Reports that a much slimmer Pitt has been hiding out in an art studio making sculptures painted a picture that the actor was in the midst of a personal crisis of sorts, as his private life was splashed on every tabloid across the country.
For the first time since his split with Jolie last September, Pitt is opening up about his life post-divorce for GQ Style's Summer issue, with three covers shot by celebrity photographer Ryan McGinley. In the extensive interview, the Oscar winner revealed he's taking stock of what matters most and making changes to better himself.
"For me this period has really been about looking at my weaknesses and failures and owning my side of the street," he told the magazine. "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."
He has stopped drinking and doing drugs ― a point of contention in his ongoing negotiations with Jolie ― and started going to therapy to mark this next chapter in his life.
"I was boozing too much," he shared. "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."
"Truthfully I could drink a Russian under the table with his own vodka," he added. "I was a professional. I was good."
Although the former Hollywood golden couple has reached an agreement to handle their divorce negotiations privately, Pitt admits that living without his children for months amid rumors of child abuse ― he was later cleared of all charges ― took a toll.
"I was really on my back and chained to a system when Child Services was called. And you know, after that, we've been able to work together to sort this out. We're both doing our best," he said. "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."
With his new Netflix movie "War Machine" out this month and a commitment with Jolie to "act as a united front," Pitt is focused on ensuring a better future for himself and his six children.
"People on their deathbeds don't talk about what they obtained or were awarded. They talk about their loved ones or their regrets — that seems to be the menu," he said. "I say that as someone who's let the work take me away. Kids are so delicate. They absorb everything. They need to have their hand held and things explained. They need to be listened to. When I get in that busy work mode, I'm not hearing. I want to be better at that."
That being said, he has no illusions that the fascination with his life will be over any time soon. He is Brad Pitt after all, and being part of one of the most famous pairings of all time means people will always want to know more.
"I know I'm just in the middle of this thing now and I'm not at the beginning of it or at the end of it, just where this chapter is right now, just smack-dab in the middle. It's fucking in the middle of it and, you know, I just don't want to dodge any of it," he said. "I just want to stand there, shirt open, and take my hits and see, and see."
To read Brad Pitt's full interview, head over to GQ Style.