Brad Pitt thinks he can’t remember people’s faces because of a rare medical condition called, prosopagnosia, or more simply: face blindness.
The 49-year-old actor opened up about the trials and tribulations of the condition in an interview in the current issue of Esquire:
“So many people hate me because they think I’m disrespecting them,” he says. “So I swear to God, I took one year where I just said, This year, I’m just going to cop to it and say to people, ‘Okay, where did we meet?’ But it just got worse. People were more offended. Every now and then, someone will give me context, and I’ll say, ‘Thank you for helping me.’ But I piss more people off. You get this thing, like, ‘You’re being egotistical. You’re being conceited.’ But it’s a mystery to me, man…I am going to get it tested.”
The anxiety is so great that Pitt doesn’t like to go out, if he can avoid it. But his line of work not only requires that he go out in public to, well, work, but also that he often be the centre of attention. “You meet so many damned people,” he says. “And then you meet ’em again.”
The affliction not to remember faces is all the more shocking, says Pitt, who is an art, architecture and design enthusiast, considering that he comes “from such a design/aesthetic point of view.”
If Pitt does indeed have a face blindness condition, he wouldn’t be the first well-known person to suffer from it: “The primatologist Jane Goodall has also struggled with the handicap,” reports Vanity Fair. “But, according to a 2010 New Yorker feature by Oliver Sacks, ‘her problems extend to recognizing chimpanzees as well as people.'”