World War ... Pitt
“I’ve always been at war with myself, for right or wrong,” the actor, who will star in World War Z next, admits. “I don’t know how to explain it more. There’s that constant argument going on in your head about this or that. It’s universal. Some people are better at dealing with it, and they sleep with no pain — not pain, arguments. I’ve grown quite comfortable with being at war.”
DEPRESSION, POT AND HOW HE GOT THROUGH IT While Pitt’s star ascended with 1992’s A River Runs Through It, 1994’s Legends of the Fall and 1995’s Seven, his personal life declined.“I got really sick of myself at the end of the 1990s: I was hiding out from the celebrity thing; I was smoking way too much dope; I was sitting on the couch and just turning into a doughnut; and I really got irritated with myself,” he says. “I got to: ‘What’s the point? I know better than this.’ ... A trip to Casablanca, Morocco, in the mid-to-late 1990s, “where I saw poverty to an extreme I had never witnessed before, and we talked about inequality and health care, and I saw just what I felt was so unnecessary, that people should have to survive in these circumstances — and the children were inflicted with a lot of deformities, and things that could have been avoided had become their sentence. It stuck with me.” Almost overnight, he decided something had to give. “I just quit. I stopped grass then — I mean, pretty much — and decided to get off the couch.”
PITT ON POLITICS Jodi Kantor’s new book The Obamas describes Pitt as “awkward” in a meeting with the president. “I probably was — you don’t want to impose on a busy man,” he says. But, he’s more interested in Obama himself, particularly whether the commander in chief has stopped smoking, as Pitt would dearly like to do. While backing Obama, he nonetheless was glued to the Republican debate Jan. 19. “I’m an Obama supporter, no question,” he says. “But it doesn’t mean there’s nothing to learn from the other side.”
PITT ON RELIGION All his life, Pitt has learned from the other side. That’s what led him to make a leap of non-faith when he rejected his Southern Baptist upbringing. “I grew up very religious, and I don’t have a great relationship with religion,” he reflects. “I oscillate between agnosticism and atheism.” Pitt says differences over religion make his parents, William and Jane, "sad, but I have parents that love me unconditionally."
GETTING MARRIED: "WE'D LIKE TO" He oscillates, too, on the subject of whether he’ll get married, and it’s clear Pitt has shifted from his promise that this won’t happen until gay marriage is legalized. “We’d actually like to,” he says of his seven-year partner, Jolie, “and it seems to mean more and more to our kids. We made this declaration some time ago that we weren’t going to do it till everyone can. But I don’t think we’ll be able to hold out. It means so much to my kids, and they ask a lot. And it means something to me, too, to make that kind of commitment.” Has he asked Jolie to marry him? “I’m not going to go any further,” says Pitt. “But to be in love with someone and be raising a family with someone and want to make that commitment and not be able to is ludicrous, just ludicrous.”
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