The Untold Truth Of Brad Pitt

In support of his 2022 film "Bullet Train," veteran actor Brad Pitt wore bright mint green and teal suits at different premieres and even appeared extra comfortable wearing a skirt at another showing, ET recapped. In nearly every press photo, Pitt seems to be having a blast and smiling ear to ear. "I mean, we're gonna die so let's just have some fun before we go out," Pitt joyfully told ET at the Los Angeles premiere of the film. Around the same time, some speculated Pitt may be nearing retirement after decades in the industry. Shutting down any rumors of stepping away from acting, Pitt clarified that since he was now past middle age, "I want to be specific how I spend those last bits, whenever they may be," he told Deadline.

It's easy to see why Pitt would continue to be an actor, with his universal appeal and ageless good looks. Famous director Quentin Tarantino, who worked with Pitt in the films "Inglourious Basterds" and "Once Upon a Time... in Hollywood," told GQ of Pitt, "He's one of the last remaining big-screen movie stars." Tarantino added, "I don't think you can describe exactly what that is because it's like describing starshine." Not that Pitt's career and personal life have always been bright like a star. From failed high-profile relationships to other various struggles, Pitt faced many challenges as an A-list star while continuing to stay among the Hollywood elite.

This is the untold truth of Brad Pitt.

Brad Pitt was a midwestern boy

Before all the bright lights and movies, Brad Pitt was born in Shawnee, Oklahoma in 1963. That's right, he celebrates his 60th birthday in 2023. The Pitt family included his parents, William and Jane, plus his two younger siblings, brother Doug and sister Julie, per the Daily Mail. "When I was a little kid we moved to Tulsa, then to St. Louis, and by the time I was in kindergarten, we lived in Springfield, Missouri. There I basically grew up," Brad told Parade

William worked long hours as an executive for a trucking company, but Brad credited his father for giving the family more opportunities. "My dad worked five and a half, six days a week, and then he would take us fishing. He'd do that all weekend, then start work again," the actor told Parade. His mom worked as a school counselor. Both parents were religious, so much so that young Brad Pitt was a member of the church choir, according to CBS News. In a GQ interview, he said of his denomination, "We grew up First Baptist, which is the cleaner, stricter, by-the-book Christianity." As he got older, the star remembered his parents diving into "charismatic" aspects of religion, including what he called "some goofy-ass s***."

Beyond religion, Brad recalled his childhood in Missouri as rather picturesque. In addition to many caverns, "Ten minutes outside of town, you start getting into forests and rivers and the Ozark Mountains. Stunning country," he told GQ.

A well-rounded teenager

As a young man in Missouri, Brad Pitt enjoyed playing a variety of sports. At the Cherokee Middle School in Springfield, he tried out for the basketball team in 1977 but didn't make the top squad. Undiscouraged, Pitt formed his own basketball team and came up with the name "the Cherokee Rejects," according to the Daily Mail

Later, when he attended Kickapoo High School, Pitt played tennis. While he may have enjoyed the game at first, Pitt became so frustrated on the court once in front of his father that he stopped playing for a year, he told Parade. He tried other sports too, like football, wrestling, and even diving. "Everything but baseball," Pitt told SI, after explaining, "Baseball and I didn't get along that well." Ironically, Pitt worked closely with baseball when he produced and starred in the sports film "Moneyball." This earned him two Academy Award nominations, for best picture and best actor.

Displaying his well-rounded abilities, Pitt excelled outside of sports. He was a member of the National Forensic League, now the National Speech & Debate Association, and participated in his school's Key Club. Religion continued to be a part of his life. The actor told GQ in 2019, "Like, I cling to religion. I grew up with Christianity. Always questioned it, but it worked at times." After leaving home, Pitt experimented with agnosticism and atheism. "And then I found myself coming back around to just belief in — I hate to use the word spirituality, but just a belief in that we're all connected."

Driving away from home

Pursuing higher education, Brad Pitt attended the University of Missouri and joined the journalism department. Pitt's original goal was to become either an art director or work in advertising. It was also his first time away from his religious upbringing. Pitt credits his college girlfriend, a preacher's daughter, with opening his eyes to new ways of thinking. "She was a hardcore realist," Pitt recalled to Parade. "She called me on so much bulls*** about any romantic ideas that I had grown up with about life. It was my first year in college," he detailed.

This new way of thinking sparked huge aspirations in Pitt a few years later. Only two credits short of graduation with a degree in journalism, Pitt dropped out of school with plans to drive to Los Angeles. Looking back, he remembered always enjoying films but never thinking a career as an actor was feasible. "Then it occurred to me, literally two weeks before graduation: If the opportunity isn't here, I'll go to it," he told Esquire

Freshly out of college, Pitt worked construction with his dad for a few weeks just to build up some extra cash before the trip out West. According to Pitt, his father was supportive of the move and even bought him the car he would drive out to L.A. The future celebrity wasn't sure what was waiting for him in California, but that didn't matter so much. "To me, not knowing that has always been the most exciting thing about making a trip," Pitt told Parade about his ambitious move.

The truth about Brad Pitt's early days in LA

After moving to Los Angeles with plans to be an actor, Brad Pitt linked up with another young hopeful, Jason Priestley, and the two became roommates. In "Jason Priestley: A Memoir," the author recalled, "We lived on Ramen noodles and generic beer — the kind that came in white cans labeled 'beer' — and Marlboro Light cigarettes. We were all broke. ... Just for fun, we used to have competitions over who could go the longest without showering and shaving." Both guys landed smaller roles, including their respective appearances on the TV series "Head of the Class" and "21 Jump Street," but finally upgraded from eating instant noodles. Priestley went on to star as Brandon Walsh in "Beverly Hills, 90210."

Pitt revealed that he briefly drove around adult entertainers. "You took whatever odd job you could here that was interesting in some way and that kept you able to audition," he told Newsweek. He remembered it was a strange but interesting job, driving the dancers to events and collecting money at the end of the night. It all became too depressing, so Pitt quit after working the job for a few months. On his last night, Pitt talked with one of the women who was taking acting classes. She suggested he might like her teacher, Roy London. According to Pitt, his time studying under London put him on the path to fame. "Strippers changed my life," the star concluded.

How Brad Pitt continues to look so good

It wasn't long before people figured out that Brad Pitt was a special child. Even the young boy recognized that his good looks were one-of-a-kind. "I remember being in early elementary school and realizing that things are not fair," he revealed to Vanity Fair. "I was well aware that I could get away with more. It kept me up at night. I talked to my mom about it. She told me that just meant I had a greater responsibility," Pitt added.

As he grew older, Pitt became a model. One of his earliest jobs was starring in a Levi's jeans commercial. Though he ended up landing jobs in film, it was still his look that drove people crazy. His big breakthrough came in the 1991 film " Thelma and Louise," partly for that bedroom scene with his shirt off in front of his co-star Geena Davis. 

Pitt continued to push the limit as to what an actor could look like. His physique in the 1999 film "Fight Club" became legendary, and men still aspired to a similar body type 20 years later, per Highsnobiety. Showing he could become even more ripped, Pitt went all out in the movie "Troy" as Achilles. "This guy's supposed to be the greatest warrior of all time; I had to get my a** in shape. I changed my life completely," Pitt told Vanity Fair – as if he was out of shape.

Brad Pitt's passion outside of acting

There's more to Brad Pitt than his luscious hair and entrancing acting. Outside of the Hollywood lights, Pitt is fascinated by architecture. This includes working with many furniture designs and housing designs. For example, he completely redid the Hollywood Hills mansion that he and Jennifer Aniston moved into, per Vanity Fair (just one of his many homes through the years — from France to Mallorca to California to New Orleans). 

Pitt had no intentions of stopping his progress after working on his own property. In fact, he aspired to be among other great architects, like his friend Frank Gehry, one of the most famous living architects who designed the Walt Disney Concert Hall in Los Angeles and the Fondation Louis Vuitton in Paris, AD recapped. Pitt took classes at Gehry's offices for an "informal apprenticeship" to learn about 3D modeling, per The Guardian.

Holding a deep respect for Gehry, Pitt remembered the architect telling him, "If you know where it's going, it's not worth doing," he told Vanity Fair (via The Guardian). "That's become like a mantra for me. That's the life of the artist," Pitt revealed. After spending six months at Gehry's studio, the actor reportedly used his skills to help design a restaurant as part of Gehry's waterfront project in Hove, England. The ambitious plan was ultimately scrapped, per Time.

The ups and downs of Brad Pitt's charitable work

Throughout his illustrious Hollywood career, Brad Pitt has given his time and resources to several charities. In the summer of 2020 alone, Pitt reportedly volunteered over 30 times to deliver groceries to people in need in the Watts neighborhood of Los Angeles. One fellow volunteer and community leader said Pitt was a superstar in the efforts to hand out food boxes, and in his opinion, Pitt "doesn't behave like a big Hollywood star," the Daily Mail reported.

Easily his most ambitious charitable project was to help victims of Hurricane Katrina. Following the devastating destruction in New Orleans from the 2005 storm, Pitt vowed to rebuild in some of the most ravaged neighborhoods. It was a collective effort, as Pitt enlisted many of his celebrity friends to raise funds for the cause. Pitt founded the Make It Right Foundation in 2007 and began building homes mainly in the lower ninth ward section of New Orleans. Each house cost around $150,000 each, according to Page Six

Though the home designs were by famous architects, including Frank Gehry, decades later, many of the homes had serious issues like rotting and leaks, per Page Six. To address the issues, Pitt reportedly donated millions of dollars to fix the damaged buildings. Still, problems remained, and some residents claimed houses continued to get worse and even made people sick. As a result, Pitt and the charity faced a class-action lawsuit from some residents, The Guardian reported.

Here's what Brad Pitt was up to during quarantine

Brad Pitt, like the rest of the world, saw his daily routines upended as the COVID-19 pandemic progressed. Still in his late fifties, Pitt could have easily sat around and done nothing. He remembered thinking during lockdown, "What do we do with ourselves? What do we do with our hands? What do we do with our lives? And I just picked up a couple of arts and crafts," he recapped to ET on the red carpet. Those crafts included pottery and ceramics. 

One of Pitt's specialties was creating painted candlesticks, and the actor became obsessed with the art. "Everything I read, porcelain's about being thin so that light penetrates, the thinner you get," Pitt explained to GQ. In his opinion, "It's a cardinal sin to make it thick." In addition to his creative projects, Pitt also began playing the guitar at the onset of the pandemic. He even had a jam session once with director and heir Spike Jonze.

Pitt also used his celebrity to inspire others during the uncertain times. At the 2021 Missouri State University virtual graduation, students saw a pre-taped congratulatory video featuring the school president asking for a favor from a Springfield, Missouri native. Then Pitt surprised everyone with a cameo. "Hi everyone! Brad here from quarantine. ... Must be very strange doing this in these trying times, but know we're rooting for you, our money's on you to make this world a better place, and we wish you all the best in your future endeavors," he said.

The medical condition Brad Pitt lives with

Brad Pitt has easily encountered millions of faces during his long-running career in show business, with screaming fans present at all his premieres. While many would jump on the opportunity to be universally adored, sadly, this reality is especially challenging for Pitt. That's because he has a medical condition called prosopagnosia, often referred to as face blindness. The symptoms of the condition involve difficulty in recognizing familiar faces. Sometimes, those with prosopagnosia can't even recognize their own friends and family right away, WebMD described. Big events and parties have been especially troublesome for the actor when he meets many new people. "Nobody believes me," Pitt told GQ about the results of his condition.

In fact, Pitt has been talking about prosopagnosia since as early as 2013. He believed he had the disorder because he felt hesitant to go to social events. While he wasn't formally diagnosed at the time, he planned to get tested as his daily life was starting to suffer. "That's why I stay at home ... you meet so many damned people and then you meet 'em again," he explained to Esquire. The actor feels that some people may think he is disrespectful or less caring because he doesn't always remember previous interactions. "Every now and then, someone will give me context, and I'll say, 'Thank you for helping me.' But I piss more people off. You get this thing, like, 'You're being egotistical. You're being conceited,'" Pitt revealed.

Brad Pitt dated many famous women

Once upon a time in Hollywood, Brad Pitt was the most in-demand bachelor. One of Pitt's first public relationships was with actor Juliette Lewis. The two were together from around 1990 until 1993. At the start of their relationship, Pitt was a newcomer in town and only had uncredited appearances and guest roles in series like "Dallas" and "Glory Days." 

Pitt met Lewis on the set of "Too Young to Die," Us Weekly recapped. The two later appeared in the movie "Kalifornia" and both were enamored to be working together. "You do a scene and then go over and grab the one you love," Pitt told the Los Angeles Times in 1993. It was the last year for the couple, but Pitt quickly found love on another set. After working together on the movie "Se7en," Pitt and Gwyneth Paltrow began dating in 1994. By 1996, the couple announced their engagement but separated before the wedding, CNN summarized. 

In 2022, Pitt and Paltrow still remained on great terms. "It's lovely to have you as a friend now ... and I do love you," Pitt said in an interview with Paltrow for Goop. "I love you so much," Paltrow responded. She eventually married producer Brad Falchuk while Pitt married Jennifer Aniston of "Friends" fame. While still together and before their divorce, Pitt said of Aniston, "She's like a magnet; she brings a lot of people together that way," per Vanity Fair.

Inside the actor's relationship with Angelina Jolie

Two superstars collided on the set of the 2005 film "Mr. and Mrs. Smith." Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie originated the title characters and on-screen lovers, but in real life, Pitt was married to Jennifer Aniston when filming commenced in January 2004. One year later, Pitt and Aniston divorced. Several signs pointed to Jolie as one part of their separation. "He's one of the most down-to-earth people; he's a very real man," Jolie told Vanity Fair in a 2004 interview filled with details about Pitt's relationship with Aniston. Only a few months after Pitt and Aniston divorced, Pitt teamed with photographer Steven Klein in a W magazine photoshoot featuring the actor and Jolie imagined in a stylish family. By April 2005, Pitt was spotted in Kenya on vacation with Jolie and her son Maddox. It was their first outing as a couple and the start of Brangelina, Us Weekly reported.

In 2014, Pitt and Angelina were officially married during an intimate ceremony held at their estate in Correns, France. "It was important to us that the day was relaxed and full of laughter," the couple told People about their wedding. Pitt and Jolie remained as one of Hollywood's top power couples until Jolie shocked the actor by filing for divorce after two years of marriage. People reported that she also requested physical custody of all six of their children. Custody battles were ongoing as of 2022, per Us Weekly.

Life as a dad for Brad Pitt

One of the earliest moves in Brad Pitt's relationship with Angelina Jolie was to legally adopt her two children, son Maddox and daughter Zahara, People reported. Jolie and Pitt then had their first child together, Shiloh, in 2006. The world went crazy, with People magazine paying over $4.1 million for the baby photos, the New York Post reported. The couple made a charitable donation of the money. They then adopted young Pax from Vietnam, and had twins Knox and Vivienne in France, Reuters reported.

Being a father hasn't always been natural for the actor. For example, the FBI investigated Pitt after he allegedly fought with his son Maddox on a private flight from Paris to Los Angeles, per The Cut. This was partly a wakeup call for Pitt, but with the divorce to Jolie, he admitted that he needed to drastically change as a father. "I gotta be more. I gotta be more for them. I have to show them. And I haven't been great at it," he confessed to GQ.

In 2022, Jolie announced on Instagram that her and Pitt's daughter Zahara would be attending the liberal arts school Spelman College in Atlanta, Georgia in the 2026 graduating class. "I'm so proud of her," Pitt said about her decision, per Vanity Fair. "She's so smart. She's going to flourish even more at college. It's an exciting and beautiful time to find her own way and pursue her interests," the actor added.

Brad Pitt indulged in many vices

At one point in his career, Brad Pitt indulged in smoking marijuana. "Back in my stoner days, I wanted to smoke a joint with Jack and Snoop and Willie," Pitt told GQ, referencing one of the most famous stoners ever, musician Willie Nelson. Just like Nelson stopped smoking pot, so did Pitt. He admitted it wasn't hard dropping his smoking habit, but he had a more difficult time with alcohol. "I could drink a Russian under the table with his own vodka. I was a professional. I was good," Pitt revealed. His love of wine, coupled with the fact that he owned a winery, was tempting. Ultimately, the actor believed he was drinking too much and decided to quit. 

Famous actor Anthony Hopkins and Pitt discussed their strained relationships with alcohol, and Hopkins asked Pitt to tell his side of the story. "I just saw it as a disservice to myself, as an escape," Pitt said to Interview magazine. He added that part of him believed this escape was necessary.

Pitt was also an avid cigarette smoker. "I don't have that ability to do just one or two a day, it's not in my makeup. I'm all in," he told GQ. Pitt was smart enough to recognize that he had trouble with moderation, and he gave up smoking during the COVID-19 pandemic.

If you or anyone you know is struggling with addiction issues, help is available. Visit the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration website or contact SAMHSA's National Helpline at 1-800-662-HELP (4357).

What it's like to be Brad Pitt every day

There are perks that come with being a mega star, but this recognition also comes with the dark side of fame. For much of his career, Brad Pitt hasn't been able to avoid the paparazzi anywhere. Following his divorce from Angelina Jolie, Pitt crashed at his friend's place and was frightened when surveillance arrived at the crack of dawn. Pitt recalled to GQ, "It was something more than TMZ, because they got into my friend's computer. ... So I got a little paranoid being there." 

To combat this constant barrage of press, Pitt has employed various tactics with mixed success. For example, he once wore the exact same outfit multiple days in a row — a move likely to combat the press. According to Vanity Fair, celebs often use this technique to make paparazzi photos of them less interesting and less profitable. Once when Pitt used a disguise, people still knew it was him. "I put on a dinosaur mask and I got recognized in New York City," he told Adam Sandler in an episode of Variety's "Actors on Actors."

Pitt also has had a fan become too obsessed in the past. 19-year-old Athena Rolando was caught in the late '90s sneaking into the actor's Hollywood home and trying on his clothing, per CBS News. Pitt earned protection when a judge sentenced her with a restraining order, People reported.

Here's how much Brad Pitt is really worth

With his leading man qualities and international fame, Brad Pitt certainly knows how to draw a crowd to the theaters. Fittingly, Pitt can command huge paychecks for each film — up to $20 million each, according to GQ. The price tag doesn't seem to interest Pitt. "It's never been my first concern. To this day, I have yet to receive a full $20 million, although I have been offered more than that," he told Vanity Fair in 2004. "I like being the flighty artist guy unencumbered by those things," Pitt added. 

He has his other income streams, like modeling for the Japanese denim brand Edwin, per PopSugar, and for luxury fashion brand Brioni. The actor also became the global brand ambassador for the De'Longhi coffee appliance company. With all his film roles and other endorsements, Pitt was worth an estimated $300 million as of 2022, according to Celebrity Net Worth.

Even with Pitt's enormous fortune, he still became fascinated once with finding a buried treasure. As the actor explained, he learned that somewhere on the property of his estate in France, including his château, was a long lost treasure of gold from medieval times worth millions. "I got obsessed. Like for a year, this was all I could think about, just the excitement of it all," he told GQ. In the end, Pitt believed the legend was a scam, and he never found the gold.