Brad Pitt’s Face Blindness Condition Explained: What Is Prosopagnosia?

This video is unavailable because we were unable to load a message from our sponsors.

If you are using ad-blocking software, please disable it and reload the page.

Brad Pitt recently addressed his long struggle with being unable to recognize people's faces, and how that's led to some assuming that he's self-absorbed and even rude.

In a recent interview with GQ, Pitt commented on his problem with recognizing people and being able to recall facial features, lamenting, "Nobody believes me!" When the interviewer admitted that their spouse feels that they suffer from the same condition, Pitt exclaimed, "I wanna meet another."

While Pitt admits that he hasn't been officially diagnosed, he said he believes he suffers from a medical condition called prosopagnosia -- colloquially known as "face blindness."

So what exactly is prosopagnosia?

According to the National Health Service of the U.K., the condition usually affects people from the time they are born and is something they contend with throughout their entire lives.

"Many people with prosopagnosia are not able to recognize family members, partners or friends," the NHS explains on their website. "They may cope by using alternative strategies to recognize people, such as remembering the way they walk or their hairstyle, voice or clothing."

The NHS explains that people with the condition "may avoid social interaction and develop a social anxiety disorder, an overwhelming fear of social situations. They may also have difficulty forming relationships or experience problems with their career."

"Someone with prosopagnosia may worry that they appear rude or not interested when they fail to recognize a person," the NHS adds.

Pitt previously addressed his struggle with prosopagnosia in an Esquire interview in 2013, sharing, "So many people hate me because they think I’m disrespecting them." He added, "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."

Pitt added that the condition and the difficulties it presents are "why I stay at home.", a site devoted to researching and raising awareness of the ailment, explains that the condition can lead to a number of unexpected problems, and that "one of the most common complaints of prosopagnosics is that they have trouble following the plot of television shows and movies, because they cannot keep track of the identity of the characters. Prosopagnosics also sometimes have difficulty imagining the faces of people they know."

There are two different varieties of prosopagnosia: Developmental prosopagnosia, meaning a person has developed the condition without having suffered any injury to their brains, and acquired prosopagnosia, which is when it manifests after a person has suffered brain damage, typically from a stroke or head injury.

"Several studies have indicated that as many as 1 in 50 people may have developmental prosopagnosia," the NHS reports, meaning as many as 6.5 million people in the U.S. could have it, to varying degrees of severity.

Some researchers believe that many people, especially those who have had the condition since childhood, may not even realize they have it.

Apart from Pitt, there are also several other famous figures who have dealt with prosopagnosia, including legendary primatologist Jane Goodall, Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak, and English actor and comedian Stephen Fry, among numerous others.


Brad Pitt Says He Spent Years With 'Low-Grade Depression'

Gwyneth Paltrow and Brad Pitt Say They Still 'Love' Each Other

Jennifer Aniston Jokes About Brad Pitt Divorce on Final 'Ellen' Show

Sandra Bullock on How Brad Pitt Got a Cameo in 'The Lost City'

Related Gallery