Twice voted the sexiest man alive, heart-throb Brad Pitt seems to have it all. Dotson Rader goes behind the headlines to find a star who is in love, but who has vowed not to marry until homosexuals are given the same right.
“My life has been about big changes,” says actor Brad Pitt. “It’s always been that way. When I go down a path, I take it to the end. Then I take another one. I took the path of not having kids – now it’s time for family.” The actor tells me this during a long afternoon at his home in Los Angeles.
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“Children are a dominant value in my life now and they weren’t before. They were always something I thought I’d get around to having when the time was right. It wasn’t what I was really seeking. In a way, I think I had to go and exhaust me before I could be good at being a parent.”
Brad and actress Angelina Jolie may be the most followed, admired and photographed couple in the world. They met on the set of the 2005 movie Mr & Mrs Smith while Brad was still married to actress Jennifer Aniston. The birth of Brad and Angelina’s first child, Shiloh, in May 2006, was treated by the international media like the crowning of royalty. Last year, they had twins – Vivienne Marcheline and Knox Léon. They also have three adopted children – Maddox, eight, Pax, five, and Zahara, four.
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On his relationship with Angelina
When someone asked me why Angie and I don’t get married, I replied, ‘Maybe we’ll get married when it’s legal for everyone else’,” he says. “I stand by that, although I took a lot of flak for saying it, hate mail from religious groups. I believe everyone should have the same rights. They say gay marriage ruins families and hurts kids. Well, I’ve had the privilege of seeing my gay friends being parents and watching their kids grow up in a loving environment.
“Would it bother me if a child of mine turns out to be gay? No, not one bit. Listen, I want my kids to live the lives they want to live, I want them to be fulfilled. I hope I teach my kids to be who they really are.”
He gets up and begins pacing the room. He is dressed in dark tan slacks, a black T-shirt and an unbuttoned white dress shirt that flutters like a silk flag.
“Man, I resent people telling others how to live! It drives me mental!” he declares, loudly. “Just the other night, I heard this TV preacher say that Angie and I were setting a bad example because we were living out of wedlock and people should not be duped by us! It made me laugh.
“What damn right does anyone have to tell someone else how to live if they’re not hurting anyone? How many times do you think real love comes to someone in a lifetime? If you’re lucky, maybe two or three.”
Brad shakes his head in exasperation. “Do you know how you tell real love?” he asks. “It’s when someone else’s interest trumps your own. I like to put it that way – trumps your own. Love of somebody else – of family, of your kids – becomes the most important, most worthwhile thing in your life. It’s what you foster and protect.
“You have to recognise real love when it’s there and know that in going after it, there is always risk. To live with love, you have to chance losing it. That’s also true when you decide to have kids. It’s the risk you take for love.”
Read the rest of this story in the October issue of The Australian Women's Weekly with Tracy Grimshaw on the cover.
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