Brad Pitt: I Can't Remember People's Faces
By ROBERT PACE
May 22, 2013
As a high-profile celebrity, Brad Pitt's face is recognized around the world, but he now reveals that there are only a select few faces that he recognizes—and not by choice.
In his cover story with Esquire, Pitt reveals that he has trouble recalling people's faces and subsequently doesn't remember his encounters with them. He claims that once he walks away from an encounter, his memory of the other person's face immediately begins to dwindle.
The 49-year-old actor admits that he used to try to work his way around the deficiency by waiting for acquaintances to drop contextual hints, but he then undertook a more frank method.
Unfortunately, as he attests, neither mode bodes well with others.
"So many people hate me because they think I'm disrespecting them," he told Esquire. "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."
The World War Z actor has a hunch that he may have the rare neurological disorder prosopagnosia, also referred to as "face blindness," which impairs an individual's ability to recognize faces.
The deficiency is estimated to affect around two percent of the population. Famed primatologist Jane Goodall and French actor Thierry Lhermitte are among those who have had the condition.
Pitt revealed that his ability to recognize faces has deteriorated so drastically that it has affected his social life, asserting that it's the reason that he stays home as frequently as he can.
"You meet so many damned people," he said. "And then you meet 'em again."