Pitt sets the record straight about the alleged rivalry between Aniston and Jolie in the February issue of W. "Listen, man, Jen is a sweetheart. I think she got dragged into that one," says Pitt about Aniston's "uncool" Vogue headline. On his hook-up with Jolie, Pitt explains, "We were still filming [Mrs. & Mrs. Smith] after Jen and I split up. Even then it doesn't mean that there was some kind of dastardly affair. There wasn't," adding, "I'm very proud of the way that it was handled. It was respectful."
Inglorious Basterds tops the box office with a $37.6 million – the best opening of director Quentin Tarantino's career. Pitt, who plays Aldo "The Apache" Raine, the leader of a troop hunting Nazis, brought the spirit of his character home to his kids. "I'd tell those little 'basterds' to get out there and start scalpin'!" he told PEOPLE.
Pitt returns to the big screen in Moneyball, a film adaptation of the best-selling book by Michael Lewis. The actor plays Oakland A's general manager Billy Beane in the baseball drama, alongside Jonah Hill and Philip Seymour Hoffman. "It's shameful how little I know about baseball," Pitt, 47, tells Sports Illustrated of the film which earns him a Best Actor Oscar nomination. "I'm amazed they let me do this movie."
Pitt, 48, and Jolie, 36, announce their engagement after the actress is spotted wearing a ring Pitt designed with jeweler Robert Procop. "It is a promise for the future and their kids are very happy," Pitt's manager tells PEOPLE. "There's no date set at this time."
Becoming the first male spokesperson for Chanel No. 5, the actor makes his debut for the fragrance line in two 30-second commercials, where he discusses his thoughts on love and longing. The first campaign garners 4 million YouTube views, along with a string of parodies, including a spoof on Saturday Night Live.
After Jolie reveals she underwent a preventative double mastectomy, Pitt releases his own statement praising his fiancée. "Having witnessed this decision firsthand, I find Angie's choice, as well as many others like her, absolutely heroic," he says. "All I want is for her to have a long and healthy life, with myself and our children. This is a happy day for our family."
Pitt produces and stars in the big screen adaptation of novel World War Z, portraying a former UN investigator who must prevent a zombie-liked pandemic from spreading across the world. "We've got a monster film. It's epic, scary as hell and I guarantee it's the most intense thing you will see all summer," he tells fans prior to the release of the film, which goes on to gross over $200 million at the box office.
Serving as a producer on 12 Years a Slave, Pitt becomes an Oscar winner when the film is named Best Picture. "It's been an absolute privilege to work on Solomon's story, and we all get to stand up here tonight because of one man who brought us together to tell that story," the actor says in his acceptance speech, paying tribute to "indomitable" director Steve McQueen. "Thank you for this incredible honor bestowed upon our film tonight."
Pitt and Jolie pull off the surprise of the century, secretly marrying in France on Aug. 23. News breaks on Aug. 28, and soon after, details about the nuptials emerge, including the fact that the couple's sons baked the cake and the bride's dress featured drawings from her children. "It was important to us that the day was relaxed and full of laughter," the newlyweds tell PEOPLE. "It was such a special day to share with our children and a very happy time for our family."
BIOGRAPHY (top to bottom): Melinda Sue Gordon/Sony; Jason Merritt/Getty; James Warren/Zuma; Jaap Buitendijk/Paramount Pictures; Jeff Kravitz/FilmMagic