By Nardine Saad
4:49 PM EDT, May 21, 2013
Brad Pitt says "I have very few friends," and the reason for the exclusive inner-circle is because he believes he has an awesome family.
"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," the "World War Z" actor tells Esquire, whose June/July issue he covers with an effortless bad-boy air.
Pitt, 49, plays zombie-fighting family man and ex-U.N. investigator Gerry Lane in the upcoming film, which hits theaters June 21. But he's quite the patriarch in real life as well. He has a brood of six children — biological and adopted — with fiancée Angelina Jolie, who recently revealed that she had a preventative double mastectomy and plans to have her ovaries removed next. This was his first print interview since the announcement, for which he'd released a statement and called her decision "heroic."
He had said that he wanted her to live "a long and healthy life, with myself and our children." And now he's opening up about just how much of a priority they've become.
"I always thought that if I wanted to do a family, I wanted to do it big," he said. "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."
But things weren't always so idyllic for Pitt. The actor said he did quite a bit of screwing around before deciding to make a "conscious change" and get on the right track about a decade ago.
"For a long time I thought I did too much damage — drug damage," he said. "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 ... off. But then I got burnt out and felt that I was wasting my opportunity.
"It was an epiphany — a decision not to squander my opportunities," he added. "It was a feeling of, 'Get up.' Because otherwise, what's the point?"
In the article, Pitt also says he thinks he suffers from "prosopagnosia" because he never remembers people or their names, and that's just another reason for him stay at home.
"So many people hate me because they think I'm disrespecting them," he said. "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, "OK, 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 [tee] 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."
The full interview will be available when the mag hits newsstands May 31.
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