Brad Pitt: Be Nice to Jennifer Aniston

UPDATED 09/21/2011 at 06:00 PM EDT Originally published 09/21/2011 at 02:30 PM EDT

Brad Pitt: Jennifer Aniston Is a 'Dear Friend'
Brad Pitt and Ellen DeGeneres
Michael Rozman/Warner Bros.
Brad Pitt hasn't heard from Jennifer Aniston since making a comment about their marriage that, he says, was widely misinterpreted.

"I don't want [people] to say anything bad like that about Jen," the actor tells Matt Lauer in an interview scheduled to air on the Today show Thursday. "She's a dear friend of mine."

The Moneyball star, 47, says all he was trying to say was that "the best thing I'd done as a father is be sure that my kids have a good mother."

"I think it's a shame that I can't say something nice about Angie without Jen being drug in," he tells Lauer. "She doesn't deserve it."

As for his relationship with Jolie, Pitt tells Ellen DeGeneres in another new interview – also set to air Thursday – that he works hard to juggle a full-time acting career and the needs of six energetic children while also itching for some alone time with his equally busy partner.

"We carve out 'Mommy, Daddy' time," the Moneyball star says. "It's called a hotel."

The actor, who has been living in a 16th century Scottish castle with his family while filming World War Z, tells DeGeneres that his home life isn't too different from the iconic madhouse in One Flew Over The Cuckoo's Nest.

Says Pitt of the high activity levels: "That's morning time in our house."

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