Brad Pitt opened up about his divorce with Angelina Jolie, battles with alcoholism and the healing power of art in his wide-ranging new interview with GQ – his first since that headline-making split. But when he wasn’t baring his soul, the War Machine star also revealed some quirkier details, including factoids about Jimi Hendrix, Jerry Lee Lewis and Frank Ocean.
Here are five things that immediately grabbed our attention.
1. Though he once considered himself a legitimate stoner, with dreams of blazing up with Snoop Dogg and Willie Nelson, Pitt’s officially retired from the pot-smoking game.
Pitt admits that, until he started a family with ex-wife Jolie (they share six kids), he was a full-blown pot-head, with aims to claim a spot among the legends. “Back in my stoner days, I wanted to smoke a joint with Jack and Snoop and Willie,” said the A-lister, who famously divorced first wife Jennifer Aniston in 2005. “You know, when you’re a stoner, you get these really stupid ideas. Well, I don’t want to indict the others, but I haven’t made it to Willie yet.”
2. Watching rock shows in his childhood, including Jerry Lee Lewis, compelled him to act.
“I remember going to a few concerts [growing up], even though we were told rock shows are the Devil, basically,” said Pitt, who was raised in a conservative Christian household in Springfield, Missouri, noting that the “exuberance” and “aggression” he felt from the stage was essentially the same vibe he felt at church revivals. “One is Jimmy Swaggart, and one is Jerry Lee Lewis, you know?” he observed. “One’s God and one’s Devil. But it’s the same thing. It felt like we were being manipulated.”
3. Jimi Hendrix may have written “May This Be Love” at Pitt’s current house.
Pitt believes Hendrix penned the psychedelic ballad, a highlight from 1967’s Are You Experienced, while staring at the grotto waterfall of his current Hollywood Hills home. The only problem: his source’s memory may be unreliable. “I don’t know if it’s true,” the Allied star admitted, “but a hippie came by and said he used to drop acid with Jim back there, so I run with the story.”
4. After learning to properly process his pain, he’s become a fan of R&B – including Frank Ocean.
Listening to Marvin Gaye’s 1978 divorce album, 1978’s Here, My Dear, “sent [Pitt] down a road” into a new style of music. “I just got R&B for the first time,” he said. “R&B comes from great pain, but it’s a celebration. To me, it’s embracing what’s left. It’s that African woman being able to laugh much more boisterously than I’ve ever been able to.”
He’s also impressed with modern R&B. “I’ve been listening to a lot of Frank Ocean,” he said. “I find this young man so special. Talk about getting to the raw truth. He’s painfully honest. He’s very, very special. I can’t find a bad one.”
5. Though he’s earned five Oscar nominations throughout his eclectic film career, his personal favorite project is also his biggest flop.
“I can turn out the hits over and over, and I just – my favorite movie is the worst-performing film of anything I’ve done,” he said, referring to 2007 revisionist Western The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford, which costarred Casey Affleck. “If I believe something is worthy, then I know it will be worthy in time to come.”