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Brad Pitt: Fatherhood Has Made Me a Better Man

11/28/2012 at 08:00 AM EST

Brad Pitt Talks Wedding to Angelina Jolie; Being a Dad
Brad Pitt

Brad Pitt

Brad Pitt

Thinking back over 2012, Brad Pitt acknowledges it's been a big year for his "familia" since proposing to Angelina Jolie – whom he affectionately calls "Mama" – last April.

"It's been a family type of year, a down-home type of year," he tells PEOPLE in this week's cover story. "Mama's worked more. And quite frankly I've really enjoyed it."

The actor, whose Mob drama, Killing Them Softly, hits theaters Friday, chatted with PEOPLE between bites of his dinner with 4-year-old twins, Knox and Vivienne, at their rental home outside of London. While he stopped short of confirming a wedding date, he did reveal what the couple have in mind for their big day: "Just family," Pitt says. "Keep it simple. Keep it simple – really."





For now, the actor is looking forward to being reunited with the rest of his brood – Maddox, 11, Pax, 9, Zahara, 7, and Shiloh, 6 – who were in Cambodia working on the family's foundation with Jolie.

Has fatherhood made him a better man? "Absolutely," Pitt says. Being a dad "takes you right off yourself."

As for turning 50 next year, the actor insists he's taking it all in stride. "This is what I think about: 'Okay, you're way over the mid-point [of your life]. You don't know how much time you have left,' " Pitt says. "I want to enjoy this year more than ever."

• Reporting by K.C. BAKER

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