To say Brad Pitt is at a crossroads would be an understatement. The 53-year-old Hollywood heavyweight recently opened up with GQ Style about his turbulent past few months, and how he's becoming a better man for his family.
Pitt, who sat down for the interview in the Hollywood Hills Craftsman he's lived in since 1994, admits his home has been a lot quieter in the wake of his divorce from Angelina Jolie. "This house was always chaotic and crazy, voices and bangs coming from everywhere, and then, as you see, there are days like this: very ... very solemn," he says. Visitation rights regarding the couple's six children are still being decided.
"We're both doing our best. I heard one lawyer say, 'No one wins in court—it's just a matter of who gets hurt worse.' And it seems to be true, you spend a year just focused on building a case to prove your point and why you're right and why they're wrong, and it's just an investment in vitriolic hatred," he says. "I just refuse. And fortunately, my partner in this agrees. It's just very, very jarring for the kids, to suddenly have their family ripped apart."
Pitt says his focus now is making sure he and all his kids come out of all this as better people, though he admits it's been difficult to talk about with them. "Our focus is that everyone comes out stronger and better people—there is no other outcome," he notes. He has no interest in a bitter, drawn-out court battle with Jolie. He's seen it happen before, with friends, and says he finds it "sickening."
As for how he has managed to stay grounded throughout the split and its fallout, Pitt, who has recently quit drinking, has a simple mantra: "family first."
"People on their deathbeds don't talk about what they obtained or were awarded. They talk about their loved ones or their regrets—that seems to be the menu. I say that as someone who's let the work take me away," he says. "Kids are so delicate. They absorb everything. They need to have their hand held and things explained. They need to be listened to. When I get in that busy work mode, I'm not hearing. I want to be better at that."
RELATED: Angelina Jolie Speaks Out About Split from Brad Pitt: "We Will Always Be a Family"
Head to gq.com to read his interview in its entirety.
People has obtained a statement from Brad Pitt saying this, I am very saddened by this, but what matters most now is the well being of ours kids. I kindly ask the press to give them the space they deserve during this challenging time. Angelina Jolie also releasing a statement, her camp released a statement saying Angelina Jolie Pitt Has filed for dissolution of the marriage. This decision was made for the health of the family. She will not be commenting at this time, and asks that the family be given their privacy during this difficult time. I'm joined now by Kate Coin. Kate, thank you for being here. Let's talk about this. What do we know so far about the story? We've got the statements there What else do we know? I mean, it's a huge shock to everybody. Including people like me who have been watching this couple closely since they first got together. You know, when a couple has been together for as, Many years as they have. Even though they were only married for two years, they've obviously been together for a very long time. Six children together. You think that, in this day and age, everyone's jaded about a Hollywood romance, and yet everyone does seem genuinely Stunned by this news. There reports that the trigger here was a conflict over their children that Angelina is now asking for custody of their kids. Let's talk about that, the break down in their statements. Yeah so this is actually contained within the divorce filing and what she's asking for is essentially sole physical custody. She's coinciding joint Legal custody. So they will both have the same amount of rights to make decisions about the children's future, about their schooling, about medical leads, about anything like that, they would be legally equal. But in terms of physical custody She is asking for that to be hers alone. And before people read too much into that, some of that may simply have to do with the lives they lead. She travels a lot. She still makes films. She's directing more and more. She goes on a lot of humanitarian missions. And if she is unable to bring her children with her, To accommodate her hectic schedule, it might be hard to do a sort of standard joint custody, one week with dad, one week with mom agreement. [CROSSTALK] So, when mom and dad are all over the place and so Her thinking may well be, one person has to have the main physical custody because they are going to have to adapt to wherever I'm going and what I'm doing and we'll work out visitation with the other side whenever possible.>>All right, that makes sense Brad and Angelina, you know, anyone who, like you have reported on them for quite some time They know how to deal with the intensity of the spotlight, right, as a power couple in the public eye. When it comes to their family they know how to keep a lid on things when they want. They release little bits here and there when they so choose. Their wedding was the best kept secret in the world. So what do we predict in terms of how information about. Their divorce. And as this rolls out, do you think they'll be pretty tight lipped? Will this be something that they continue to come out with more statements? Or- I think in the wake of this news they will control the information very very carefully. These are not people who, if you look back, for instance on the end of Brad's marriage to Jennifer Aniston Here they each gave statements about their sadness through like what's happening here. And it wasn't for quite sometime until everybody involved including Angelina ultimately gave lengthier interviews in which they let some information slip out about falling in love on the set of Mr and Mrs Smith or You know, just how Brad had felt like he wasn't really being true to himself in his first marriage. These are little morsels that they let drop much later and overtime. And so, you know, I think eventually people did get a pretty clear sense What had happened in let's say Brad and Jennifer Anniston's marriage but it took years and years in the making until everybody felt comfortable and Sure. Had enough of distance to talk about it. And so I think it that it wouldn't be surprising. I mean this will not be. The Johnny Depp divorce. There will not be mud slinging, there will not be crazy wild accusations being made in the immediate moment. I think people might try to make some accusations, outsiders, cuz everybody wants a smoking gun. Right, of course. Everyone wants to point at something. But I do think in the short term what we will consistently hear from From both of their camps is that you know this is a parting of the ways and it's a sad one but it's not necessarily catastrophic.