Brad Pitt's new sci-fi adventure, "Ad Astra," hits theaters Sept. 20, but the movie has been in the works since 2017 — just months after the leading man began a transformative journey of his own off-screen.
Pitt took on the role of a lonely astronaut in James Gray's film following his headline-grabbing split from his partner of more than a decade, Angelina Jolie, and after he and his ex began navigating custody arrangements of their six children.
"I had family stuff going on," he said when asked about the experience in an interview with The New York Times. "We’ll leave it at that."
But amid it all, there was another separation in Pitt's life, as the actor, who's confessed to a long history of drinking, chose to leave alcohol behind him.
"I had taken things as far as I could take it, so I removed my drinking privileges," he explained to the publication.
Pitt spent the following year and a half in Alcoholics Anonymous, taking part in an all-male recovery group.
"You had all these men sitting around being open and honest in a way I have never heard," he said of the experience. "It was this safe space where there was little judgment, and therefore little judgment of yourself."
That AA space proved truly safe for Pitt, who, despite being a famous A-list actor, was able to fully invest himself in the confessional nature of the group without anyone leaking his admissions to tabloids or sharing his experience.
The New York Times interview isn't the first time Pitt has opened up about his history with alcohol abuse.
In 2017, he told GQ Style that throughout his early adulthood, he used marijuana and alcohol as "pacifiers" to soothe him and allow him to keep "running from feelings."
"I mean I stopped everything except boozing when I started my family," he noted then. "But even this last year, you know — things I wasn’t dealing with. I was boozing too much. It’s just become a problem."
At the time, he revealed he was seeing a therapist. And in his recent chat with The New York Times, he stressed how his recovery group allowed him to truly connect with his emotions.
"It was actually really freeing just to expose the ugly sides of yourself,” he said. "There’s great value in that."