Poor Brad Pitt. Poor extremely wealthy, highly beautiful, outrageously talented Brad Pitt. Because despite his charmed Hollywood existence and dashing, chiselled features, the actor is just like you and me.
In the wake of his divorce from Angelina Jolie, Brad, 53, is hurting and he’s hurting bad. Tabloid reports have revealed he’s dealing with his vast array of painful emotions by listening to a sad songs playlist filled to the brim with gloomy Bon Iver tunes, while vaping and working on a sculpture project. Oh Brad, we’ve all been there – well, maybe not the sculpture project. And definitely not the vaping. But the heartache? The soul-sapping feeling of utter emptiness? The long, sleepless nights and constant thinking? Sure. Who hasn’t been dumped and then immediately reached for the glummest tunes possible so they can wallow in their misery and take minor comfort in the fact that someone, somewhere out there, feels the same way?
There are many options when it comes to artists to soundtrack a split – from Adele to Nick Cave to Kanye West – with a strong case to be made for just putting on a whole load of classic country music, a genre in which literally all songs are about being dumped or drinking too much whiskey on a bayou. Once, Dido’s perfectly anodyne ‘White Flag’ came on Magic Radio after I’d just been ditched and my goodness, I don’t think I’ve ever been as upset since.
Yet Bon Iver – the millennial, plaid-clad king of the break-up ballad – has been Brad’s rather more tasteful tearjerker. Bon Iver’s Justin Vernon made his name a decade ago with his debut album ‘For Emma, Forever Ago’. It’s an exceptional record, but one that’s basically 37 minutes of a grown man sat in a shed crying, ‘But whhyyyyy?’ Brad’s low-key, sensitive fanboying of Justin Vernon hasn’t escaped the man himself, who tweeted a response upon discovering he’s been helping an A-lister through his heartbreak. “Cool,” he wrote. “Someone get Brad at me, I guess? We should talk.”
We can picture it now: Justin in his snuggliest woollen jumper, stoking the fire in the cabin in the woods and pouring Grey Goose into a pair of tumblers, awaiting the arrival of a very sad Brad. Then, in the distance, a motorcycle engine can be heard. It is, of course, the leather-clad movie star, who’s ridden through the night from LA to seek solace in Justin’s warm heart and words of wisdom. As Brad comes through the door, Justin places a hand on his shoulder – a hand blistered from brandishing an axe and chopping down trees all day – but a hand that understands. Brad sheds a single tear. Brad will get through this. We all will.