In the interview below, Pitt reveals her “simple skincare regimen”, how Gwyneth Paltrow influenced her early skincare habits, and why self-love may be the best secret to aging well.
How was the Le Domaine project born?
Brad Pitt: We’ve been talking about it for so long that now I don’t remember exactly how it came about. I remember reading about the health properties of grape skins, and we wanted to investigate. But the initial idea immediately returned to this place, fertile and full of creativity. Here we produce olive oil, truffles and honey. This is where reinforced concrete was born. Reinforced concrete! This is crazy! In 1840 Joseph-Louis Lambot invented ferrocement, a precursor to reinforced concrete, with which he made a boat that is now in a museum in Brignoles. We had some pillars – test pillars – in the courtyard. He then created the first two reinforced concrete buildings and now, of course, everything is built this way. It is quite extraordinary.
Was skin care expected to be part of this creativity? Has he always thought, to himself, “I have to have a skincare brand”?
No, and we honestly wouldn’t have done it if we hadn’t felt that it was a good project, that it was something original, that it would work. They always send me a lot of things and … for me it’s all the same. But, in the last year, we have been testing Le Domaine, and the results have really surprised me. So I felt it was worth going on.
Have you always performed an appropriate skincare routine?[Una lunga pausa] No.
I was sure she would say yes, because one tends to think that a person like her takes great care of himself …
Well, I take care of myself, actually. I was just simplifying a little bit, that’s all. Actually, I’m really thorough now. I was put back in shape by my dear friend Jean Black, with whom I have a relationship that has lasted for 30 years. She is a very special person. Whenever we work together on a film, she takes care of my appearance and then she says to me: “Try this”, “Try that”.
Either way, it looks like she already has great skin. I don’t think she takes a lot of effort.
Actually, it’s not quite like that, but now … I mean, I have my own little, simple routine.
What does he do? Gua sha?
I don’t even know what it is.
Rarely. They make me nervous.
Have you ever imagined yourself as a beauty industry boss?[Ride] I’m not sure I know what a beauty industry baron is …
Try to think of achieving the success of Estée Lauder …
So, if Le Domaine is successful, will I get baron status? No, I’ve never seen myself this way. Landing here, at Château Miraval, opened my eyes to things that, in other circumstances, I would not have taken into consideration. One of the most important is sustainability. The idea of zero waste is something really fundamental for this corner of the world and for me. But, for that matter, when I first arrived here I didn’t even think about buying a winery. I just wanted a pied-à-terre in this area, where, by pure coincidence, there was a winery. And, again by coincidence, this company was losing tons of money. So we got to work. We did some research and found Marc [Perrin] and his family.
A brilliant idea. You studied journalism, I read …
Yes, even if I didn’t graduate.
Would you have liked to follow that path?[Sorride] I think I’m pretty happy with how things went. I wouldn’t have minded, but I’m happy with the work I do.
What do you think, in general, of commercial enterprises led by movie stars?
When I started, I was also embarrassed to shoot commercials. They gave you sales. I think the hip hop guys changed all of that. They made it look right, even cool, spread its wings a little, try other things. And now it’s really exciting to be able to explore other aspects of creativity, as Renaissance artists did, in a way. And I love what Gwyneth did with Goop. She is still a dear friend, and she has built this empire … she has always had something of the beauty guru, and for her it must have been a nice outlet. In fact, come to think of it, she was probably the first to have my face washed twice a day … maybe ..
How has aging affected your acting career?
I don’t reject the idea of getting old. It is something we cannot escape from, and I would like our culture to accept it more, speaking of it for what it is. One of the things we discussed in founding Le Domaine was precisely the opportunity to use the term “anti-aging”. It is ridiculous. It is a fairy tale. What is real, however, is to treat the skin in a healthy way. It’s something I’ve learned to do for my business, but it really makes you feel better. I grew up with a peasant mentality, like: use soap once a day and then go. And, in my opinion, we are all learning that if we love each other, if we treat each other a little better, we will get lasting benefits. We need to get old, yes, but we can do it in a healthy way.
By the way, I saw last night The curious case of Benjamin Button. Was it strange for you to see yourself aged in that role?
No, it wasn’t at all, on the contrary, I was fascinated by it. But all those prosthetics, six hours a day of make-up sessions … They ripped my skin. Worse, they destroyed it.
Why is it important for you that Le Domaine’s approach is genderless?
Again, I don’t know if it’s just because I believe we need to be as inclusive as possible. Maybe it is because we humans need the help of others to understand how to better treat our skin? It is likely that the people I have received the most from in this respect are my former female partners. We opted for a very neutral, fresh, subtle scent. I’m the kind of person who changes hotel rooms if I smell the cologne of the last person who stayed there. It’s too intense. Better to avoid getting noticed, let people come to us, rather than impose ourselves on others. This is my feeling [ride]. I’m just talking about perfumes, of course.
Do you have any particular memories of Miraval?
Last spring was special. We spent five or six weeks here. The stories you hear about Provence in spring, about why people come there, well they are all true. I don’t know how to describe it, other than mentioning the freshness of the air, the light … I don’t know, it’s a feeling of peace and harmony, and the nights are so relaxing. In summer, the croaking of frogs lulls you to sleep. Several artist friends of mine, active in different disciplines, came here last spring, and we had a blast. One wrote music, another painted, still another drew a line of clothing … They would each retire to their corner to work on their things, and then return here to exchange ideas over a meal or playing a game of pétanque. where are we sitting now. Here has always been the idea of creating a community of artists, and it’s wonderful to see it come true.
How does the future look like for you?
The older I get, the more I think about the quality of life and how I spend my time. I believe that, after the lockdown, there were many who made these reflections, who wondered why we have to work so hard and what to dedicate our lives to. And, personally, I believe that family and friends, in the end, are the only thing that really matters.
Le Domaine is available from today
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This article was originally published in British Vogue