Brad Pitt is working to address his own shortcomings in the wake of his “self-inflicted” split from Angelina Jolie.
In an extensive interview with GQ Style for its summer issue, his first since Jolie filed for divorce in September, the 53-year-old actor admits that he’s learning to face his feelings despite his upbringing, which fostered a mentality encouraging him to “just deal with it.”
“I’m personally very retarded when it comes to taking inventory of my emotions. I’m much better at covering up,” he said. “I grew up with a Father-knows-best/war mentality — the father is all-powerful, super strong — instead of really knowing the man and his own self-doubt and struggles.”
For the sake of his six children, Pitt says he is learning how to open up.
He continued, “It’s hit me smack in the face with our divorce: I gotta be more. I gotta be more for them. I have to show them. And I haven’t been great at it.”
Pitt also talked about his transformation since the split — including his healthy lifestyle changes.
“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.”
He added, “Truthfully I could drink a Russian under the table with his own vodka. I was a professional. I was good.”
When asked how he simply stopped drinking, the Allied star said, “Don’t want to live that way anymore.”
After the bitter end of his 12-year relationship with Jolie, Pitt initially agreed to weekly supervised visits with their six kids, Maddox, 15, Pax, 13, Zahara, 12, Shiloh, 10, and twins Vivienne and Knox, 8. The Los Angeles Department of Children and Family Services and the FBI launched an investigation after Pitt allegedly got “verbally abusive” and “physical” with Maddox after drinking on the couple’s private plane on Sept. 14, five days before she filed for divorce. Both agencies concluded that there were no findings of abuse.
The former couple released a joint statement saying they were working with a private judge to resolve their divorce and would “act as a united front” moving forward, and Pitt told GQ he will not let things get ugly in court over custody issues.
“I just refuse,” he said. “And fortunately my partner in this agrees. It’s just very, very jarring for the kids, to suddenly have their family ripped apart.”
For more on Brad and Angelina's story, pick up a copy of this week's issue of WHO.