Brad Pitt is back on top after winning the Oscar for Best Supporting Actor on Feb. 9

By Mia McNiece
February 12, 2020 09:30 AM
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After a challenging few years, Brad Pitt’s Oscar win on Feb. 9 proved the actor is back on top and that his career is hotter than ever.

“He has been enjoying a little slower personal life. It has worked wonders,” a source tells PEOPLE. “We can see that it has shot him to the top professionally.”

In 2016 Pitt, 56, and Angelina Jolie, 44, split after two years of marriage and 12 years together. The pair are parents to Maddox, 18, Pax, 16, Zahara, 15, Shiloh, 13, and 11-year-old twins Vivienne and Knox.

The breakup took a toll on Pitt, who stepped back from the spotlight to work on himself and admitted his drinking had contributed to his troubles at home. He spent time in a men’s Alcoholics Anonymous group and began to turn his life around by focusing on his health and his kids.

“He is a new man,” a source tells PEOPLE in the new cover story. “He is happy, loves his kids, and relishes his quiet time at home.”

Pitt has been spending increasing time with his kids. Adds a longtime colleague, “Things are going much more smoothly, and he is infinitely happier.”

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The actor took home the Best Supporting Actor Oscar for his role as stuntman Cliff Booth in Quentin Tarantino‘s 1960s-era dramedy Once Upon a Time … in Hollywood.

“Listen, I’m a bit gobsmacked,” he said from the stage inside the Dolby Theatre on Sunday.

Pitt has taken home several other honors during the award season and showed off his funnier side during his acceptance speeches. “I wanted to bring my mom, but I couldn’t because any woman I stand next to they say I’m dating,” he joked at the Golden Globes, then opened his Screen Actors Guild Awards speech by saying he would put the statue on his Tinder profile.

By focusing on the positive, Pitt has been able to find happiness again.

“I got friends, I got lovely kids, I like my coffee, I like my dogs,” Pitt told PEOPLE. “I’ve got no complaints.”

  • With reporting by LINDA MARX