With his marriage to Angelina Jolie in ruins, Brad Pitt knew he had to make a change. The ‘Ad Astra’ star said that after Angie filed for divorce, he spent nearly two years ‘freeing’ himself of addiction through Alcoholics Anonymous.
When Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie’s 12-year relationship ended in 2016, there were reports that the final straw came when they reportedly fought over his drinking aboard a private plane. The split was a serious wake-up call for Brad, 55, who tells The New York Times that he is committed to his sobriety. “I had taken things as far as I could take it, so I removed my drinking privileges,” he said, adding that after Angie, 44, filed for divorce, Brad spent a year and a half in Alcoholics Anonymous. “You had all these men sitting around being open and honest in a way I have never heard. It was this safe space where there was little judgment, and therefore little judgment of yourself.”
None of the members of his recovery group – which was composed entirely of men, the New York Times notes – told Brad’s stories to the press. This bond of trust gave the Ad Astra star a much-needed catharsis. “It was actually really freeing just to expose the ugly sides of yourself,” he told the Times. “There’s great value in that.”
In an unexpected case of “every cloud has a silver lining,” Brad’s personal turmoil may have helped him in his new film, Ad Astra. Brad plays astronaut Roy McBride who travels throughout the cosmos alone in search of his missing father. When he began filming in early 2017, he was still reeling from the split. “He definitely used the stimuli from his life,” Ad Astra director/producer/writer James Gray told the New York Times. “Now, I didn’t get personal with him about it at all — I don’t think it’s my business, or even my job — but he investigated the essence of the character through himself.” When asked about that period of his life, Brad had a curt response. “I had family stuff going on. We’ll leave it at that.”
Brad previously revealed that he quit drinking when speaking to GQ in 2017. “Personally, I can’t remember a day since I got out of college when I wasn’t boozing or had a spliff, or something And you realize that a lot of it is, um—cigarettes, you know, pacifiers. And I’m running from feelings.” The Fight Club actor said that he’s replaced wine and vodka with cranberry juice and fizzy water. “I’ve got the cleanest urinary tract in all of L.A.”