Working on himself. Amid his ongoing drama with Angelina Jolie, Brad Pitt got honest about how making art helped him deal with personal issues.
During an interview with Financial Times, which was published on Wednesday, October 12, the actor, 58, opened up about working on sculptures as a Los Angeles art studio following his 2016 split from Jolie, 47.
“Our mutual misery became comic,” Pitt said about collaborating with musician Nick Cave and artist Thomas Houseago on an exhibit. “And out of this misery came a flame of joy in my life.”
The Bullet Train star, who had nine of his sculptures included in the Sara Hildén Art Museum, praised the way the creative medium allowed him to address his life.
“It’s all about self-reflection,” he explained about one of his pieces, which depicts a gun fight. “I was looking at my own life and really concentrating on owning my own s–t. Where was I complicit in failures in my relationships, where have I misstepped.”
Pitt added: “For me, it was born out of ownership of what I call a radical inventory of self, getting really brutally honest with me, and taking account of those I may have hurt.”
The Academy Award winner also offered a glimpse at how he has evolved both on and off screen, saying, “It’s just exhausting to be anything but who you are. You have to understand, at least where I grew up, we’re more the Clint Eastwood character. You hold everything within, you’re capable, you can deal with anything, you don’t show weakness.”
Pitt noted that his work as an actor continues to be shaped by his past. “I see that in my dad and the older generations of actors, and, man, it’s exhausting. As I get older, I find such a comfort in friendships where you can be [completely yourself], and I want that to extend in the outer world,” he continued. “What people make of it: I’m fine. I feel safe here because there’s a focus on our struggles as human beings, because it’s fraught with peril. And joy as well.”
The Ad Astra star’s insight on his personal life comes as he continues to make headlines for his ups and downs with Jolie. The pair, who tied the knot in 2014 after several years of dating, shocked the public when they called it quits in 2016.
Shortly before the Eternals star filed for divorce, Pitt was the subject of a child abuse investigation due to a past incident on the family’s jet. He was later cleared by the Los Angeles County Department of Children and Family Services.
The former couple, however, have been wrapped up in legal disputes including an ongoing battle for custody of their minor children and a clash over their French chateau and vineyard Miraval. (Jolie and Pitt, who were declared legally single in April 2019, share six kids: Maddox, 21, Pax, 18, Zahara, 17, Shiloh, 16, and twins Knox and Vivienne, 14.)
Earlier this month, the humanitarian filed a new court filing accusing Pitt of physical and emotional abuse during their marriage. In the legal paperwork, Jolie cited a fight she had with her ex-husband on the plane in September 2016 as the reason for their split.
“Throughout the long, overnight flight, Pitt was physically and emotionally abusive to Jolie and their children, who were then between the ages of 8 and 15,” she alleged in the documents. “After that flight, for her family’s well-being, Jolie decided to file for divorce.”
Pitt, for his part, denied all allegations of abuse in a statement. “Brad has owned everything he’s responsible for from day one — unlike the other side — but he’s not going to own anything he didn’t do,” his lawyer Anne Kiley told Us Weekly on October 6. “He has been on the receiving end of every type of personal attack and misrepresentation.”
The attorney added: “Thankfully, the various public authorities the other side has tried to use against him over the past six years have made their own independent decisions. Brad will continue to respond in court as he has consistently done.”
At the time, a source exclusively told Us that Pitt feels “sick to his stomach” about the accusations. “He maintains [that] it’s lies and that Angelina will stop at nothing to ruin his name,” the insider said. “At the end of the day, he and Angelina seem destined to fight each other for the rest of their lives, or at least until the kids are grown up and there’s nothing left for them to contest. It’s a tragic, toxic situation where neither of them is willing to budge.”