Brad Pitt on ‘pain, grief and loss’: Making peace with our past

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Brad Pitt at the Venice Film Festival on Aug. 29, 2019.

Brad Pitt is back in the news, and for more than his next movie.

Ad Astra premiered at the Venice Film Festival and will be theatrically released in the US on September 20. Pitt plays an astronaut who goes into space in search of his lost father, whose experiment threatens the survival of humans on Earth. 

Kyle Buchanan saw the film and interviewed Pitt for the New York Times. Buchanan reports that the film is “more concerned with the protagonist’s inner life than the magnificent starscape outside his spacecraft.” Pitt tells Buchanan that the loneliness and introspectiveness of the character appealed to him in part because, as he says, “We all carry pain, grief and loss. We spend most of our time hiding it, but it’s there, it’s in you.” 

Pitt then discusses his commitment to sobriety that followed the end of his marriage to Angelina Jolie. He spent a year and a half in Alcoholics Anonymous and found catharsis in the trust he experienced within his group. 

One fact he has learned about himself is that he doesn’t want to make as many movies in the future. His interests now include sculpting and landscaping. “When you feel like you’ve finally got your arms around something, then it’s time to go get your arms around something else,” he says. 

When movie stars stop making movies 

If you ask teenagers to identify Sean Connery or Gene Hackman, many will have a vague idea at best. I wonder if the same will be true of Brad Pitt one day. When movie stars stop making movies, the world moves on. 

We see a similar phenomenon every day in the news. For instance, I could find little coverage this morning of the shooting in West Texas last Saturday. The Alabama teenager who confessed to shooting his family earlier this week is not in today’s headlines. Nor is the Labor Day shooting outside the Minnesota State Fair

The death of Ryan Diviney did make the…

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