Okay, as it turns out, Esquire has not released their full Brad Pitt cover story yet. They only released an excerpt plus Tom Junod’s post-interview thoughts on Brad and Angelina’s relationship after she announced her news about the mastectomy (which I covered earlier today). Esquire did release their full cover shoot by photographer Max Vadukul – you can see the slideshow here. It’s nice. It’s black-and-white and there are some lovely photos of Brad. Here are some highlights from the interview:
He forgets people’s faces and names all the time: “So many people hate me because they think I’m disrespecting them,” he says. “So I swear to God, I took one year where I just said, This year, I’m just going to cop to it and say to people, ‘Okay, where did we meet?’ But it just got worse. People were more offended. 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.’ But it’s a mystery to me, man. I can’t grasp a face and yet I come from such a design/aesthetic point of view. I am going to get it tested.” It’s gotten to the point where he doesn’t even like going out — “that’s why I stay at home” — but he’s also a public person, the center of crowds. “You meet so many damned people,” he says. “And then you meet ‘em again.”
On his family making him happy: “I have very few friends. I have a handful of close friends and I have my family and I haven’t known life to be any happier. I’m making things. I just haven’t known life to be any happier.”
On changing the direction of his life: “I’d get so far and then want to do something else. I mean, I’m two credits short of graduating college. Two credits. All I had to do was write a paper. What kind of guy is that? That guy scares me – the guy who always leaves a little on his plate. For a long time I thought I did too much damage – drug damage. I was a bit of a drifter. A guy who felt he grew up in something of a vacuum and wanted to see things, wanted to be inspired. I followed that other thing. I spent years f–king off. But then I got burnt out and felt that I was wasting my opportunity. It was a conscious change. This was about a decade ago. It was an epiphany – a decision not to squander my opportunities. It was a feeling of get up. Because otherwise, what’s the point?”
On missing his kids when they’re not around: “I always thought that if I wanted to do a family, I wanted to do it big. I wanted there to be chaos in the house… there’s constant chatter in our house, whether it’s giggling or screaming or crying or banging. I love it. I love it. I love it. I hate it when they’re gone. I hate it. Maybe it’s nice to be in a hotel room for a day – ‘Oh, nice, I can finally read a paper.’ But then, by the next day, I miss that cacophony, all that life.”
“I just haven’t known life to be any happier.” I think that could be taken one of two ways. One, take it at face value and just think that this Brad’s backwards way of saying that this is the happiest he’s ever been. Two, chose to read more into it and think that in a life full of BS, pain and angst, Brad has carved out something that he likes and this is “the best” he thinks he’s ever going to get. I don’t know why Brad speaks in riddles about his family sometimes, but I suspect it’s just because his brain is a tangle of marijuana and wine and not because he’s so terribly unhappy. He is happy. I think.
Also, that condition where you can’t remember someone’s face/name…? That’s a real thing. I saw a talk show episode about it. Like, people with prosopagnosia don’t even recognize their children. They were shown a photo of President Obama and they asked, “Um, Tiger Woods?” Brad doesn’t have that condition. He just has a terrible memory.
Photos courtesy of Max Vadukul /Esquire.