Getty Images | David Livingston

Brad Pitt Finally Opened Up On His Split From Angelina Jolie

Picture this: it's 2016. The presidential election is coming up, everyone is going wild about Pokemon Go, and you're minding your business.

Then, the news drops: Brangelina is no more. Headlines declare "love is dead." Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie have announced their divorce, and aren't saying why.

Fast forward to 2019. For three years, the two have kept the details of their divorce pretty private. Now, that's changing.

Their divorce was pretty private.


The original reason for their split was listed on the divorce documents as "irreconcilable differences."

That's a pretty standard celebrity reason. Jennifer Aniston also listed that as her reason for her split from Brad, even though we all know it was probably his relationship with Angelina that ended their marriage.

Brad began revealing a few details about it in relation to his new movie, "Ad Astra."

Instagram | @adastramovie

"The fact is, we all carry pain, grief and loss," he told The New York Times.

"We spend most of our time hiding it, but it’s there, it’s in you. So you open up those boxes."

September 2016 was a breaking point for their marriage.

Wikimedia Commons

It was then that Brad's apparent heavy drinking got the best of their relationship.

"I had taken things as far as I could take it, so I removed my drinking privileges," he said.

And some more serious allegations were made public.

Wikimedia Commons

During that September, Brad and Angelina made headlines alongside their son, 17 year-old Maddox.

The incident in question happened on board a private plane flying from Europe to LA.

That was on September 14th. Angelina filed for divorce on the 15th.

The FBI got involved.

ET Canada

The anonymous call about the altercation between Brad and then-15 year-old Maddox led to an FBI investigation.

The case was later dismissed, and no charges were filed over the incident.

Looking back, Brad had a lot of thoughts about that period in his life.

Programme Television

Before Ad Astra and the revelations about his divorce, he had some quieter thoughts about 2016 and 2017.

"Any of my foibles are born from my own hubris. Always, always. Anytime. I famously step in [expletive]—at least for me it seems pretty epic. I often wind up with a smelly foot in my mouth," he told GQ.

Things like alcohol and cigarettes were more than vices.

And So It Begins Films

"[...] I can't remember a day since I got out of college when I wasn't boozing or had a spliff, or something. Something.

"And you realize that a lot of it is, um—cigarettes, you know, pacifiers. "

Quitting was the only way out.

One Room With A View

"I mean I stopped everything except boozing when I started my family. But even this last year, you know—things I wasn't dealing with.

"I was boozing too much. It's just become a problem. And I'm really happy it's been half a year now, which is bittersweet, but I've got my feelings in my fingertips again."

He then joined Alcoholics Anonymous.

Wikimedia Commons

For a year and a half, Brad attended Alcoholics Anonymous.

His particular recovery group happened to be all men. That fact was interesting to Brad, who was impressed at the vulnerability they all displayed.

They were committed to being truthful.

Wikimedia Commons

"You had all these men sitting around being open and honest in a way I have never heard.

"It was this safe space where there was little judgment, and therefore little judgment of yourself."

That group also did something very surprising.

Instagram | @adastramovie

Though the opportunity was there, no one from the group chose to turn around and sell the information Brad shared to the press.

It was that fact that allowed him to trust them.

This came at a hard time.

YouTube | C'mon Dance For Us

"It was actually really freeing just to expose the ugly sides of yourself," he said. "There’s great value in that."

All of this was happening during the time that Ad Astra was being developed.

Since the film was in production, he drew on those feelings.

Instagram | @adastramovie

Speaking to NPR, Brad expounded on how his divorce influenced his choices in the film.

"I would be exploring it whether there was a script that allowed that or not." He said.

His family played a huge role.

"A breakup of a family is certainly an eye-opener that as one — and I'm speaking in general again — but as one needs to understand, I had to understand my own culpability in that, and what can I do better."

His family also found themselves in a legal battle.

Brad and Angelina were locked in a brutal custody battle for their six children in 2016: Maddox Jolie-Pitt, Pax Jolie-Pitt, Zahara Jolie-Pitt, Shiloh Jolie-Pitt, Knox Jolie-Pitt, and Vivienne Jolie-Pitt.

Things were so immovable at the time that the battle was set to go to trial.

They never made it to trial.

Comedy Central

Even though appearing in court seemed imminent, the trial was eventually called off.

The two came to a confidential custody arrangement. That arrangement came a little under a year before Ad Astra hit theaters.

Angelina initially requested full custody of their children.

ABC News

Pitt then filed for joint custody.

It took a while, but the pair ultimately settled on an agreement where the kids would stay with Angelina, but Brad could have "therapeutic visits."

"Because I don't want to go on like this."

Instagram | @adastramovie

Back to the film: He also explored the meaning of love, loss, and how we live with those things. It informed his character in Ad Astra.

"It seems universal that we all carry great pains, great feelings of loneliness and regrets."

Love played a huge role.

Instagram | @adastramovie

"I had a friend who worked in a hospice and he said the only thing that people talk about is their loves and then their regrets in love, dealing with love."

Since it was such a big theme, he turned his attention to it.

Flickr | symbolemodwagi

"I thought: Man, that's really interesting. If that's our focus on the way out, better start working on that now."

Applying such a raw, human emotion to the film is one of the hallmarks of great sci-fi.

The film also taught him a lot about processing trauma.

Flickr | dagobah_6810

"I don't know that we've been taught to deal with those painful events very well," he said. "In fact, we're better at burying them — at least certainly speaking for myself."

Suppressing emotion is the definition of toxic masculinity.

Getty Images | David Livingston

"You know, it's this Marlboro Man image of: Don't show weakness. But then we were questioning: In doing that, are we actually denying our own feelings?"

Exploring that led him to an important revelation about his children.

Openness clearly was a theme for him.

Wikimedia Commons

"Denying a part of ourselves — a vulnerability, in this guise of Superman — to really be open for our loved ones, for our sons and daughters, in the sense that we're all flawed; most of us are doing the best we can."