interview with The New York Times’s David Marchese (in another entry in his extensive press tour to promote his roles in Once Upon a Time… in Hollywood and Ad Astra)

Pitt spoke about how during the ‘90s-era decade—in which he became one of the most famous and desired men in the world, appearing in enduring movies like Thelma and Louise, Fight Club, Seven, 12 Monkeys, and Interview with the Vampire—he didn’t exactly feel confident.

“I’ve had moments where I’ve seen pictures of myself from years ago and gone, ‘That kid looks all right,’” he said. “But I didn’t feel that way inside.”

Pitt didn’t embrace public life. “I spent most of the ’90s hiding out and smoking pot,” he recounted. “I was too uncomfortable with all the attention. Then I got to a place where I was aware that I was imprisoning myself. Now I go out and live life, and generally people are pretty cool.”

Marchese also asked if Pitt, like his OUATIH character Cliff Booth, had taken LSD, and the actor shared that he’s of course taken the drug (“Oh, sure. Oh sure,” he said). He joked that he was “microdosing right now.”

It’s a classic story, isn’t it? The beautiful, unhappy movie star trapped by fame? Pitt says he’s in a much better place now—even though annoying things keep happening to him, like tabloids speculating that he’s in a new relationship every time he leaves the house.

“I don’t know how many women they’ve said I’ve been dating the last two or three years, and none of it’s true,” he said, telling Marchese that he never reads press about himself, ever.

“When I first started my career, I was in USA Today,” Pitt said. “I was pretty pleased with myself. Two days after it came out, I go over to a friend-of-a-friend’s house. In the kitchen I look down and there’s a litter box for the cat—and there’s my piece in USA Today with a cat turd on top of it. That pretty much defines it.”