Brad Pitt’s complex road to fatherhood began when he started dating Angelina Jolie.
Her children, Maddox and Zahara, eventually became his too when he adopted them both. The couple went on to adopt Pax and then have three biological offspring as well, with Shiloh and twins, Knox and Vivienne, completing their family.
But when the pair divorced in 2016, their happy, blended unit unraveled. Despite a bitter custody and divorce battle, however, Angelina and Brad have tried to keep their feelings about one another under wraps and out of the spotlight.
However, during more joyous times, Brad spoke about his children, fatherhood and what it meant to him. Here’s what he said.
What he said about adoption
With three of their six children adopted, Brad and Angelina, were vocal about their passion for their brood – however they came together.
“They’re as much of my blood as any natural born, and I’m theirs,” he told Esquire. “That’s all I can say about it. I can’t live without them. So: Anyone considering (adoption), that’s my vote.”
Brad believes in discipline
Brad had a strict upbringing and has called his childhood “very, very tough” but he says it was also happy. He learned from his dad and adopted the view that there should be discipline – but more for some of his kids than others.
“I am [a disciplinarian] with the boys,” he told The Telegraph Magazine. “Girls do no wrong so I don’t have to be. I feel like my job is to show them around, help them find what they want to do with their life, put as many things in front of them, and pull them back when they get out of line, so they know who they are.”
Brad also commended his dad for doing everything to better his family and tried to follow in his footsteps. “I grew up with that be-capable, be-strong, don’t-show-weakness thing,” he explained to the New York Times in 2019.
“In some ways, I’m copying him [his dad]. He had grown up in extreme hardship and poverty, always dead set on giving me a better life than he had – and he did it. But he came from that stoic ilk.”
His children mean everything to him
During an interview with Psychologies Magazine back in 2014, Brad made a big statement about being a dad when he said: “I care about [my children] more than I care about myself, which I think is the real definition of love.
“You see past yourself and become more generous and giving, and wanting only the best for your family.”
He added: “I feel like the richest man alive since I’ve become a father. Being a father has changed me on so many levels and made me more generous and alive. I see my children as an essential part of my life. I love being a father and all the responsibilities that entails.”
The ‘painful’ reality
There are a lot of feelings that come with being a parent and Brad felt all of them.
He confessed to V Magazine: “It’s hilarious. It’s the funniest, most lovely thing I’ve ever taken on. And the biggest pain in the ass as well. And I couldn’t go back. I couldn’t imagine it any other way.”