In a new interview, Brad Pitt opens up on his impending divorce from Angelina Jolie, his relationship with their children, and the effect of alcohol on his life.

In the immediate wake of Oscar-winner Jolie filing for divorce in September, following a flight in which a purportedly inebriated Pitt screamed at and became physical with their eldest, son Maddox, 15, the 53-year-old actor says in the new issue of GQ Style that he “went and stayed on a friend’s floor, a little bungalow in Santa Monica. . . . [sleeping] on the floor for a month and a half.” After paparazzi found him there, he moved back to the Hollywood Hills home he’s owned since 1994 and where his six children, no longer there, had grown up.

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Describing himself as “someone who’s let the work take me away,” Pitt says, “Kids are so delicate. They absorb everything. They need to have their hand held and things explained. They need to be listened to. When I get in that busy work mode, I’m not hearing. I want to be better at that.” Explaining that when he himself was growing up in Missouri, “if we get a bruise or cut or ailment we don’t discuss it, we just deal with it. We just go on. . . . I’m much better at covering up. . . . And it’s hit me smack in the face with our divorce: I gotta be more. I gotta be more for them. I have to show them. And I haven’t been great at it.”

Part of the reason, he concedes, may be alcohol. “I can’t remember a day since I got out of college when I wasn’t boozing or had a spliff, or something,” he says, adding, “I stopped everything except boozing when I started my family. But even this last year . . . I was boozing too much. It’s just become a problem.”

He suggested, however, that he has tempered his drinking. “I’m really happy it’s been half a year now, which is bittersweet, but I’ve got my feelings in my fingertips again. I think that’s part of the human challenge: You either deny them all of your life or you answer them and evolve.”