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During the pandemic, Brad Pitt made pottery.

The actor, former Sexiest Man Alive and former Mr. Angelina Jolie is on the cover of GQ’s August issue. The lead image sparked a stir this week as fans wondered why Mr Pitt looked… dead.

As the Los Angeles Times framed it: “Social media reactions to the cover photo weren’t kind, to put it lightly. Some have compared the actor’s pale face to that of a corpse. More than one person described the experience of encountering the photo on their Twitter timeline as “jumping scare”. Another compared the image to a “wax figure”.

I will not argue. The is a Madame Tussauds atmosphere. If the creative goal was posh corpse, Mission accomplished. The floral background only amplifies the illusion of the open casket. Pitt is still a handsome devil. But in this image, it looks like his lifeless body was pulled from the Los Angeles River, then hastily dressed in a shiny blue Louis Vuitton shirt, Versace pants, and rings for his middle and middle fingers. little finger from Bernard James and Fabergé, with combined retail value. over $15,000.

I have no idea how much the resting lizard costs.

But since I’ll never stop cheerleading for legacy media, kudos to GQ and writer Ottessa Moshfegh for this compelling profile. It’s a great read, starting with Pitt’s obsession with analyzing his dreams, including a recurring nightmare: “The most prevalent dream I would ever have would be of myself being blown up and stabbed.”

Yeah. During the pandemic, I also had strange dreams and, like Pitt, kept a pen and notepad by my bedside. I don’t get jumped and stabbed. But what freaks me out is that everyone in my dreams is now a stranger. My sleeping brain invents characters and they keep telling me I’m doomed.

But what I really want to discuss today — now that we’re nearly 400 words down — are the hobbies Pitt has been pursuing during the pandemic.

He learned to play the guitar. Pitt also makes ceramics. At one point, he slams “two incredibly heavy candlesticks” into Moshfegh’s palms and talks about the luminous properties and thin thickness of porcelain.

He produces wine at his Chateau Miraval estate in Provence and spent a lot of time with radar equipment looking for alleged hidden treasure on the property which turned out to be a tall tale from the radar salesman.

I won’t ridicule Pitt for that. If some enterprising villain presented credible evidence that a chest of gold was buried in my backyard, I’d probably be willing to buy his metal scanning device. It’s like buying a lottery ticket.

GQ’s cover story generated a lot of coverage this week. Most have focused on the funeral photo shoot or the reveal that Pitt sees his acting career as in his “last semester.” He is ready to leave the stage on the right. One of Hollywood’s biggest stars makes peace with her own end credits, which might explain the photos.

But the real benefit, at least for me, is the benefit of having hobbies.

I love that Brad Pitt now gets up early to practice guitar. I love that he spends hours playing with clay before he fires up the oven. And I love that he identified the transcendental power of creation: “I just always want Manufacture. If I don’t succeed, I die somehow.

The pandemic has forced lifestyle changes on all of us. We cooked more than usual. We went out much less than usual. We adopted new routines. We have re-evaluated careers and reduced social groups. During the pandemic, I tried growing green onions and cutting my own hair, which didn’t work.

But do you know how I really felt after reading this GQ cover?

An inexplicable desire to discover new hobbies.

The last time I asked for free advice from Star readers was for dog breed suggestions and your hundreds of emails have been more than helpful. Thanks. I’m still trying to convince my wife. She says we can discuss more in about a year. So, in the meantime, now I ask you for hobby ideas.

Unlike Pitt, I don’t want to make porcelain candlesticks or invest in a Fender Stratocaster to poorly imitate Jimi Hendrix. As a child, I already collected hockey cards, world coins and stickers. I need an active hobby suitable for an old man. A friend told me I should take up golf. But golf seems as addictive as crack. my friend is addicted at golf. If he had to choose between golf or food, he would now be chomping on his putter.

Coupon? Sewing? The Woodcraft ? Break dance? Keeping a diary makes no sense since I already do it in this space with your indulgence.

Psychology Today once ran a story – “Six Reasons to Have a Hobby” – that offered no idea of ​​a hobby. I guess I could take inspiration from celebrities, including Beyoncé, who owns real beehives and makes her own honey. Or Paris Hilton, who restores vintage radios. Or Mike Tyson, who loves pigeon racing. Or Will Smith, who slaps people like a total psychopath.

I ask honestly: what are your favorite hobbies? Email me. Maybe I can even get a second column out of it. But don’t tell me you do nude interpretive dance for funeral songs because I already have trouble falling asleep.

During this pandemic, Brad Pitt discovered new hobbies.

And he’s never seemed more at home in the waking world.

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