Speaking with The New York Times in a revealing profile published on Wednesday, the Oscar winner revealed he has stopped drinking altogether and sought the support of Alcoholics Anonymous group meetings to process the fallout from his highly publicized divorce.
“I had taken things as far as I could take it, so I removed my drinking privileges,” he told the outlet, adding that he attended AA meetings for a year and a half.
“You had all these men sitting around being open and honest in a way I have never heard,” Pitt continued. “It was this safe space where there was little judgment, and therefore little judgment of yourself.”
Pitt shared few specifics of his split with Jolie, revealing only that he had “family stuff going on.” But he did remark on the power of being emotionally vulnerable, noting it’s “really freeing just to expose the ugly sides of yourself.”
“The fact is, we all carry pain, grief and loss,” he said. “We spend most of our time hiding it, but it’s there, it’s in you. So you open up those boxes.”
Pitt previously described his 2016 split from Jolie as a “huge generator for change” in his own life that allowed him to take a hard look at his bad habits.
“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,” he told GQ in May 2017. “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.”
In the Times profile, Pitt described how the attention he received as his career was taking off in the ’90s “really threw” him and made him even more dependent on drugs and alcohol.
“It was really uncomfortable for me, the cacophony of expectations and judgments,” he said. “I really became a bit of a hermit and just bonged myself into oblivion.”
Life certainly seems a bit smoother for Pitt these days.
He reached a custody agreement with Jolie in late 2018 that awarded joint custody of the children. And he’s gaining Oscar buzz for his performance in two of 2019′s biggest movies, “Once Upon A Time In Hollywood” and the upcoming “Ad Astra.”