For the Jolie-Pitts, life doesn't always imitate art.
In director Terrence Malick's new film The Tree of Life, which received Cannes Film Fest's top honor despite receiving mixed reviews early on, Brad Pitt plays a strict disciplinarian and sometimes abusive father to four young boys.
"I certainly don't raise my kids the same was [as my character does]," he told Us Weekly Tuesday night at The Tree of Life's premiere in L.A. " I am painfully aware that my actions leave an indelible mark on them in these formidable years. So I make sure I don't bring my crap home. I want to keep it free."
Pitt, 47, and longtime love Angelina Jolie, 35, have six children together: Maddox, 9, Zahara, 6, Pax, 7, Shiloh, 4, and twins Vivienne and Knox, 2.
"I want to keep them able to explore that innocence as long as possible and find out what's really interesting to them," he added. "I just don't want to encumber them in any way."
Was it tough for Pitt to be so tough on the child actors in the film? "We had to be careful, because hey are young boys, and you don't want a scar them in the process. So it was explained to them ahead of time who I was playing and they knew it was coming and they knew when it was coming," he said. "And in between [takes], we made sure we had a lot of time like everyday life, throwing the ball around and riding bikes, and I think everyone got through it unscathed."
The Tree of Life, which also features Sean Penn and Jessica Chastain, opens May 27 in the U.S.