Brad Pitt credits his ex-fiancée Gwyneth Paltrow's father for helping him to stay grounded.

The 'World War Z' star - who has six children, Maddox, 11, Pax, nine, Zahara, eight, Shiloh, six, and four-year-old twins Knox and Vivienne with his fiancée Angelina Jolie - split from the 'Iron Man 3' star in 1997 after two years of dating and a brief engagement but says he still follows advice given to him by her late father Bruce, who told him to always refer to himself as ''self-employed'' rather than ''an actor.''

The 49-year-old actor told Esquire magazine: ''I learned that from Bruce Paltrow. I always liked it. It's a humble way to describe what we do. (If a stranger asks what I do) well, I'd be very Midwest about it, very Missouri. I'd say, 'This and that.' I'd say, 'I'm a dad, just like you.'''

Gwyneth's father passed away from throat cancer in October 2002 and the 40-year-old blonde beauty, who has two children, Apple, eight, and son Moses, seven, with her husband Chris Martin, recently revealed that his diagnosis was the catalyst for her embracing a healthy lifestyle.

She previously explained: ''I began to consider the effects of food when my father was diagnosed with throat cancer in 1998. I started to research anti-cancer diets in hopes that he would try to hit it from all angles.''