'I could drink a Russian under the table': Brad Pitt opens up on split with Jolie
Hollywood star couldn't remember a day since college he wasn't 'boozing or smoking a spliff'
In a searingly honest interview with 'GQ', the 53-year-old Hollywood star described the battle for custody of their six children, and how he had given up drinking last year in favour of cranberry juice. He said the last six months had been "weird" and his problems had been "self-inflicted".
"Truthfully, I could drink a Russian under the table with his own vodka. I was a professional. I was good."
He told 'GQ': "I do remember a few spots along the road where I've become absolutely tired of myself. And this is a big one. These moments have always been a huge generator for change.
"Personally, I can't remember a day since I got out of college when I wasn't boozing or had a spliff [joint], or something. 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."
The actor, who has been seeing a therapist, said he hasn't had a drink in six months and added: "I've got my feelings in my fingertips again."
Jolie (41) filed for divorce in September and sought sole custody of their children - Maddox (15), Pax (13), Zahara (12), Shiloh (10), and eight-year-old twins Knox and Vivienne.
Pitt said: "It's just very, very jarring for the kids, to suddenly have their family ripped apart."
Describing his former drinking Pitt told 'GQ': "Truthfully, I could drink a Russian under the table with his own vodka. I was a professional. I was good."
In addition to sleeping on a friend's floor Pitt said he has been coping with divorce by learning to be a sculptor - a "lonely occupation which is good for me right now". He said he was not having a mid-life crisis.
Asked how he made sense of the last six months, he said: "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 described growing up with a "father-knows-best/war mentality", and added: "It's hit me smack in the face with our divorce. I gotta be more. I gotta be more for them. I have to show them. And I haven't been great at it."
The divorce came after the Los Angeles County Department of Children and Family Services was called following an incident when Pitt and his family were on a private plane.
Pitt said he had felt "on my back and chained to a system" after Child Services became involved but said he and Jolie had been able to "sort this out".
A court case over custody would have been a "spectacular" nightmare, he said.
Asked if he saw himself as having been successful, Pitt told 'GQ': "I wish I could just change my name."
Brangelina: the timeline
2004: Mr & Mrs Smith: The couple meet on the set of the film 'Mr & Mrs Smith', in which they have the lead roles. In the same year, Pitt files for divorce from his first wife Jennifer Aniston.
Jolie's first pregnancy
In early 2006, Jolie confirms that she is pregnant with Pitt's child - acknowledging the relationship publicly for the first time.
The couple found the Jolie-Pitt Foundation; a charity aimed at supporting international humanitarian causes.
Twins bring number of children to six
Jolie announces she is pregnant with twins in May 2008 at the Cannes Film Festival. She gives birth to a boy and a girl in July of that year, bringing the couple's total number of children to six including three adoptions, from Cambodia, Ethiopia and Vietnam.
August 23, 2014
Tie the knot
The couple get married at Chateau Miraval, their home in the south of France, more than two years after their engagement.
September 20, 2016
Jolie files for divorce
Jolie's lawyer confirms that the actress has filed for divorce. TMZ reports that she has asked for custody of the couple's six children, with visitation rights for Pitt.