The producers of 12 Years a Slave believed in the film so strongly they, “made [it] part of our mandate,” producer Brad Pitt said of the film in The Hollywood Reporter’s Piaget Lounge at Saturday’s Independent Spirit Awards, where Slave won five awards, including best feature.
“The actors, directors that we believe in and we think are pushing the medium and more difficult material that might need that little extra push, that’s been priority number one for us, and this was quite evident from early on that [it]…was special to me, very special,” Pitt said of making the film. “I loved this film and we were going to get it done. It wasn’t without its hurdles.”
Pitt also talked about what he learned from working with director Steve McQueen, saying that in addition to realizing you can make a great film in roughly a month on a shoestring budget, as they did with Slave, he was inspired by the director’s approach to filming.
“I really took note in Steve’s confidence to hold onto a moment and letting that moment sink in to you to the point of, ‘Am I making you uncomfortable?’” the producer said. “You might come around to the other end and see the beauty of it, but that’s very unique and it’s certainly not the norm in today’s filmmaking.”
The Oscars are less than a week away and the entire list of presenters has been announced!
In years past, the Academy Awards producers have released the names of a few presenters each day leading up to the big night, but this year the star floodgates have been opened with all 47 names being unveiled.
The presenters for Sunday’s Oscars announced on Monday include:
Amy Adams, Kristen Bell, Jessica Biel, Jim Carrey, Glenn Close, Bradley Cooper, Penelope Cruz, Benedict Cumberbatch, Viola Davis, Robert De Niro, Zac Efron, Sally Field, Harrison Ford, Jamie Foxx, Andrew Garfield, Jennifer Garner, Whoopi Goldberg, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Anne Hathaway, Goldie Hawn, Chris Hemsworth, Kate Hudson, Samuel L. Jackson, Angelina Jolie, Michael B. Jordan, Anna Kendrick, Matthew McConaughey, Ewan McGregor, Bill Murray, Kim Novak, Tyler Perry, Brad Pitt, Sidney Poitier, Gabourey Sidibe, Will Smith, Kevin Spacey, Jason Sudeikis, Channing Tatum, Charlize Theron, John Travolta, Kerry Washington, Emma Watson and Naomi Watts.
WIN: The Darryl F. Zanuck Award for Outstanding Producer of Theatrical Motion Pictures: (Producers): Anthony Katagas, Jeremy Kleiner, Steve McQueen, Brad Pitt & Dede Gardner for Twelve Years a Slave. Tie to win with Gravity.
WIN: Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Supporting Role: Lupita Nyong’o.
NOMINATION: Outstanding Performance by a Cast in a Motion Picture: 12 Years a Slave.
Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Leading Role: Chiwetel Ejiofor.
Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Supporting Role: Michael Fassbender.
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Actor Brad Pitt says he will not let his children watch “12 Years A Slave”, which he has co-produced.
The 50-year-old, who has six children – Maddox, 12, Pax, 10, Zahara, nine, Shiloh, seven, and Knox and Vivienne, five, however, may let his eldest son Maddox watch it.
Set in the 1900s “12 Years a Slave” is the story of Solomon Northup, a free black man from upstate New York, who is abducted and sold into slavery.
“Maybe my eldest I would, right now. I`d rather (wait) for the others to get a little bit older and understand the dynamics of the world a little more,” Pitt said in a statement.
Talking about the depiction of issues like slavery and racial discrimination in the movie, he said: “It`s one of those few films that cuts to the base of our humanity, it`s why I got into film in the first place.”
What’s the deal with Brad Pitt and “Memento,” did Nolan turn Pitt down?
No, he turned me down! [Laughs] Truthfully, [Pitt] did read the script, that’s where the story comes from, is he read the script and he met with me about it when he didn’t have any reason to know who I was or anything about it. And nothing came of it, other than him being interested in it, I think within the sort of agency world where the script was circulating, just sort of perked up a bit of interest in what was a very obscure project otherwise.
Hollywood’s highest-profile producers showered gratitude on stars like Tom Hanks, Matthew McConaughey and Brad Pitt at the annual Producers Guild of America breakfast panel on January 18 at the Landmark Theatre in West LA.
“12 Years a Slave” producer Dede Gardner credited longtime producing partner Pitt with providing the essential support to get the drama to the finish line — including taking a small part in the film.
“Brad said ‘whatever it takes,’” she recalled. “He had not done a cameo in 25 years.”
In response to a question about test screenings, Gardner said that ”12 Years a Slave” delivered strong results at a trio of showings, adding, “it was an indication that people were ready for this film.
From an interview with Sumner Redstone, leader of CBS and Viacom/Paramount.
Brad Pitt’s Plan B company, which made World War Z for Paramount, is leaving for New Regency. Does that concern you?
Well, people have a right to go where they want. But I think Paramount is the best studio in the world. And Brad [Grey] is the best studio leader in the world, in my opinion. I hired him!
Is it true David Geffen encouraged you to hire Grey and then encouraged you to un-hire him?
I had no discussions that I recall with David Geffen. I don’t need anyone’s advice, like David’s, about hiring Brad [Grey]. Brad is great. He was great with [management company Brillstein-Grey]. But he [might make] less money running the studio. He wanted to be a studio head.
So, when there’s studio politics, like the fact that Plan B didn’t make 12 Years a Slave for Paramount and the film is now a leading Oscar contender, do you care?
Of course I care. I care about everything that affects the studio or any part of Viacom/CBS. Anyone is entitled to go where they want. A lot of people favor Paramount. Those who do are the ones who are right.