Why Brad Pitt quit smoking and drinking altogether during the pandemic: 'I don’t have that ability to do just one or two a day'
It's Brad Pitt’s world and we’re all just living in it!
The superstar actor and producer, 58, recently opened up about life, art and everything in between in a new interview with GQ, during which he explained how he’s “been pretty much hiding out” in his Los Angeles home for much of the pandemic — and how he’s used that time to quit smoking and drinking altogether.
While chewing a nicotine mint, Pitt explained that he quit smoking cigarettes during the pandemic after realizing he didn't have it in him to simply "cut back."
“I don’t have that ability to do just one or two a day,” he explained. “It’s not in my makeup. I’m all in. And I’m going to drive into the ground. I’ve lost my privileges.”
The actor went on to explain that after his ex, Angelina Jolie, filed for divorce in 2016, he got sober and spent a year and a half attending Alcoholics Anonymous — though, given his star status, has had to make adjustments for the sake of maintaining his privacy.
“I had a really cool men’s group here that was really private and selective, so it was safe,” he said. “Because I’d seen things of other people who had been recorded while they were spilling their guts, and that’s just atrocious to me.”
Pitt shares six kids with Jolie: Maddox, 20; Pax, 18; Zahara, 17; Shiloh, 16; and twins Vivienne, and Knox, 13. Jolie had adopted Maddox and Zahara before her relationship with Pitt (he later adopted them both as well).
Still, while he cherishes old memories of smoking a cigarette “in the morning, with the coffee — just delicious," he also knows his body can’t handle it the same way others can, like, say, the British painter David Hockney. “He’s still chaining, the hard-core English way. It looks great,” Pitt says of Hockney. “I don’t think I have that. I’m just at that age when nothing good comes from it.”
The actor also spoke candidly about his struggle to remember new people and to recognize their faces, which has been a hindrance his entire adult life — especially at parties.
Pitt believes he may suffer from prosopagnosia, an inability to recognize people’s faces (otherwise known as face blindness). Though he wants to remember the people he meets — and he’s “ashamed” he can’t — above all, he fears the condition has led people to assume he’s remote or aloof or self-absorbed.
“Nobody believes me!” he said.
As for finding solace, the actor says he always finds it in art and music. "I’m one of those creatures that speaks through art. I just want to always make. If I’m not making, I’m dying in some way."
“Music fills me with so much joy," he continued. "I think joy’s been a newer discovery, later in life. I was always moving with the currents, drifting in a way, and onto the next. I think I spent years with a low-grade depression, and it’s not until coming to terms with that, trying to embrace all sides of self — the beauty and the ugly — that I’ve been able to catch those moments of joy.”
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