Actor Brad Pitt’s recent GQ interview covered an array of issues, including his highly publicized divorce from actress Angelina Jolie and his decision to quit drinking. But one of the topics that hasn’t been given as much attention in the press was Pitt’s candid commentary about his Christian upbringing.
In the interview, he discussed growing up “First Baptist,” which he described as a “cleaner, stricter, by-the-book Christianity.” Then, during his high school years, he said his parents moved on to embrace a more “charismatic” belief system, which he proceeded to describe in a light that some might not see as too flattering.
“My folks jumped to a more charismatic movement, which got into speaking in tongues and raising your hands and some goofy-a** sh**,” he said, going on to describe what he observed as he saw people speak in tongues. “I’m not even an actor yet, but I know… I mean the people, I know they believe it. I know they’re releasing something. God, we’re complicated. We’re complicated creatures.”
From there, writer Michael Paterniti asked if acting was something that came out of Pitt’s experience at Christian revivals.
“Well, people act out,” Pitt responded, adding that he was drawn to stories as a kid and that he ended up finding a diverse subset of perspectives and “different points of view” through film. That diversity, he said, is what attracted him to acting.
Pitt also talked about the moral parameters that exist within the Christian worldview, explaining that the “dos and don’ts” simply didn’t resonate with him.
“I never understood growing up with Christianity — don’t do this, don’t do that — it’s all about don’ts, and I was like how the f**k do you know who you are and what works for you if you don’t find out where the edge is, where’s your line?” he said. “You’ve got to step over it to know where it is.”
This isn’t the first time Pitt has discussed these issues. He referenced his upbringing “with all the Christian guilt about what you can and cannot, should and shouldn’t do” in a 2015 interview with the Telegraph; he has also repeatedly identified as an atheist, both in the Telegraph interview and another exchange that preceded it.
“I grew up very religious, and I don’t have a great relationship with religion,” Pitt told the Hollywood Reporter back in 2012. “I oscillate between agnosticism and atheism.”
Read the rest of the GQ interview here.
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