Angelina Jolie vs Brad Pitt: Everything We Know About Their Post-Split Lives, In Their Own Words
By Antoinette Bueno
Mert Alas & Marcus Piggott for Vanity Fair, Ryan McGinley for GQ
Both Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt have now opened up about their very different lives following their shocking split last September.
On Wednesday, Vanity Fairpublished its interview with 42-year-old Jolie for their September 2017 cover, her most candid interview since the breakup of their marriage. In the revealing profile, the actress talks about being a single mom, their kids and dealing with her emotions -- topics 52-year-old Pitt already heavily delved into in his GQ Style tell-all published in May.
Read on for more on what both Pitt and Jolie have to say about their new day-to-day lives, therapy and how their six kids are dealing with family trauma.
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On their homes:
GQ Style describes Pitt's home in Hollywood Hills, California, as "awesomely decorated."
"Serenity, balance, order: That's the vibe, at least. That's what you think you're feeling in the kitchen of Brad Pitt's perfectly constructed, awesomely decorated abode," the magazine notes. "Outside, children's bikes are lined up in the rack; a blown-up dragon floatie bobs on the pool through the window. From the sideboard, with its exquisite inlay, to the vase on the mantel, the house exudes care and intention."
However, things are definitely different in Jolie's six-bedroom, 10-bathroom mansion in Los Feliz, California, which she and the kids recently moved into. VF notes that she "hasn't really unpacked, barely knows her way around the place, has never had a real visitor, and isn't sure where the best spot is to sit and talk."
Decorating, she admits, "was always Brad's thing."
"I didn't even know I needed 'throw pillows,'" she comments.
Following an intense custody battle, Pitt and Jolie say they're committed to being amicable for their children's sake.
"I was really on my back and chained to a system when Child Services was called," Pitt said, though he was eventually cleared of all child abuse allegations last November. "And you know, after that, we've [he and Jolie] been able to work together to sort this out. We're both doing our best. I heard one lawyer say, 'No one wins in court -- it's just a matter of who gets hurt worse.' And it seems to be true, you spend a year just focused on building a case to prove your point and why you're right and why they're wrong, and it's just an investment in vitriolic hatred."
As for Jolie, she is much more succinct in describing their current relationship.
"We care for each other and care about our family, and we are both working towards the same goal," Jolie says of their situation.
On dealing with their emotions:
Pitt admitted to not being great at communicating, and said he's been working on learning to better express himself.
"I'm personally very retarded when it comes to taking inventory of my emotions," he told GQ Style bluntly. "I'm much better at covering up. I grew up with a Father-knows-best/war mentality -- the father is all-powerful, super strong -- instead of really knowing the man and his own self-doubt and struggles. And it's hit me smack in the face with our divorce: I gotta be more. I gotta be more for them. I have to show them. And I haven't been great at it."
Interestingly enough, Jolie notes that she consciously strives not to show too much emotion, particularly in front of their kids.
"I was very worried about my mother, growing up -- a lot," she explains. "I do not want my children to be worried about me. I think it's very important to cry in the shower and not in front of them. They need to know that everything's going to be all right even when you're not sure it is."
On going to therapy:
Pitt enthusiastically talked about going to therapy in May. "I love it, I love it," he shared. "I went through two therapists to get to the right one."
As for Jolie, she mentions therapy when revealing that she's reconciled with her father, Jon Voight.
"I had to do a therapy meeting last night and he was just around," she notes. "He knows kind of the rule -- don't make [his grandchildren] play with you. Just be a cool grandpa who’s creative, and hang out and tell stories and read a book in the library."
On raising their kids:
Both Pitt and Jolie are clearly putting their children -- 15-year-old Maddox, 13-year-old Pax, 12-year-old Zahara, 11-year-old Shiloh and 9-year-old twins Vivienne and Knox -- first.
"People on their deathbeds don't talk about what they obtained or were awarded. They talk about their loved ones or their regrets -- that seems to be the menu," Pitt mused. "I say that as someone who's let the work take me away. Kids are so delicate. They absorb everything. They need to have their hand held and things explained. They need to be listened to. When I get in that busy work mode, I'm not hearing. I want to be better at that."
Meanwhile, Jolie couldn't be prouder of their kids.
"They're six very strong-minded, thoughtful, worldly individuals," she gushes. "I'm very proud of them."
Both are also thoughtful when it comes to how they want to raise them.
"I try to put these things in front of them, hoping they'll absorb it and that it will mean something to them later," Pitt said. "Even in this place [his home], they won't give a sh** about that little bust over there or that light. They won't give a sh** about that inlay, but somewhere down the road it will mean something -- I hope that it will soak in."
Jolie is particularly proud of her kids getting the opportunity to travel the globe with her -- but is also making sure to keep their interests in mind.
"I'm conscious that the boys are teenage boys, and maybe they'd rather be watching TV with their friends, and they’ve been to Africa, and they may not be as excited as the little ones," she says about Maddox and Pax, referring to their then-upcoming trip to Namibia. "But they don't really challenge me. They just kind of sit on the edge of my bed and say, 'What are we going to do there?'"
"They know that it's important, and they know that Mom thinks that it's going to be important when they're older," she adds.
On their everyday routines post-split:
Pitt, who admitted he is lonely aside from the company of his beloved bulldog, Jacques, is focusing on creating art, specifically sculpture. He also shared that he is no longer as interested in acting.
"This house was always chaotic and crazy, voices and bangs coming from everywhere, and then, as you see, there are days like this: very…very solemn," he noted. "I think everyone's creative in some way. If I'm not creating something, doing something, putting it out there, then I'll just be creating scenarios of fiery demise in my mind. You know, a horrible end. And so I've been going to a friend's sculpting studio, spending a lot of time over there."
"I'm making everything," he continued. "I'm working with clay, plaster, rebar, wood. Just trying to learn the materials. You know, I surprise myself. But it's a very, very lonely occupation. There's a lot of manual labor, which is good for me right now."
As for Jolie, she's focused on being a single mom, and also says she isn't interested in working on another film at the moment.
"Right now, I'm just wanting to make the proper breakfast and keep the house. That’s my passion," she shares. "At the request of my kids, I'm taking cooking classes. As I go to sleep at night, I think, 'Did I do a great job as a mom or was that an average day?'"
"I've been trying for nine months to be really good at just being a homemaker and picking up dog poop and cleaning dishes and reading bedtime stories," she later continues. "And I'm getting better at all three."