The Stunning Transformation Of Brad Pitt

From growing up in Missouri to ruling Hollywood's A-list, Brad Pitt has undergone a stunning transformation. With those piercing blue eyes, lush mane, and megawatt smile, Pitt remains one of the most famous and handsome stars in Tinseltown. Since his star-making turn in 1991's "Thelma & Louise," the actor has remained a staple on the big screen, starring in such film favorites as "Seven," "Fight Club," and "Once Upon a Time... in Hollywood," the latter which won him the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor in 2019 (per Harper's Bazaar).

While Pitt is highly regarded as a respected producer and actor, he's also well known for his charm and good looks. He's one of the few celebrities who's twice been crowned People's "Sexiest Man Alive" — in 1995 and 2000.

Pitt is just as well known for his personal life as his professional life. He dated actresses Juliette Lewis and Robin Givens before getting engaged to Gwyneth Paltrow and later marrying Jennifer Aniston and Angelina Jolie. With Jolie, he's a father of six children — Maddox, Pax, Zahara, Shiloh, Knox, and Vivienne.

Pitt has definitely come a long way from his beginnings in Springfield, Missouri. Let's take a deeper look at the stunning transformation of Brad Pitt.

Brad Pitt grew up in a strict Christian household in Missouri

Brad Pitt was born as William Bradley Pitt on December 18, 1963. He is the eldest of three children born to Bill and Jane Pitt. While he was born in Shawnee, Oklahoma, he grew up in Springfield, Missouri, in a working class family. His father owned a trucking company, and his mother worked as a family therapist (via Biography). His parents were devout Southern Baptists, and Pitt later described to The Telegraph how he grew up "'with all the Christian guilt about what you can and cannot, should and shouldn't do.'" He recalled his father being "very, very tough" but also "a softie" who was "really big on integrity." Pitt attributed his parents' moral code to help inform how he and Angelina Jolie chose to raise their children together. "One thing my folks always stressed was being capable, doing things for yourself," he said (per The Telegraph).

Despite some hardships, Pitt has insisted that he had a good childhood, sharing to Parade how his own father, who grew up poor, ensured his family was never in need. "My dad was determined to make sure that we didn't want for things," he said. "He wanted to give us more opportunity than he had, a better shot at a better life. He did that for us."

The A-list actor majored in journalism in college

Can you imagine Brad Pitt, the advertising art director? Well, that's what could have happened had Pitt followed his original dream of graduating with a journalism degree from the University of Missouri. "I had loved 'All the President's Men,' so the idea of investigative journalism appealed to me. And then, it didn't," he told Collider.

What was starting to appeal to him was a love for design and his childhood passion for movies. However, being a kid from Missouri, he said a film career had never occurred to him as an option. That all changed right before his college graduation in 1986 when something "hit" him. "I realized that all of my friends had jobs. They had applied for jobs, which I hadn't done, and received jobs, which I had not," he shared with Collider. A friend talked to him about going to Los Angeles, and, before he knew it, Pitt dropped out of college, packed up his car, and headed to California. "All I had to do was hand in one term paper, but in my head, I was done. I was going west," he said.

He worked as an extra during his early days in Hollywood

Once Brad Pitt made the move to Los Angeles, he used up what little money he had to buy a newspaper at the local McDonald's, where he found three ads for extra work. He began booking extra work within a week, he told Collider, and recalled feeling "really, really happy" about doing so.

He also spent his first several months in Los Angeles doing a wide array of odd jobs, including driving a limousine — where he would often chauffeur strippers to various bachelor parties — and delivering refrigerators (via The Sun). He probably racked up some good stories from those jobs.

At the same time, Pitt was taking acting classes and met his agent through a classmate. Signing with his agent helped him secure his first professional on-screen acting roles, appearing in episodes of "Another World" and "Growing Pains." Of his early work, Pitt told Entertainment Weekly that his team was trying to get him into sitcoms "because I had that kind of Wonder Bread look and my hair always went into place. I kept saying, 'I'm not good at sitcoms. I don't know how to do that.'"

Thelma & Louise was Brad Pitt's big break

While Brad Pitt had been working as an actor for a few years since arriving in Los Angeles, it wasn't until he landed a part in Ridley Scott's "Thelma & Louise" in 1990 that his career in Hollywood really took off. Acknowledging his sparse resume at the time, Pitt told Collider, "I'm really grateful to Ridley Scott and Geena Davis, who gave me that shot because that was the big league. I had nothing to show for myself, except for my extra work, and they took a chance on me."

Regarding the role of cowboy drifter JD, Pitt knew instantly it was a great part and an "entry" into the bigger leagues in Hollywood. "I thought I knew what I could do with it. 'I'm going to go in and do my thing, and nothing will shake me.' I remember being dead set on that," he recalled to Entertainment Weekly. Although Pitt later recognized how the role allowed more opportunities to come his way, he played down the significance of what he brought to the part. "I think they were desperate, to tell you the truth. They were already shooting 'cause a week later, I was on set, working," he told Collider.

As Brad Pitt grew his hair, his career grew along with it

After the success of "Thelma & Louise," Brad Pitt's Hollywood career started to grow — and so did his hair. He first gained momentum with his starring role in Robert Redford's "A River Runs Through It." While Pitt was slightly critical of his own performance, in an interview with Entertainment Weekly, he called it "a beautiful story and one I understood because of how I grew up."

Other roles came with 1993's "Kalifornia" and "True Romance." But his next major role was in 1994's "Interview with a Vampire" in which he starred alongside Tom Cruise. It's also the first movie where we saw Pitt with long hair. While he looked nice (for a vampire), Pitt called the experience "miserable" and complained of "contact lenses" and "makeup."

His next role in "Legends of the Fall" would require him to keep his long golden locks, but, this time, the movie solidified his status as a Hollywood star and brought him further along on his A-list trajectory.

He was named People's 'Sexiest Man Alive' in 1995

On the heels of his mega movie success (and long hair), Brad Pitt was soon crowned People's "Sexiest Man Alive" in 1995. He received the honor around the same time he shot the sci-fi thriller "Twelve Monkeys" for which he would earn his first Oscar nomination as Best Supporting Actor.

While most men might love being deemed "sexiest man," Pitt said the title made for a "really uncomfortable" experience. "What does it mean? What are you talking about? What are we doing here?" he said to Entertainment Weekly after hearing the news. While he admitted he's always had second thoughts when it comes to his own hubris, Pitt said the title "put me on guard. Like, it was dangerous. What do they say? Don't believe your own hype."

When he was crowned "Sexiest Man Alive" a second time in 2000, Pitt was able to reflect on the experience with more humor, though he still noted that, as he told Entertainment Weekly, for him, "In some ways, I'm still a kid from Missouri and Oklahoma and I'm trying to find my way."

He dated Gwyneth Paltrow and took on more dramatic roles

In addition to his professional life becoming headline news, so did Brad Pitt's love life. His first high-profile relationship was with actress Gwyneth Paltrow to whom he was engaged. The pair met while shooting the movie "Seven" together. It was apparently "love at first sight" for the couple, who stayed together for more than two years (via the Mirror).

Before the couple broke off their engagement, they were photographed numerous times looking eerily similar. In one photo of Pitt and Paltrow, they are wearing almost identical blonde, short haircuts. In fact, it became obvious to internet fans alike, including Man Repeller founder Leandra Medine Cohen, that Pitt has a penchant for matching with his partners, including Jennifer Aniston and Angelina Jolie, who would both later go on to marry Pitt after he and Paltrow split.

While most people claim it's Pitt who likes to look like his girlfriends, Paltrow chimed in and commented on an Instagram post: "Or we like to look like him, let's face it" (via InStyle).

He got insanely fit for Fight Club

Brad Pitt's 1998 movie "Fight Club" has become a cult classic among its fans. While it initially flopped at the box office, Pitt has said he always had a "feeling" that the film would defy expectations. What also defied expectations was Pitt's extremely toned and muscular body in the film, which has become just as famous and beloved as the movie's most quotable lines.

The movie, as of this writing, is over 20 years old, but Pitt's physique in the flick, including his washboard abs, continue to be envied and copied at gyms around the world. According to GQ, rather than bulk up on muscle, Pitt shed a lot of fat to appear as muscular as he does. His workout included four consecutive days of resistance training, hitting only one muscle group per session, followed by cardio.

Of course, it's not just his body, but Pitt's performance, that makes "Fight Club" so memorable. But, in terms of research for his character, Tyler Durden, Pitt told Collider he did very little. "We were having so much goddamn fun on that movie. I don't remember research being important," he said. "It was just pretty good fun."

The star married Jennifer Aniston and started looking like her, too

Around the same time he filmed "Fight Club," Brad Pitt began dating Jennifer Aniston, who starred on "Friends" at the time. In an interview with Rolling Stone, Aniston revealed the two had met through their managers back in 1994. Years went by, and, when they both found themselves single at the same time, their managers set them up on a date. When Aniston told her friends whom she was dating, she said they were supportive "especially when they found out what a loving human being Brad is ... He just disarms you immediately."

After two years of dating, the couple married on July 29, 2000, in Malibu, California — and their public profile skyrocketed as a result. At the time, Aniston said Pitt's attention was more tough since many already had a preconceived notion of who he is. "That idea of, well, you look that way, then you must be a certain way," she told Rolling Stone.

Like he did with Paltrow, Pitt also dressed similarly to Aniston — most notably, their hair looked almost identical at two of their showings at the Emmys. In the first awards show appearance after their wedding, Pitt was even seen wearing a necklace sporting the name "Jen."

He filmed Mr. and Mrs. Smith, separated from his wife, and began dating Angelina Jolie

Between 2000 and 2005, Brad Pitt graduated to the top tier of blockbuster movies, including the "Ocean's 11" franchise and "Troy." Then, in 2005, Pitt starred opposite Angelina Jolie in "Mr. and Mrs. Smith." The movie was not only a global success, but it turned out to be a pivotal experience for both Pitt and Jolie.

Shortly after the movie wrapped, Pitt separated from Jennifer Aniston and started dating Jolie. Looking back at their time working together on the film, Pitt told Entertainment Weekly, "We work really well together ... Had some good laughs and ideas. That was just a great collaboration that turned into a greater collaboration."

In May 2006, the couple celebrated the birth of their first biological child, daughter Shiloh. Two years later, Jolie would give birth to their twins, Knox and Vivienne, in addition to parenting their adopted children: Maddox, Pax, and Zahara (per PopSugar). On his big family, Pitt told The Telegraph he "never knew how much I could love something until I looked in the faces of my children."

Angelina Jolie filed for divorce just two years after they married

Just two years after Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie married in 2014, Jolie filed for divorce. In court documents, she requested sole physical custody of all six children. Since then, their seemingly intense and complex divorce has continued to play out in the tabloids. While neither party has confirmed the reason behind the split, reports have suggested an alleged physical and verbal altercation on a private jet involving Pitt and possibly one of their children (via The Cut). However, Pitt was ultimately cleared of any child abuse allegations.

In 2017, Pitt spoke to GQ for the first time about his divorce, admitting he had an issue with alcohol and that he needed to be more emotionally available for his children. "I'm much better at covering up," he said. "And it's hit me smack in the face with our divorce: I gotta be more. I gotta be more for [the kids] ... And I haven't been great at it."

In the magazine spread, Pitt appears visibly gaunt and emotional. During this time, it was common for him to be photographed looking noticeably thinner, even though, at the time, a source told Us Weekly the actor was focusing on his health: eating better, exercising more, and "focus[ing] on himself."

If you or anyone you know is struggling with addiction issues, help is available. Visit the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration website or contact SAMHSA's National Helpline at 1-800-662-HELP (4357).

Brad Pitt became a two-time Oscar winner in 2020

Things started to look up for Brad Pitt in 2019 after he landed the role of a lifetime in Quentin Tarantino's "Once Upon a Time... in Hollywood." The movie was a full-circle moment for Pitt, who said he had to hide his tears after Tarantino played him the José Feliciano cover of "California Dreamin'" on the set. "I'm not ashamed to say it. I got a little misty," he said, reminiscing about his early days in Hollywood.

While he had previously won an Oscar for producing "12 Years a Slave," Pitt's role as Cliff Booth in the film would ultimately win him his first acting Oscar for Best Supporting Actor in 2020. Winning the award was an emotional moment for Pitt. He "teared up" as he reflected on his early acting days and thanked Ridley Scott and Geena Davis for giving him his break on "Thelma & Louise." He finished his speech thanking his kids "who color everything I do. I adore you" (via Harper's Bazaar).

The single dad keeps himself busy with various projects

Today, Brad Pitt still brings his charm and his luscious locks to the big screen and award shows. He brought a tiny ponytail and his chic style to the 2021 Academy Awards when he handed out the Best Supporting Actress award to Yuh-Jung Youn of "Minari," a film Pitt produced. Soon, he'll appear again on the big screen in films such as "The Lost City" and "Bullet Train," alongside Sandra Bullock, in addition to producing a slew of movies like "Women Talking" and "Blonde" (via IMDb).

Pitt is also dipping his toe in the music industry, relaunching Studio Miraval, a legendary recording studio based at his estate in the south of France, in the summer of 2022.

As for his personal life, according to an inside source, Pitt is looking for "someone special," but, like many single people, is having a hard time finding her, the source told Us Weekly. However, unlike us regular folk, Pitt has difficulty with the tabloids getting involved. "He can't even step out for a friendly coffee without it being gossiped about," the source said.

If his transformation journey is any indication, it won't take long for Pitt to turn this part of his life around just the way he has in the past.