While Brad Pitt is known for his suave attitude and standoffishness, it appears that the career actor’s reputation could be caused by an undiagnosed medical condition.
In an interview with GQ, the 58-year-old actor said he thinks that he has a medical condition known as prosopagnosia, commonly called “face blindness.”
This condition is defined by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) as “a neurological disorder characterized by the inability to recognize faces,” and while there is no cure for it, there are ways for those who have prosopagnosia to train themselves to recognize others through voice, clothing, and so on.
The Oscar-winner said in the interview that he was “ashamed” that he couldn’t remember others’ faces, adding, “Nobody believes me!”
For many who have face blindness, features can be difficult to recognize as any different than an everyday object such as an apple. According to the Prosopagnosia Research Center, 1 in 50 people have prosopagnosia, which can be caused by a stroke or brain injury, but there are also those born with the medical condition due to genetics. The NIH says that those born with the condition “never had a time when they could recognize faces.”
This isn’t the first time Pitt has questioned in an interview if he has prosopagnosia.
In an interview with Esquire in 2013, he told the interviewer that “So many people hate me because they think I’m disrespecting them.”
He went on, saying, “I took one year where I just said, ‘This year, I’m just going to cop to it and say to people, ‘Okay, where did we meet?’’ But it just got worse. People were more offended. Every now and then, someone will give me context, and I’ll say, ‘Thank you for helping me.’ But I piss more people off. You get this thing, like, ‘You’re being egotistical. You’re being conceited.’ But it’s a mystery to me, man.”
“I can’t grasp a face and yet I come from such a design/aesthetic point of view. I am going to get it tested.”
After the interview was published, Carnegie Mellon offered to have the actor come to campus to have his brain imaged and examined by Professor Marlene Behrmann, a renowned neuroscientist.
Pitt has experienced a number of highs and lows over the years, especially following his divorce from actress Angelina Jolie, who accused him of child abuse back in 2016. The FBI has since cleared him of the allegations.