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 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 Houseago] 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 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.”