Brad Pitt was born into a Southern Baptist home back in 1963. On a whim, he baled out of college two credits short of a degree and drove his little Nissan Datsun to Los Angeles to pursue an acting career. Like many who embark on such a journey, he took practically any job he could get. He drove a limousine for a while. He delivered refrigerators and kept looking for a way to break into the acting scene. He had minor roles in old television soaps like Dallas and Another World. Finally the big break came for him in 1989 when he starred in the horror movie Cutting Class.
Today Brad Pitt has fans around the world. Fans have built their own websites devoted entirely to their hero movie star. Pitt has been involved in 40+ movies and television shows. Twice he has been chosen by People magazine as the ‘Sexiest Man Alive”. Every public word Pitt has uttered to the media is preserved in archives.
Earlier in his career, Robert Redford said he selected Brad Pitt for the main character in one of his movies, not because of his talent but because he detected in him “an inner conflict” that Redford found ‘very interesting.’
When Pitt was asked about religion he told a journalist: “What I got most from church was going to a place once a week, sitting on this wooden bench, and then my mind would go to bigger things of the day or the next week – girlfriends and school and things.”
Was he being critical of religion? He said: “I don’t want to knock anyone’s religion; life’s tough enough.” He was asked if he had become a Buddhist. “No,” he said. “I think that once you give up religion, you’ve got to give up all religions.”
Speaking to a Rolling Stone reporter, Pitt talked about his inner feelings. Perhaps he was revealing what Robert Redford labeled “an inner conflict.” Pitt interrupted the conversation by sharing a headline that had just flashed into his mind. “I just saw a dreadful title,” he says. “Brad Pitt Talks About His Happiness.’ Listen man, it’s all up and down. It’s all up and down.”
“You’re talking to a guy,” Pitt begins, “who’s always had this kind of congenital sadness. I don’t know where it came from. I don’t know what it is – the state of the world, the state of yourself. I don’t know. I had a very easy childhood, deprived of nothing per se, so, you know…..I mean, turn on the news man.”
The reporter asked: “So you’re less sad now?” Pitt replies: “I’ve got reins on it. Awww, man, listen. I see it in so many people. I just always had so many questions growing up; why this, why the state of the world, why does God want this? Congenital sadness. It always came up, for no reason. I don’t know what it is.”
Pitt says: “I don’t know what it is.” Do you know what it is?
In the same interview with the Rolling Stone magazine Brad Pitt shared some of his thoughts on the illusion that fame and success brings happiness and contentment. The context was his lead role in Fight Club – about a man who had the American dream but remained unsatisfied. Here’s a clip:
Pitt: Man, I know all these things are supposed to seem important to us—the car, the condo, our version of success—but if that’s the case, why is the general feeling out there reflecting more impotence and isolation and desperation and loneliness? If you ask me, I say toss all this—we gotta find something else. Because all I know is that at this point in time, we are heading for a dead end, a numbing of the soul, a complete atrophy of the spiritual being. And I don’t want that.
Rolling Stone: So if we’re heading toward this kind of existential dead end in society, what do you think should happen?
Pitt: Hey, man, I don’t have those answers yet. The emphasis now is on success and personal gain. I’m sitting in it, and I’m telling you, that’s not it. I’m the guy who’s got everything. I know. But I’m telling you, once you’ve got everything, then you’re just left with yourself. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: it doesn’t help you sleep any better, and you don’t wake up any better because of it.
Robert Redford put his finger on the problem in Brad Pitt’s life. He has an inner conflict. Pitt said he doesn’t know what the cause of his sadness is. Here’s the cause: He is trying to fill his life with fame, fortune and success. Religion did not bring him happiness in his youth. And now stardom is leaving him empty as well. No matter what height he reaches on that ladder, he still experiences what he calls ‘congenital sadness.’ Sadness from birth.
Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie are parenting six children. But the inner sadness lingers. In a more recent interview with Barbara Walters, Pitt spoke about ‘congenital sadness’ again. He said he could see it in his grandparents and he saw it in people he met. In fact, he said: “It’s something pervasive, an undercurrent that I think Christianity answers.”
The Bible says that from birth we go astray from God.(Psalm 58:3) King David in the Bible said that ‘we are born in sin and shaped in iniquity.’ (Psalm 51:5) We inherit a sin nature at birth and many choose to live with sin rather than God the rest of their lives.
Brad Pitt, just like yourself was made with the capacity to have a relationship with God. He was made for God and until he finds God and enters into a personal relationship with Him, he will always have a gnawing hunger, a gaping void and an aching emptiness inside. And so will you.
Are you running from God? Are you trying to avoid God by filling your life with everything else but God? The Bible says there is pleasure in sin but it is short lived. (Hebrews 11:25) Sin will eventually do a person in. A disease may take a person to the grave but sin will take a person to Hell. Jesus asked: “What shall it profit a man if he shall gain the whole world and lose his own soul?” (Mark 8:36)
What’s the alternative to losing your soul? The salvation of your soul. The forgiveness of sins through the Lord Jesus Christ. The sin that is separating you from God today can be fully forgiven. The barrier of your sins can be completely removed and you can have a permanent and very real and eternal relationship with God through His Son Jesus Christ.
The moment you repent of your sins and accept Christ as your Saviour, the void within is filled by God. The emptiness is gone. It is replaced with a deep-seated peace.
Congenital and eternal sadness or peace now and forever?
For God so loved the world
That He gave his only begotten Son, that
Believeth in Him
Should not perish but have everlasting life.
The Unbearable Bradness Of Being
(Rolling Stone, October 28, 1999)