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Brad Pitt accepting his Oscar

How Brad Pitt Managed to Thrive in the Aftermath of His Divorce From Angelina Jolie

Gettyimages | Kevin Winter
By Joe Allen

On Sunday night, Brad Pitt took home his first acting Oscar for his performance in "Once Upon a Time...In Hollywood." Given his success at the awards ceremony, it's easy to imagine that the A-list celebrity is having a pretty good week.

It wasn't so long ago, though, that it seemed like Pitt might have hit rock bottom. In 2016, when Angelina Jolie announced plans to divorce Pitt, the news came as a shock to many all over the entertainment world.

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Brad Pitt on the Oscars red carpet
Gettyimages | Kevin Mazur

The decision reportedly came after an altercation between Pitt and his oldest son Maddox on a private plane. Following the altercation, Pitt was investigated and eventually cleared by the FBI, but his reputation had been debilitated by the story.

It seemed possible that the best days of Pitt's career were officially behind him because of the controversy surrounding him. Instead, Pitt has proved that he's still capable of great performances, and even better, he knows how to poke fun at himself when he needs to.

Brad Pitt on the Golden Globes red carpet
Gettyimages | Frazer Harrison

Throughout this awards season, Pitt has been careful to make fun of himself in a way that has kept his consistent winning from feeling repetitive. After he won his SAG Award, Pitt said: "I’ve gotta add this to my Tinder profile."

Later in his speech, he explained how difficult his role in the film was. "Let’s be honest, it was a difficult part. A guy who gets high, takes his shirt off and doesn’t get on with his wife. It’s a big stretch," Pitt said.

Brad Pitt on stage at the SAG Awards
Gettyimages | Kevork Djansezian

The actor's willingness to make fun of himself and his own public image has endeared him to fans around the world who were once less sure about the actor.

Reports suggest that Pitt is still working through the details of his divorce with Jolie, but he's also trying to improve his relationship with the six children he shares with the actress. Pitt reportedly skipped the BAFTAs so that he could see his son Maddox, who he's been estranged with since the altercation in 2016.

Brad Pitt winning his Oscar
Gettyimages | Kevin Winter

Maddox is currently attending university in South Korea, so the opportunities for the two of them to see one another are already quite limited. In his acceptance speech, Pitt ended by paying tribute to his children as he got emotional.

"This is for my kids who color everything I do. I adore you," the actor said as he walked off stage. In a year filled with playful, self-referential speeches, his final acceptance speech was a sincere effort to express gratitude for everyone who helped him on his journey.

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