The Brad Pitt interview that might destroy your crush on Brad Pitt

A GQ Style cover story reveals that the actor is living in a glass case of emotion.
brad pitt GQ interview

From the time he blew Geena Davis's, um, mind, in Thelma & Louise, Brad Pitt has been Hollywood's favourite pretty boy, cast as the gold standard of conventional white, male hotness on screen. Was he as deep as he was good-looking? Maybe? When it comes to fantasy, who doesn't skip over such details from time to time.

Until, that is, you're hit over the head with them, like a branch that's snapped from The Tree of Life. Mark the day: May 3, 2017 — the first time Pitt really opened up about his split from Angelina Jolie, and the first time the public at large got a peek into the somewhat Zoolanderian inner-workings of his mind.

In a wide-ranging cover story by Michael Paterniti in GQ Style, Pitt covers a lot of ground — literally and figuratively. The story, clocking in at more than 6,000 words, is punctuated by no less than 27 photographs of Pitt (and one very strange video), posed in various states of emotional undress, as he skips, rolls, dances and mopes his way through America's most ruggedly beautiful national parks. He talks about his divorce, his newly found sobriety, dogs, boners, and finally discovering R&B. He says he builds fires morning and night to "feel life" — and through it all, the reader is left asking herself, ". . . the hell did he just say?" I'm all for men expressing vulnerability — but there's vulnerability, and then there's . . .  well, whatever this is. 

So, with apologies to anyone who's ever crushed on Brad Pitt: Here is a sampling of randomly weird quotes from the GQ interview that might dampen that fire faster than having a river run through it (and leave you wondering, where the heck was his publicist?).

On both defining pain, and playing characters in pain: "Yeah, I'm kind of done playing those. I think it was more pain tourism. It was still an avoidance in some way. I've never heard anyone laugh bigger than an African mother who's lost nine family members. What is that? I just got R&B for the first time. R&B comes from great pain, but it's a celebration. To me, it's embracing what's left. It's that African woman being able to laugh much more boisterously than I've ever been able to."

On how he's spending his days: "I've been going to a friend's sculpting studio, spending a lot of time over there. My friend [Thomas] is a serious sculptor. They've been kind. I've literally been squatting in there for a month now. I'm taking a shit on their sanctity."

On shooting in three American national parks: "Ryan [McGinley] had us jumping in the Everglades, you know, like gators. I figured, well, if they do it on Naked and Afraid, I can do it. But they had the old wrangler, he's got his snake pole and it's got this grabber, like something Grandma would use to pick something off the top shelf, but fine. He took a little walk-through, and if he didn't get eaten, then reportedly I wouldn't get eaten. At least that was the logic behind it all, but he said to me, 'When you get to be my age, never pass up a bathroom. Never trust a fart. And never waste a boner.'"

On what, in the past week, has given him immense joy: "I see joy out the window, and I can see the silhouette of palms and an expression on one of my kids' faces, a parting smile, or finding some, you know, moment of bliss with the clay. You know, it's everywhere, it's got to be found. It's the laughter of the African mother in my experience — it's got to come from the blues, to get R&B. That'll be in my book."

On whether or not he’s actually going to write a book: "No! I find writing too arduous."


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