For a famous actor like Brad Pitt, social interaction is a major part of the job.
So it may be a shock to fans to learn the “The Lost City” star believes he suffers from prosopagnosia, or face blindness.
As People reported, prosopagnosia is a neurological disorder, typically referred to as “face blindness,” that causes difficulty with facial recognition.
It’s a real thing, but as Pitt, 58, explained in a recent cover story with GQ, he often feels shame over the condition, as simply not recognizing faces can be interpreted unfairly as stereotypical famous person aloofness.
Admitting that he has not been officially diagnosed with prosopagnosia, he says he has extreme difficulty recognizing people's faces, but that “nobody believes me. I want to meet another!” He says this often leads to people assuming he’s self-absorbed.
As far back as an Esquire interview in 2013, the actor had recognized a serious problem with recalling faces, to the point that he sometimes stays at home to avoid the situation. According to research, that is in line with those who suffer from prosopagnosia. They typically avoid social interactions and can develop social anxiety disorder.
"So many people hate me because they think I'm disrespecting them," Pitt said at the time. "You get this thing, like, 'You're being egotistical. You're being conceited.' But it's a mystery to me, man. I can't grasp a face, and yet I come from such a design/aesthetic point of view."
Dr. Leah Croll, assistant professor of neurology at Temple University Hospital recently addressed Pitt’s claims with Good Morning America.
"I think that Brad Pitt is experiencing something that many patients experience,” said Croll, “ which is this funny feeling that something is off, but they're not quite sure what it is or where to go for help. So someone thinking that Brad Pitt story sounds familiar to them or that they're having similar symptoms, I would recommend they go see a neurologist and get formally tested and evaluated."
According to the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke, there is currently no treatment for prosopagnosia, though therapy can help patients "develop compensatory strategies."
It was also revealed in the GQ story that Pitt recently had some face trouble of a different sort as he underwent a six-hour dental surgery ordeal.
Pitt will next be seen in the summer blockbuster, “Bullet Train," out on August 5.