Written by Soberinfo
Brad Pitt is no stranger to the spotlight. He’s spent more than 30 years with an active role in the Hollywood film and television scene as both an actor and a producer. Unfortunately, Pitt is also no stranger to the struggles of substance abuse shared by so many in Hollywood.
The alcohol and drug abuse problems plaguing celebrities, both actors and musicians alike, is no secret. Substance abuse and addiction have claimed the lives of many incredible people throughout the years. From Heath Ledger to Philip Seymour Hoffman, drugs too often have a devastating effect on actors who abuse them.
Celebrities are under an incredible amount of pressure which leads many to seek an escape through substances. Thankfully, many A-list stars in Hollywood are open about their past struggles with substances and their recovery journeys. Those who are vocal about their alcohol- and drug-free lifestyles paved the way for celebrities trying to get sober today.
The Supporting Actor in Brad Pitt’s Sobriety
Despite the strange circumstances of the year, Pitt has had some monumental career moments this year. He produced the film Kajillionaire that was released in theaters last month. He also received an Emmy Nomination in July for his portrayal of Dr. Anthony Fauci on Saturday Night Live.
His most notable achievements this year were the multiple awards for his performance in Once Upon a Time in Hollywood. He received an Oscar Award for Best Supporting Actor in February earlier this year.
Pitt was also awarded Best Supporting Actor for the same role at the National Board of Review Annual Awards Gala. When Bradley Cooper presented him with the award, Pitt credited his long-time friend for helping him quit drinking.
“I got sober because of this guy,” Pitt explained during his acceptance speech, “and every day’s been happier ever since. I love you, and I thank you.”
Pitt’s Sobriety Journey
Pitt’s nod to Cooper was one of his few public mentions of his recovery. He doesn’t speak as often or as openly about his sobriety as many other celebrities do. Fans have been left to piece the story together through various interviews over the past few years.
He first discussed getting sober in an interview with GQ Style in 2017. Jolie filed for separation from him six months beforehand and he decided to look at his drinking. “I was boozing too much,” Pitt explained, “It’s just become a problem.”
Last September he told the New York Times that he attended Alcoholics Anonymous meetings for over a year and a half following his separation. “I had taken things as far as I could take it, so I removed my drinking privileges,” he recalled.
Pitt found a fellowship in meetings that he’d never experienced before in his life. “You had all these men sitting around being open and honest in a way I have never heard,” he said. “It was this safe space where there was little judgment, and therefore little judgment of yourself.”
And, as he revealed in his acceptance speech earlier this year, there was some support and encouragement from Bradley Cooper, too. It seems the combination of friendship and fellowship laid a solid foundation for his recovery as Brad Pitt is now over 3 years sober.
Following in Bradley Cooper’s Footsteps
It makes sense that Bradley Cooper encouraged Pitt to seek sobriety. Cooper has been sober for over 15 years after giving up drugs and alcohol at 29. Of his addiction, he told the Hollywood Reporter, “I just lived in my head…I thought, ‘Wow, I’m actually gonna ruin my life; I’m really gonna ruin it.’”
He couldn’t be further from the role he played in The Hangover, the one that catapulted him into the fame he has today. “If I continued [drinking],” he told GQ in 2013, “I was going to sabotage my whole life.”
Both Pitt and Cooper show the terrifying reality of “high functioning” alcoholism and addiction. Though things may seem put together on the outside, the story could be completely different behind closed doors. They also show the truth that substance and alcohol abuse do not discriminate; they can affect absolutely anyone.
The pair also shows the amazing things that you can accomplish when you remove drugs and alcohol from your life. Stars that share honestly about their recovery make it more acceptable for everyday individuals to be open, too. And neither Pitt nor Cooper shows any signs of slowing down – as long as they stay sober, they’ll continue to shine for years to come.