In the interview with GQ, the actor recalled a “few spots along the road where I’ve become absolutely tired of myself,” which includes the time where he “was boozing too much.”
“I can’t remember a day since I got out of college when I wasn’t boozing or had a spliff, or something. Something,” he told the men’s magazine. “And you realize that a lot of it is, um–cigarettes, you know, pacifiers. And I’m running from feelings. 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. I think that’s part of the human challenge: You either deny them all of your life or you answer them and evolve.”
He added, “We have a winery. I enjoy wine very, very much, but I just ran it to the ground. I had to step away for a minute. And truthfully I could drink a Russian under the table with his own vodka. I was a professional. I was good.”
Since his split from Jolie in September after two years of marriage and 12 years of partnership, Pitt has replaced alcohol with “cranberry juice and fizzy water” simply because he doesn’t “want to live that way anymore,” and has been going to therapy.
“You know, I just started therapy. I love it, I love it. I went through two therapists to get to the right one,” he said.
Pitt currently lives in the same house in the Hollywood Hills that he’s lived in since 1994. Children’s bikes line the rack outside and a floatie bobs on the pool, but Pitt and Jolie (whose name he only mentions once — in relation to her upcoming Cambodia movie, “First They Killed My Father”) are currently working on who has the kids when.
“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,” he said. “We’re both doing our best. 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.”
He said that shortly after the divorce, it was too sad to live at the house by himself, so he went to stay at a friend’s house instead.
“It was too sad to be here at first, so I went and stayed on a friend’s floor, a little bungalow in Santa Monica. I crashed over here a little bit, my friend [David] Fincher lives right here,” he said. “I stayed at my friend’s house on the floor for a month and a half–until I was out there one morning, 5:30, and this surveillance van pulls up. They don’t know that I’m up behind a wall, and they pull up–and it’s a long story–but it was something more than TMZ, because they got into my friend’s computer. The stuff they can do these days…. So I got a little paranoid being there. I decided I had to pick up and come here.”
How are Pitt and Jolie’s six kids handling the very public separation?
“Well, there’s a lot to tell them because there’s understanding the future, there’s understanding the immediate moment and why we’re at this point, and then it brings up a lot of issues from the past that we haven’t talked about. So our focus is that everyone comes out stronger and better people–there is no other outcome,” Pitt explained.
“Family first. 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. I say that as someone who’s let the work take me away,” Pitt continued. “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.”