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Entertainment & Arts

Brad Pitt on raising kids: ‘Our life is their normal ... we’re migratory workers in a sense’

Angelina Jolie Pitt, Brad Pitt
Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt arrive for the opening-night premiere of “By the Sea” during AFI Fest 2015 at the TCL Chinese Theatre in Hollywood.
(Mark Ralston / AFP/Getty Images)

If Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie Pitt make filmmaking, globetrotting and parenting look easy, Pitt is here to tell you it isn’t — but he loves it anyway.

“The Big Short” star opened up about his wife and brood in the Telegraph ahead of the British opening of “By the Sea," Jolie’s latest film, in which he costars.

Pitt, 51, and Jolie Pitt, 40, who’ve been linked for more than a decade and wed in August 2014, share six kids: three biological (Shiloh, 9, and 7-year-old twins Knox and Vivienne) and three adopted (Maddox, 14, Pax, 11, and Zahara, 10).

Incidentally, the Oscar-nominated actor said he and his wife were hoping to have way more than that: “Listen, Angie and I were aiming for a dozen, but we crapped out after six.”

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The actor, who speaks at length in the profile about his wife and family’s influence on him and his career, gushed about his day-to-day dad life.

“Everyone talks about the joy of having kids — blah, blah, blah. But I never knew how much I could love something until I looked in the faces of my children,” the actor said, describing his family unit sharing “a lot of love, a lot of fighting, a lot of refereeing; a lot of teeth-brushing and spilling … Chaos, total chaos. But so much fun...”

The Missouri native said his own upbringing and his father’s emphasis on integrity has informed how he minds his family. 

“I am [the disciplinarian] with the boys,” he said. “Girls do no wrong, so I don’t have to be. I feel like my job is to show ‘em 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.”

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The two also try to “hopscotch” projects so only one of them has to be away at any given time.

The kids have become celebrities in their own right, traveling the world, joining their parents on red carpets, landing magazine covers and working on movies. The couple’s first biological child, Shiloh, made headlines when Pitt told Oprah Winfrey in 2008 that his daughter preferred to be called “John,” and Jolie said in a Vanity Fair interviewed that Shiloh "wants to be a boy.” The kids, who are home-schooled, traveled to Malta with their parents as they shot “By the Sea” last summer during their parents’ makeshift honeymoon. 

It isn’t cookie-cutter, but it’s all normal for the Jolie-Pitt brood.

“Well, our life is their normal. Because we’re migratory workers in a sense, they have this wonderful thing where they get to be students of the world. They have memories of being in Vietnam, or that time in Paris, or over in Calgary. The downside is friends, sleepovers, team sports — these have been the challenges that we’ve had to work out,” Pitt said.

“We do those things, but we really have to go out of our way. And Mom is a matador about it all — she’s fantastic. We get their friends to us a lot. And then when we set up in one place for any length of time I get on the team sports, because I really want them to have that understanding of being on the team.”

Follow me on Twitter @NardineSaad.


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