The star of the upcoming space drama Ad Astra opened up about his sobriety in a lengthy interview withThe New York Times published Wednesday. Pitt reportedly spent a year-and-a-half in Alcoholics Anonymous after his split from actress and filmmaker Angelina Jolie. (A fight on a plane about his drinking habit was reportedly the "final straw" in the couple's relationship.) "I had taken things as far as I could take it, so I removed my drinking privileges," Pitt told the Times.
In AA, Pitt was part of a recovery group that consisted entirely of men. Pitt told the Times how moved he was by the men he met, noting their vulnerability.
“You had all these men sitting around being open and honest in a way I have never heard,” the actor said. “It was this safe space where there was little judgment, and therefore little judgment of yourself.”
The group proved both trustworthy to open up to, and to have an exceptionally strong bond with one another. So strong, in fact, that no one in the group sold the Pitt's story—or the fact of his mere presence—to the tabloids.
As a result, Pitt was able to keep his self-improvement as private a matter as he wanted, and got a new personal experience in opening up to others, and using that to feel better. “It was actually really freeing just to expose the ugly sides of yourself,” he said. “There’s great value in that.”
Watch the trailer for Ad Astra below.
This article originally appeared on Men's Health