Brad Pitt talks about his atheism & how Angelina made him a better actor

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In observing my peers, I developed a theory: the people that were raised within conservative, religious families are always the ones who go buckwild in adulthood. Of course that’s not always the case. If it was, all of the Duggar kids would be marching in Pride Parades. But I do think that in many cases, raising kids in conservative, religious households tends to backfire on the parents once the kids become adults. Take Brad Pitt – raised in a deeply conservative, Republican family, raised in the Southern Baptist church… and nowadays, he’s an atheist and a political leftie. Brad sat down with The Telegraph Magazine to discuss that and much more. Some highlights:

On ‘By the Sea’: “It’s very subtle and European in its cadence, and its palette. Which is really surprising, because neither one of us is well versed in that. There are no explosions, no earth-shifting events, no big, shocking tales. The whole movie takes place in a cafe, a hotel room and a car. That’s it. I mean, it doesn’t get much more sparse. It’s very quiet, but elegant – it’s such an elegant film.”

His real-life marriage: “Certainly the attrition rate of Hollywood couples looms large. And I’m surprised how much our history – Angie’s and mine – means to me. That we have this story together. That we know each other. That we watch each other getting older, through amazing moments, joys, pains. That we know each other. It means so much to me. I don’t know. I’m just surprised, because you hear people talking about the old ball and chain, and people trying to recapture youth, as if that’s the impulse – but it’s not the impulse, it’s not the impulse at all.’

He wanted more kids: “Listen, Angie and I were aiming for a dozen, but we crapped out after six.”

His background: A Baptist upbringing, ‘with all the Christian guilt about what you can and cannot, should and shouldn’t do’. (He now describes himself as an atheist.) His father was ‘very, very tough’, but not, he says, in the ‘father knows best’ way. ‘He could be a softie. But one thing my folks always stressed was being capable, doing things for yourself. He was really big on integrity – and that informed a lot of what [we] try to do now.’

Is he the disciplinarian of the family? ‘I am with the boys. Girls do no wrong so I don’t have to be. I feel like my job is to show ’em around, help them find what they want to do with their life, put as many things in front of them, and pull them back when they get out of line, so they know who they are.’

How Angelina Jolie changed his life: ‘I think you can see it in my work. I was a pretty good actor before, but definitely hit and miss. I think I became a really good actor. I’m sure a lot of that has to do with age and wisdom too. But I see an absolute shift from the day I started my family. And I think it’s because family – and certainly kids and a stable relationship – is something bigger than yourself. They need you to sit down with them, be there for them when they wake up in the middle of the night… also I’m more efficient with it, because it’s taking me away from them. I don’t f— about. I get in there, I get the job done, and I go home. You know, nowadays I really can’t wait to get home. More than at any time in my life, I’ve got purpose – real purpose. It feels like I’ve found my place.’

[From The Telegraph]

He also refers to Angelina as a “matador” about their schedules and making sure the kids have everything in their lives organized. He also offered up some advice for the younger actors who seem to try to plan out their careers as one studio film, one small indie, etc, and Brad basically says that the younger guys should just focus on what they’re passionate about, which scripts move them.

As for the atheism… he’s actually talked about that stuff before, so I’m not really surprised. He’s made references to religion not working for him and to his rejection of his Southern Baptist upbringing. That being said, I think he’s still really close to his family, and Brad, Angelina and the kids make regular trips to Missouri to spend time with the whole Pitt clan.

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Photos courtesy of WENN.

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116 Responses to “Brad Pitt talks about his atheism & how Angelina made him a better actor”

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  1. GoodNamesAllTaken says:

    It sounds as if his father bordered on or actually was abusive. I can see how it would be impossible to reconcile your parent beating you with the teachings of Christianity, someone holding themselves out as knowing all the ins and outs of what right and what isn’t while hurting someone half their size. God, I loathe people who hit their children.

    • Esmom says:

      Really? I didn’t get that at all but I only read the excerpt here. Yikes.

      • MrsBPitt says:

        I didn’t get “bordering on abusive” either. I thought he meant “tough” as in, going to church, no matter what, being very strict about what he thought was right and wrong…but I didn’t get “physically” abusive….more like “authoritative”!

    • lisa2 says:

      The context of the quotes are off and the quotes about his christian upbringing and his father are meshed together.. he was talking about his father in relationship to how he is with his children..

      .. Brad has a wonderful relationship with his father; who seems to be a gentle and quiet man. Sad that people are trying to label the man as abusive when Brad has never ever implied any such thing. I’m sure he would be offended that anyone would imply such a thing.

      If you read the full context of the quote you will see the statement about his father is not related to religion. The author of the piece did a bad job in how he wrote that.

      • vauvert says:

        Agree @lisa2. I think just like the fathers of his generation, Brad’s dad was more the kind of dad who was firm (I would have never “negotiated” with my dad for an extra half hour before bed, another cookie, etc. the way my son does. It does not mean he was hitting me!)

        Brad has always come across as very close to his parents, hugely respectful and loving as a son. Just because growing up he moved left politically, or abandoned religion, does not suggest abusive parenting. In fact he seems to have maintained the old fashioned values his parents have instilled in him – family, children, respect for your spouse, (and I include his exes here, I don’t think he has ever said anything negative about any of them), hard working…

      • lisa2 says:

        @vauvert
        Exactly.. and he has never said anything negative about Religion or people of faith. He said it was not for him; but he knew that others found comfort in it. As noted he has spoken of this for years. so nothing new.. I do like how he speaks of his relationship with Angie. So many great quotes.. I think he is in a good place in his life.. Happy and sure of who he is and what he wants. Not a bad thing at all.

    • LAK says:

      Is the beating mentioned in the telegraph piece? I ask because I understood ‘strict’ and ‘tough’, but didn’t take that to the extreme end of ‘beating’.

      Conservative religious parents tend to be tough because they operate with an uncompromising line in the sand which doesn’t tolerate human frailty. They don’t have to beat their kids to enforce that line. They simply refuse to cross the line and make sure their kids know it.

      That said, I grew up in a religious household and community and I am an atheist now. Most of my friends are the same. I find that the people who grew up with little or mild religion are the ones who really embrace conservative religion if they decide take it up. Irrespective of religion.

      • Sabrine says:

        His dad wasn’t abusive. It was a different era. The man was the head of the family and it was a whole different style of parenting back then. I grew up with the same kind of dad as did Brad and most of us from that generation. Our dads weren’t our friends. They were proud strong men and their job was to work and be the head of the household. If as a small child my dad had gotten down to play with me on the floor I probably would have stood there in shock wondering what the heck was going on!

      • Peggy says:

        This is an example Pitt uses about his tough Dad, he was playing Tennis poorly and threw a tantrum, his father told him to put down the racquet if he is not enjoying the game and walked away.

    • Jayna says:

      Where did you get that? My father and mother were Southern Baptist and had strong religious beliefs, but my father, who was strict with the boys, was still a wonderful father, there for you in a heartbeat, but was a hardworking man, who instilled many great qualities in us, even though all of the children left the Baptist religion at the age of 16, when we weren’t made to go to Sunday School or church anymore if we didn’t want to.. But my parents were never abusive, and my brothers grew up surfing and hanging out with their friends who weren’t Baptists. It’s not like all Southern Baptists are the Duggars, no outside influences like music, etc.

      • Shannon says:

        So much this. I was raised Southern Baptist as well, and not even close to “abused.” I abandoned the religion itself, although not Christianity altogether, until later in adulthood I found the right church for me. But to make those kinds of generalizations is crazy to me. I bring my son to church, but I don’t abuse him. My parents let me “opt out” once I turned 16 and I did, but I had that basis to draw on later in life. There’s a happy medium a lot of religious parents are able to reach, including Southern Baptists.

      • siri says:

        I really think to construct a correlation between religious belief and some sort of violent behaviour towards the kids is wrong in the first place.

    • Goats on the Roof says:

      I didn’t get that at all. A parent can be strict without hitting their kids–mine were!

    • GoodNamesAllTaken says:

      Sorry folks. I went off on my own tangent and read something into it that wasn’t there.

      • Crumpet says:

        I hate it when that happens. :)

      • Kitten says:

        Happens to the best of us. I’m more concerned about his use of the words “palette” and “elegant” to describe that bomb of a film he made.

        Also, I wanted to hear more about his atheism.

      • Esmom says:

        Kitten, lol, I think I guffawed at “palette,” too.

        And GoodNames, as Kitten said it happens to us all (or at least me, anyway).

    • NoWayJose says:

      where in the world do you get that idea? LOL

    • goo says:

      “beating you with beliefs of Christianity”….. What? Why must you put ALL Christians in a box? It would be like putting all Jews, Muslims etc.. in a box and believing that they are all the same when, in FACT, they are not.

      -
      Poor Pitt! I truly pity him.

    • noway says:

      Brad and I are about the same age, and my parents were religious but not to the extreme. My parents let me drop out of Sunday School by middle school and it became my choice, but they went even if I didn’t. Still we didn’t negotiate like parenting is now. I think that was more the norm back then. My parents didn’t control my schedule either, but if they said do something I did it or was punished. I think that is what he is talking about with his father. In fairness though it was a different time. For one if I was out unsupervised I don’t think my parents would worry if a neighbor would turn them into social services. Now I am not an atheist, but I know a lot of friends who may not be atheist, but are non religious.

  2. Esmom says:

    Whoever said this incarnation of Brad resembles Aaron Sorkin was not wrong. I can’t unsee it now.

    I get what Brad’s saying about having a family making him be more efficient/focused while he’s at work. I don’t know if he’s become a better actor but I believe he’s probably become more professional (not that he wasn’t before), not hanging around the sets and blurring the line between work and personal life anymore. That sure happened to me, although I also ended up in a career crisis, feeling that the work I was doing was pretty meaningless compared to all that was happening in the world where I was now raising a child.

  3. astrid says:

    Brad and Angie seem like they have their shit together as a couple and as parents. And do so much for humanitarian issues. Team Pitt-Jolie

    • Goats on the Roof says:

      They do! And I love hearing about how Angie’s so organized. I’m a bit of an organizational nerd myself. I want deets! Does she keep a planner? What kind? How does she manage all the commitments for everyone?

      • Jayna says:

        She’s probably an A-type personality. Plus, she has loads of help in that household to execute all those lists she creates. An assistant or two and lots of nannies can make a world of difference in keeping your vision for your household organized, with you being the delegator..

      • lisa2 says:

        @Jayna

        She has always acknowledged that she has help. She also is the first to say that she has a much easier time than the average women working several jobs doing it along. She is also one of few celebrities that are not whinnying about her life. She shares her experiences but she is not one to complain. I would imagine anyone with the money she and Brad have would employ help. I’m single and I have a housekeeper a few days a week. I have a man that handles my yard. I don’t drag them out when people compliment me on my yard or how nice my home looks.

        I don’t know why there is this underlying thing against her because she has help. Most of the women I know have some kind of help; be it daycare, friend or grand parent. She has never said she doesn’t.. and she and Brad both seem very engaged with the life of their children.

  4. tracking says:

    Sure, he has no impulse to recapture his youth at all. No sir, no way (side eye). Seriously, I know he meant that specifically in the context of of being in a settled relationship, which is nice.

  5. Barrett says:

    He sounds like a real person not just a Hollywood star w delusions.

  6. Nancy says:

    I remember reading he didn’t want to dupe his children with the fallacy of Santa Claus and the tooth fairy the way he was duped. It’s never been a secret that he’s an atheist. Wonder if she shares his views. Must be a party over there at Christmas. Anyway, good for you Brad, you’re so happy.

    • SusanneToo says:

      There are lots of ways to celebrate Christmas. For some it is giving to others less fortunate. I wouldn’t be surprised if Brad & Angie demonstrate that for their kids as well as giving them a FEW well chosen gifts.

    • Tiny Martian says:

      I’m an atheist, and celebrate Solstice. We do it by decorating the house with greenery, bringing in a tree from outdoors, having a big feast, lighting a yule log, and exchanging gifts, just like my Nordic pagan ancestors would have done. It’s fun, I highly recommend it!

      • Kitten says:

        Holy sh*t that sounds amazing! Can I come?

        I’m an atheist too and I look forward to Christmas every year. Not to mention the fact that my bday is the 26th ;)

      • Nancy says:

        I could care less that he’s an atheist……it’s the let’s not pretend with our three and four year olds that there is a Santa. Really….this was the impetus of your angst that led to your thriving acting career…..that your parents wanted to make you happy as a child. Breaking news: I just looked up the interview and he said he felt betrayed at the lie of Santa Claus and that he let’s his kids make up their own minds. You go Brad….:(

      • JaneFR says:

        We’re no atheist, but a mixed race /mixed religion family. For us Christmas has always meant family time, pleasing and forgiving others. As a teenager, learning about Yom Kippour I thought that my muslim/catholic parents were copycats. Still, decades later, for christmas sake, I will late go of my resentment and anger, embrace the love and to get a bight fresh start.

    • Er, it means that his kids know that their presents came from THEIR PARENTS.

      While I have nothing against people who teach their kids that Santa Claus brought them presents, or the tooth fairy gave them that dollar for their tooth–I honestly don’t see the point. My mom grew up dirt poor, and the only thing she ever got for Christmas was school clothes. Never got anything else or birthday presents. So when we were growing up, we always knew that the presents we got were from our parents. I don’t understand what’s so bad about wanting your kids to know that YOU bought the presents.

      I guess I just don’t get the idea of Santa Clause–it’s cute if you get presents ever year…….but not if you don’t. I just find it totally useless. The kids will be happy and excited every Christmas, no matter who they think are giving them the gifts.

      • Nancy says:

        Nah. For some kids it’s part of the magic of Christmas. My kids loved the excitement of seeing Santa and talking to him……it’s the only time in life where there can be make believe and wonder and innocence. I agree they would be happy Santa or not, but on Christmas Eve when they’re seven and younger and leaving cookies and believing St. Nick took them…..it’s just fun to watch and remember. Maybe his comments threw me because as an actor, I would think his imagination would be more active and he wouldn’t have taken it so seriously. Oh well to each their own…….

      • @Nancy
        Again–my mom didn’t get to experience “the magic of Christmas”…..which influenced how she raised me. And quite honestly–kids get excited because of PRESENTS……not because an old fat guy in a red suit came down their chimney and ate their cookies.

        Personally I would rather teach my kids that a) they’re lucky that they get to have gifts for doing nothing (well, in a nicer way), b) not everyone gets to have presents every year (or at all), c) something about how we should all help those who are less fortunate, etc.

      • Nancy says:

        Virgilia: I’m not arguing with you honestly. A lot of us didn’t have, well let’s say what Brad’s kids do, growing up. But for my little guy who is 9 now and daughter 14, Christmas was magic to them and Santa was just a part of it. My children know they’re blessed and we always pay it forward. Since I posted last my twin sister’s 7 year old asked her if Santa was a myth. What timing. Anyway, I just hope everyone celebrates in their own way and have happy memories to relive as I do.

      • EN says:

        I don’t like the whole Santa thing, it is too much.
        But everyone does it around here, and I went along with it. I regret it now, but I am not sure how to break it gently to my kid. ))
        Probably next year I am going to tell her that there is no Santa.

      • I’m definitely not trying to argue with you or say you’re a bad person, etc–I just honestly don’t get why Santa is still a thing. I always knew that Santa wasn’t real, simply because it wasn’t taught to me. I saw it in movies and kids at school talked about it–but I always knew it wasn’t real. And the magic of Christmas never went away. Because I got presents. I just don’t see a point. It’s cute for decorating–that’s it.

        But I suppose I feel very strongly about it because of my mom–when she was young, she got a doll for Christmas. Even though she didn’t play with dolls and her mom knew she didn’t. After a certain age, she got school clothes only for Christmas. It wasn’t until she grew up, moved out, and joined the military that she received presents for anything……

      • Kitten says:

        I agree with everything you said, VC. My parents never did the Santa thing and I don’t love Christmas any less than anyone else. It’s my favorite time of the year for sure.

      • Nancy says:

        Virgilia: You don’t mention whether your mom is still here. It’s not my business but you seem so sad for her childhood, it’s sweet and kind. If she is alive, maybe you can arrange some sort of lunch or something you can enjoy together to prove you don’t need fineries to enjoy Christmas. If she’s is gone, you can still celebrate her memory and do something charitable in her honor. I just want everyone to be as happy and fulfilled as they can…

      • @Nancy
        She’s still kicking it, and my best friend. The past few years, we’ve definitely become a lot closer. Her childhood was….horrible. Like if she had been a child nowadays, her and her siblings would’ve been taken away, and put into foster care, at least two or three times. Her mom left her (and her siblings) for three years–just completely disappeared…..her aunts and uncles used her and her siblings as slaves–would steal their clothes for their kids, would leave all their laundry between visits and then make them walk 5,6 miles in Tenessee summer sun to go to the laundromat, wouldn’t feed them (even though my grandfather paid them), and would beat the holy hell out of her–…..and during their summers my grandfather would leave all of them in their country house (six kids) with no working toilet, very little food (a loaf of bread, pack of bologna, and a couple of cans of baked beans) for weeks at a time–and then his girlfriends would come and tell them about all the places he took her (and her kids) out……

        I am definitely sad for her, because it puts a lot of perspective on how we were raised, and the things she did. Like she saves every single scrap of paper that we do in school–my childhood home’s walls are covered in our old kindergarten diplomas and drawings, etc. Our Christmas tree is full of ornaments that we made as kids. And she LOVES to watch us open presents, and never really wanted any for herself.

        But it’s definitely hard to reconcile how my grandma was then, compared to now. Especially since it seems like she’s made herself “forget” the stuff that she did/didn’t do–like leaving her kids……and then her and my grandfather (who’s dead) splitting up the kids, to the point to where it’s only been the last 10-12 years that my mom’s truly gotten to know her three older siblings……

        @Kitten
        Yea-and it’s amazing how…pervasive it is. Like this year, my mom asked me what I wanted. And I told her some things–but I honestly don’t really want anything. I’m not the most material person (although I do love jewelry, lol), but I know that I just LOVE opening things. I wonder if it’s just because we’re conditioned to expect multiple presents on our birthday and Christmas. Especially with me–because my birthday is right before Christmas, so I’m used to only getting one or two things vs. my siblings (I used to evil eye them, lol, ESPECIALLY now that they’re getting stuff that I didn’t get until I was 18/19, and they’re 16 and under)…….

        And Kitten–did I tell you about how I now have ten siblings total? Yea–I found all the rest of my “half” siblings……

    • JenniferJustice says:

      Except that Santa is derived from a Dutch myth about a Bishop who gave gifts and oddly had many of the same traits as Odin from Greek mythology. I’ve never viewed Santa as an American Christian thing. It’s simply folklore from Germany that we thought was cool.

      P.S. Brad’s hair is awful and whatever he’s had done to his face should not have been done.

      • Robin says:

        Santa’s history is more complicated than that, and goes back to the 4th century in what is now Turkey. Odin is from Norse mythology, not Greek.

      • Locke Lamora says:

        Santa is derived from Saint Nicholas, right? He was a Greek bishop in Myra in Asia Minor, in today’s Turkey. In my country we celebrate St Nicholas Day, so St Nick and Krampus bring presents on the 6th of December, and then on Christmas you get presents from Christkind/Father Christmas/Old Man Frost ( different people use different terms). That’s pretty cool when you’re a kid because you get presents in December twice.

    • noway says:

      Christmas for a lot of people has left the religious aspect a long time ago. Unless Jesus is now running to Xmas shop on black Thursday/Friday trying to get a door buster. It can easily be a secular holiday about giving and family. I am sure they have a ball.

  7. MrsBPitt says:

    I know exactly what he is talking about when it comes to history together…when a couple has been together a substantial amount of time. When my Dad, and then my Mom passed away, it comforted me so much, that my husband had known, and loved my parents for so long. We could and did share fond memories of them…Sharing memories of family times, and inside jokes.. Even sharing times of trouble or sickness, that we made it through together.I would rather have that, than the “this is new, and exciting stage” again….but, of course, I’m no spring chicken (but only a couple of years older than Brad)!

  8. Catelina says:

    I think it says a lot about him that he is still very close to his family despite the fact that he diverges from them on politics and religion (subjects which can really divide people)

    • MrsBPitt says:

      I would never, and could never, drop my family because of differences in politic or religion…We love each other…all the rest is their own business…

    • Esmom says:

      I don’t think it’s that hard to separate politics and religion from family love. I do it as do most of the people I know. You can be close to family despite differing views.

      • It depends on how fundamentalist they are. And it’s not as simple as “dropping” a family member–if your entire family is entrenched in any kind of a fundamentalist religion, then that permeates their entire life–how they act, talk, what they do, etc.

        Like my dad used to be SO rigid about us going to church every single Sunday and Wednesday. Unless we were sick, we went. When I was young, my uncle (who lives in another state) would come to town for the weekend, a couple of times during the summer–bring all of my cousins. He would always leave on Sunday afternoon (which is basically a few hours after I got home from church)…..and even then, my dad would not allow us to spend Saturday night at our grandparent’s Cabin (which is where everyone congregated for the weekend)–because we would have to get up and go to church.

        Sports? After school programs? Most of those things I wasn’t allowed to do–and basically didn’t even ask after a certain point, was because I wasn’t allowed to miss church for anything.

        Anyway–this sort of thing REALLY put a strain on the relationship my dad had with his siblings–because EVERYTHING revolved around church and God. My uncle couldn’t even take us for a week without my dad telling him that he had to take us to church, otherwise we couldn’t go.

      • Esmom says:

        VC, I hear you, that’s tough. I could see how that would be extremely stressful and cause rifts in the family. I’m lucky that once we became adults our parents really didn’t try to “impose” anything on us, belief-wise. Now we just avoid topics that we know will be controversial. Which can mean very quiet dinners sometimes!

        One funny thing, my sister and her husband are like me post-catholic atheists and they’re sending their son to the local Catholic school for two years of preschool, mostly because it’s a block away. My mom keep saying how great it is and how she can tell he really believes in god and enjoys the religious aspect of the education more than anything else since he hasn’t had it up until now during his 3 short years of life in their heathen household.

      • @Esmom
        Lol–yea. Ironically enough, my dad grew out of it (and doesn’t go to church any more at all). But also the hard thing was that my dad and uncle are both very smart people–both are computer programmers, engineers, and love debating…..and both think they’re right, and will defend their point to the death.

        And lol on your mom. No. Just no. If anything, he might enjoy the stories (if they tell the stories by way of a picture book vs. a bible), and looking at the pictures…..but I don’t think a kid that age really knows. And after a certain point, if they’re raised in that kind of a household, they know what is expected of them.

        Like a scene from “Jane Eyre”–when Mr. Brocklehurst goes to visit Jane, and asks her about which parts of the Bible she likes–and she says she dislikes Psalms because they’re boring. Of course, Mr. Brocklehurst is all shocked and says that he has a son who is younger than she is (and she was 10/11), that, when asked, would prefer a psalm over a cookie (or whatever), and because of his piety, he gets two cookies. Yea, OKAY.

    • Catelina says:

      ‘Drop’ is a strong word, I don’t mean some sort of excommunication or shunning- But I do know many people who grew apart from their families because of religion/political issues particularly those which are often affected by people’s religious beliefs, especially when there is physical distance between them. If that’s inconceivable to you, then you are lucky.

  9. Maya says:

    I know exactly what he means about being raised in a very religious and strict way and that turned him into an atheist.

    I was raised like that but I am more like Angelina – I believe there is something above us but not that it is God. More like faith, hope, believe, love etc.

    I absolutely love how confident and secure Brad is to talk so lovely about his wife’s strength & determination, especially in a world where people label men who love and support strong independent women as weak, whipped or bit*hes.

    Brad has made some brilliant movies since meeting Angelina – he become a risk taker and developed a I don’t give a sh*t attitude in both his career and personal life. Two things you associate with Angelina so not surprising that Brad also became one and now owns/runs one of the respected production companies in Hollywood.

  10. Talie says:

    P.S. I liked By The Sea. But I tend to love beautiful movies with thin plot, like Antonioni or Sofia Coppola.

    • harlequin says:

      Me too, I loved By The Sea and I also love most of Sofia Coppola films. There’s a dreamy quality in those films that I find absolutely beautiful.

      • kay says:

        sweet. glad to hear this, i am going to see it next monday. :) i am looking forward to the visuals and the atmosphere, and a few reviewers said “this is not your typical movie”, which works for me since i rarely like hollywood films.

    • Josefina says:

      I didn’t really like it, but I didn’t think it was as awful as some people were painting it. Actually, after watching it I think it’s unfair to call it a bomb as it was a very non-commercial film. It was super boring. And that’s not necessarily a bad quality, actually. I just think Angie is not experienced enough as a director to pull off a film that’s good but boring (think Dallas Buyers Club).

      • Neil says:

        I didn’t think it was super boring. I think this is the kind of interior, character driven film makes many a person get their defenses up in preparation of being bored. I took it for what it was and though I admit the movie bogged down in its own interior redundancies it was never the less a modestly well made movie. To be honest my reactions to some of the more well received films is not that much different and sometimes even “super bored” with many action films that are all CGI flash with little substance and certainly void of any interior angst, which is a driving force for many of us people.

    • Katherine says:

      Talie, perfectly put. I very much enjoyed it and not bored for one second. But then I loved My Dinner with Andre and Swimming to Cambodia. LOL! And I pretty much hate James Bond and Batman movies.

  11. Crumpet says:

    ‘with all the Christian guilt about what you can and cannot, should and shouldn’t do’

    That hasn’t been my experience of Christianity AT. All. It it was his, who can blame him.

    • Well he grew up in the Bible belt, most likely in a very fundamentalist atmosphere–at home, at church. I also grew up sort of like that–except my mom tempered a lot of that, because she isn’t religious at all.

      But when you’re in that atmosphere, a lot of emphasis IS put on how you should feel about EVERYTHING, what you should be doing, etc–everything revolves around God and spreading the word and being JOYFUL while you do it.

      I always felt like a weirdo, because I just wasn’t “joyful” like that. They preached about being open and happy about your faith, and basically not caring what other people thought, etc. I didn’t like praying out loud, because I felt really awkward. I didn’t feel like going around and randomly name dropping the church I went to/the Bible was something that was organic and natural to me. Above all–I didn’t feel an overwhelming HAPPINESS when I went to church–like they said you were supposed to feel.

      It makes you feel different–especially in my atmosphere where majority of the people in the surrounding towns are either something more…..sedate like Catholic or Lutheran (i.e. they’re not out proselytizing every person they come across)….or not religious at all.

      You’re supposed to be this joyful person….but you’re not. I’m not.

      When you add up all these things, and then you see the hypocrisy, or all the bad things that just happen in the world, period–it makes you stop and think. Is this real? And so on…….

    • Pinetree13 says:

      Their is a huge shaming culture In Christianity, which I know from experience. I don’t know how you can deny that. It’s very well known.

      • JenniferJustice says:

        Not all Christian religions do that. Catholicism, Baptists and certain other fundamentalist churches preach the whole fire and brimstone thing to guilt, shame, and scare, but it’s not correct nor fair to make blanket statements about Christianity. I’m Lutheran and we do not shame or scare. Lutherans tend to be quiet, non-preachy, and focus on compassion and introspection. It’s not our place to say who goes where in the end because we haven’t lived other people’s lives. It’s all about compassion and giving.

        There is definitely a shaming quality pervailant in some Christian religions, but I see just as much shaming Christians for being Christian and that isn’t right either.

      • Robin says:

        Well said, Jennifer.

      • EN says:

        How can you say that Jennifer, when Christianity teaches that you are guilty and sinner from birth, and that Jesus died for YOUR sins.

        Sure, some branches of Christianity might focus on it more than others, but it is the corner stone of the religion that we are all sinners and only religion can save us.

        I think the lessening of the focus on that is due to Christianity trying to adapt to modern times.
        But I will never accept a religion that tells me I am a sinner just because I exist. It is a method of control.

      • Lucy2 says:

        I went to a Baptist church as a kid (in the Northeast, not South) and it was very welcoming, progressive, and really just about being kind. It was actually sort of confusing to me when I learned all churches/religions weren’t like that. Even within the same denomination, there can be many differences.

      • noway says:

        @EN I guess it is how you take the meaning of sinners. I tend to think of it as more we are not perfect, and when we do something wrong we will be forgiven. Yes everyone is a sinner, and I can see how someone could think that is shaming, I just don’t see it that way if we are all in the same boat. Now a little guilt in life isn’t a bad thing, it keeps us all from doing things that might hurt others so again that doesn’t bother me. People should believe whatever helps them get through life and doesn’t harm others, and it is different for everybody. This is the perfect example of that, because until I read your comment. your idea of thinking had never crossed my mind. I have seen the shaming and guilting in other ways, not so much now but when I was a kid, but I never thought about it your way at all. I get your point, but it’s not my way of thinking.

      • EN says:

        > Yes everyone is a sinner, and I can see how someone could think that is shaming, I just don’t see it that way if we are all in the same boat. Now a little guilt in life isn’t a bad thing, it keeps us all from doing things that might hurt others so again that doesn’t bother me

        Actually, it is a big deal and a deal breaker. I find it very similar to shame attached to having sex or nakedness. Cultures which never had that have much healthier view of relationships between men and women.

        There is freedom in not feeling guilt. And this is what so many people talk about, they finally feel free after leaving a religion.

      • Ennie says:

        :::Jennifer, and still, there are some experiences within the same religion. I am catholic, and I think it depends a lot of your parents and also which church or type of education you get.
        Some priests within a religion are more open or nicer than others and it impacts a child, a younger person. Some parents take their religion very seriously and sternly, and others are more light hearted about it.
        It if funny to me how Brad, having being raised in a protestant way has more qualms about religion than Angelina, who was raised by a catholic mother, well, she was probably a more open woman, having to raise the children and everything, and Brad had a more traditional upbringing.

    • Esmom says:

      It was definitely my experience growing up Catholic. I was an anxious kid and having those messages coming at me from school (Catholic), church and home made me a wreck for most of my childhood. Finally letting it all go (after much Catholic guilt) was very liberating, and very good for my mental health.

  12. smcollins says:

    I love how Brad doesn’t seem to buy into his own hype/image. That’s not to say he isn’t in some way effected by it (how could you not be at the level of stardom he & AJ are at?), but he seems to lean on his family to keep himself grounded and has his priorities straight. He’s been one of my HW crushes since Thelma & Louise, and I don’t see that fading even 20+ years later. He just keeps getting better with age!

  13. Esti says:

    “It’s very subtle and European in its cadence, and its palette. Which is really surprising, because neither one of us is well versed in that.”

    I think he just accidentally explained why that movie was such a disaster. When you try to make a very specific kind of outside-the-norm movie in a style you’re not particularly knowledgeable about, then odds are it’s not going to work. The reviews I found most interesting were the ones that contrasted By the Sea with its obvious influences like Antonioni, saying that Angie was superficially copying a style of European art film without really getting the point of it. It’s like she sat down and watched a couple of those types of movies and then just tried to make a movie that looked like them without really steeping herself in that style and understanding why and how it works when it does.

    • Catelina says:

      I think this is a very astute comment- I applaud ambition, stretching yourself, etc. but it did feel like a very surface level movie, though it wasn’t without its charms.

    • lisa2 says:

      Have you seen the film..
      well just like with every film some people like it others don’t. I don’t let the opinions of any critic keep me from seeing a film. I don’t get why a negative opinion is weighted so much more than that of a positive one. I have spoken to others that have seen the film. Some loved it, other not.. I think some critics from their reviews just wrote a negative based on the fact that it was her film. nothing of substance. and so gross in attacking her as a person. How is that critiquing a film. But it is amazing how people only focus on the negative to prove their point. Especially when they themselves have not seen the movie to judge it on their own. That to me is lazy

      • Paige says:

        Well I didn’t go by hearsay. I went to see it for myself last weekend. BTS has flaws, especially with the pacing, but I enjoyed it. I would rate it a 7.5/10. Brad is great as Roland. Angelina as Vanessa OH she truly made me hate her. I wish the audience could have learned more about the minor actors. My favorite scenes are the ones with Roland and Vanessa watching the couple. I loved the small moments it which Vanessa had a sense of humor.

      • lucy2 says:

        What critics attacked her as a person?

      • Katherine says:

        lucy2, lots of critics couldn’t get off the meme that is was a “vanity piece” or that it was about Jolie and her breasts, etc. In fact, most of the bad reviews focused on those things rather than the quality of the actual film. Makes me wonder if they really watched the whole thing.

        I am rather astounded that a film I found sad and moving with interesting characters and beautiful production values could be so harshly judged. I realize that my taste in films is more European and indie-ish so didn’t expect this to win raves or make any money but so many critics missed so much of what was going on that I was surprised. The reviews that got it and appreciated the film went into much more depth and analysis which made me think they were paying attention. For what felt like an impressionistic piece of work it did its job for me and made me feel for these people – I felt sad for Vanessa rather than anger even at her worst. I love this type of film in the mix cause I can only handle so much of the paint-by-numbers movies like Spotlight – which has its place – with trendy themes as Oscar bait.

      • lucy2 says:

        I didn’t read every review out there, but most of the ones I saw said it was visually beautiful but boring and slow paced. Very few I saw mentioned her breasts, but to be fair, she herself did discuss her nude scenes and reason for doing them in at least one or two interviews. I think a lot used the term vanity project, sure, but I don’t consider that to be a personal attack on her. It’s said about films controlled by actors for decades.

        That’s great that you enjoyed it and it had an impact on you, but there’s been a trend on here of people accusing the critics of not doing their jobs properly or having some personal vendetta against her, and I just don’t see it.

    • Katherine says:

      I couldn’t disagree more. She very much got the feel of an Antonioni film. BTS was very impressionistic emotionally. Antonioni may be grittier but Jolie clearly knows what she’s doing. I think if you read reviews by those who actually are experts in Anonioni and Goddard and other European filmmakers – rather than those who just think they’re clever throwing names around – you’ll see very favorable comparisons. Try the New Yorker review by Brody for starters.

      • nirvana says:

        You’re right. Hundreds of critics can’t possibly know what they’re talking about when referencing how her film was a cheap parody to the greats. No. She’s such a special snowflake, they must all be faking it. Except Brody. He’s gifted, just like she is. How did anyone else get their job? LOL!!

    • nirvana says:

      Ugh. I agree with you. The same stans say again and again that they love it because it’s an ART film. Dudes…do you watch art films? There’s more to them than fluff. For starters, the dialogue is always top notch, while her screenplay is getting crucified. The characterization is always strong, while hers are being called silly and unbelievable again and again. She’s not failing because she made ART. She’s failing because she tried to copy the real thing and it was 100% superficial. If you’re truly an indie fan, why do you love her (OR him for that matter)? They’re about as polar opposite as you can possibly get. Celebrities that star in HW vehicles with very little substance. I’m not buying that you love art house if you’re simultaneously obsessed with everything these two make. And wow, this interview is horrible. I can’t believe more of you aren’t laughing at how he tries to pass off a crap movie as “elegant” or calls himself a great actor. Laughable!

      • Lola says:

        Oh please! You clearly have never seen one single art film in your entire life! The dialogue is NOT *ALWAYS* top notch, sometimes it is off nor is the characterization “always” strong. You clearly hate them, and your hysterical generalizations and hyperbole gives it away. I would suggest you spend more time watching art films and less time obsessing about these 2.

      • Josephina says:

        If a movie makes you feel, identify or react emotionally towards the characters, then I think the film makes it point.

        And there are quite a number of good critics out there that “get” what Angelina was trying to do with the movie. It is definitely not your average American small production film. I think that access to and admiration for other cultures plays a role on what she chooses to focus. Art imitates life, and in her case, Angelina’s view of the world is going to be unique (i.e. not seen before) because of her experiences and travels. There are clearly elements of her perceptive captured in the landscaping of the movie.

        The story about the married couple, Vanessa and Roland, seemed more real. All problems that arise within a marriage are not resolved, addressed and mitigated just because we want them to go away. Often enough couples, as dysfunctional as it may be, just keep going until something breaks. Sometimes it hurts too much to resolve problems. Sometimes couples are lazy. Vanessa was clearly trashing her marriage and didn’t seem to care because she was too consumed with grief. I have seen women ruin their relationships because of their grief, and I have also seen men hang in there where there seemed to be nothing left but hope.

      • misande says:

        Their fans don’t know how hard it is to pull of an art film. Black Swan is a an art film that is really good. By the Sea is not an art film but a wannabe film. Jolie has no talent as a director and delivered a pile of poop weather her fans want to admit it or not. Also, art films do not have budget of $30 million with advertising, VanityFair/ Vouge Interviews and non-stop press about a stars personal life.
        Critics gave it the review it deserved. This movie is a bad sorry to break it to her silly fans.

      • misande says:

        @ Lola
        I don’t think you know what an art house film is, because By the Sea with that insane budget and PR cannot be labelled an art film. It also was slated for original release but Universal changed it to limited as the last minute. Now we know why they did that. The movie got horrible reviews because Jolie has no idea how to direct a movie.

  14. epiphany says:

    Pushing a kid too far in any direction tends to produce a boomerang effect; kid raised by obsessively religious parents tend to grow cold on any religion, kids raised by super permissive hippie types go after structure and discipline when they reach adulthood. My opinion; give kids a framework of beliefs and morals, demonstrate for them how those beliefs and morals positively influence your life, then let them find their own way. I lost count of how many friends couldn’t wait to stop attending church when they reached high school, but after they married and had kids of their own, they couldn’t wait to get back to it to share with their own children.

    • Pinetree13 says:

      My parents never dragged me to church and I am super grateful for that.

    • Esmom says:

      So true, very well said Epiphany. The only thing that bothers me with many (not all, I know) parents who now want to share the religion of their childhood with their children is that it’s essentially empty and I think hypocritical.

      I can’t tell you how many parents who have said they they don’t believe or they disagree with the church but they’re “making” their kids go through church/religious ed just because they had to. It doesn’t seem to do much other than make them feel that they somehow have the moral high ground because they are on the surface raising their kids with religion. Brad is being true to his beliefs and not dragging them through the motions of religion, which I think is commendable.

      And now we’ve been guests at several bar mitzvahs and confirmations — which are purportedly huge milestones meant to mark the beginning of adulthood in the faith — and instead those kids are just relieved to be able to drop religion from their schedules/life.

    • Solanacaea (Nighty) says:

      My parents weren’t religious (well my mother was a bit), though I was brought up Catholic. I remember going to church on Sundays until I was 14 on my own (my own choice), because my parents never attended church (my Dad is totally atheist). They gave me freedom to choose and nowadays I’m also atheist, mainly because of what I witnessed in church by some more fundamentalist people. I remember hearing people talking trash about their own neighbours right in front of church and then entering the church and saying Mea culpa… While growing up, I realized I didn’t want to be a judgemental person who believes that going to church on sundays gives me a pass on everything, so I stopped going. Found my inner peace somewhere else…

  15. RZ says:

    I can’t help but note there is nothing in the Telegraph article that references Brad Pitt’s atheism, agnosticism, belief or lack of belief in God. How did this tidbit end up in the headline?

    • lisa2 says:

      Exactly.. regardless of it being true or not he never said it in the interview. The author added it to the article and put it in parenthesis. And despite so many other noteworthy quotes the one that didn’t literally come out of his mouth in the interview makes the headline.

    • noway says:

      Well it is in the article basically as an aside when he speaks about his father’s religious background, but agree on how this small aside drew the headline. The article is a lot about By the Sea too, are we just tired of this movie because a lot of people thought it stunk, and it is doing so poorly. I am waiting for the Big Short can’t wait for that publicity with that cast and story.

      • Katherine says:

        Most of those people didn’t actually, you know, see it. I enjoyed it. I thought it was a lovely, sad moving film. But then I didn’t expect most people to get it let alone enjoy such a leisurely psychological take on marriage.

  16. jessoutwest says:

    I was getting some “Sure Jan” vibes from the headline, but that is a nice interview. I especially appreciate what he has to say about wanting to get back home to your kids. I really identify with it and you don’t hear that sort of expression about child-rearing from father’s too often.

  17. Bettyrose says:

    “Girls can do no wrong”?!? Bwahahaaha!! Adolescence is gonna be a rude awakening for papa Brad.

  18. Bettyrose says:

    Double post

  19. maggie says:

    I recently read an article that states children who are raised in a religious family are more judgemental and less giving. I know a few who fit that description!
    As for Angie made Pitt a better actor…..sure Brad. Believe your own bs.

    • lisa2 says:

      Well we know his life improved greatly when he and Angie got together. Not to mention his career has gotten better in front and behind the camera.. He seems very happy.. Funny how that works.. finding the RIGHT person sometimes gives you perspective..

      So no this is not BS. Just a clear fact that anyone with eyes can see.. They really seem meant for each other. I love when two people find the right person and are happy..

      • maggie says:

        You see what you want to. I don’t see the same thing. People are different. Accept that and you might be happier.

  20. Josefina says:

    Why is it that you need a reason to be an atheist? Can’t you simply not believe in God?

    I’m not refering to Brad’s situation in particular, its just that whenever a celeb comes out as an atheist, I see the press asks them to explain this as if it had to be justified in some way.

    • Bettyrose says:

      ^THIS! I refuse to call myself an atheist. I’m just not into religion. It’s not a particular philosophy I hold or anything.

      • Josefina says:

        Similar case here. I don’t believe in God, so I’m an atheist, and if you ask me, I’ll call myself that. But I don’t give it that much thought at all. I just don’t believe in God the same way I think yellow is an ugly color. I just… do.

      • Bettyrose says:

        Ugh, seriously, the color yellow is why?

    • Rafa says:

      ikr? Or even the very idea that being atheist is “buckwild” or automatically a rebellion against something. For many, it’s just a logical conclusion that reasonable adults make.

  21. GreenieWeenie says:

    I’m not brave enough to fly in the face of my Quaker-ish upbringing and call myself an atheist yet. Maybe you need more age and distance. I’m just a nice, tepid agnostic.

    I want to know more about how he broke the news of his atheism to his family. No way some drama wasn’t involved.

  22. Careygloss says:

    Did he just call himself “a really good actor”? Did he just say that chasing youth isn’t important to him (after all those procedures)?!?! Oh, honey…I’m glad you feel happy enough at home that you gush relentlessly, I guess, but to call yourself a good actor, much less a really good one, is…wow. And did you just try to sell your wife’s film as elegant??? I’ve always struggled to believe it when industry people have claimed that he’s none too bright, but this…is basically proving me wrong. :/ Delusions of grandeur at their finest. He’s a better actor than his wife, but he’s far from good. I hope he doesn’t bring down The Big Short the way he did 12 Years a Slave. Is he getting these parts because it’s part of the deal when he produces? I can’t explain it any other way. I’m sorry, I know many of you worship them, but I’m lost as to why. Especially when either of them talk like this in interviews. The only thing I admire about either of them is their humanitarian work. Hat’s off where credit is due, but talented actors they are not.

    • BNA. FN says:

      Everyone is entitled to his/her opinion. IMO, Brad is a “really good actor” and a excellent husband. Angelina and their kids are very lucky to have him in their lives and vice-a-versa.

    • misande says:

      I agree. He is just trying to deflect from his untalented director of a wife’s movie. By the Sea is not the award-winning movie that the loons thought it would be. Its a piece of garbage starring Pitt and his mistress turned wife. Of course he doesn’t care about religion, hence why he cheated on his first wife and used multiple other women to get ahead in Hollywood. Jolie acting like a good wife is hilarious. She has been divorced 2 times before the age of 30 and landed Pitt through adultery. I don’t care how much charity work she does, she is still a side-ho to me.

    • Josephina says:

      Hmmmm…. Brad IS a critically acclaimed actor not by just his fans but by his peers. He has done well as a producer, his production company is thriving , and he gets first dibs at scripts before it is passed on to other actors for consideration.

      Brad IS a good actor and has been nominated and won many awards fir his acting. The list is really long of his accomplishments but you could look it up on IDMB.

      • Careygloss says:

        Brad IS a good producer. That’s why I wondered aloud if that’s how/why he’s getting some good parts. And yes, he’s been in a few critically acclaimed parts across a very long career, not unlike gwyneth Paltrow, Robert pattinson, and a few others. To me, it looks like luck, because he isn’t consistent by any means. Say what you will, but those are the facts.

  23. Dangles says:

    “Girls can do no wrong”

    What a patronizing and manipulative comment. I’m surprised so many of you don’t know when someone’s blowing smoke up your ass.