From Fight Club to family man, Brad Pitt tells Mick Brown how being a father of six has changed him as a man and as an actor
There was a time when Brad Pitt, like most people, would enter a hotel through the front door, but that hasn’t happened for the best part of 20 years. ‘I’m usually carted up the ass end,’ as he puts it. And so it is that here, as everywhere else, he has been denied the pleasures of a hotel lobby thronged with the svelte and the affluent – for this is a very swanky hotel indeed – and too the pleasures of taking a stroll on a sunny autumn morning unmolested, lending his fourth-floor room, luxurious as it is, a curious air of confinement.
It is an air somewhat exaggerated by the fact that, in his downbeat sweatshirt and tracksuit trousers, the Kangol cap pulled down low over his forehead, the straggly half-beard, Pitt looks less like you expect him to look and more like a man attempting to disguise himself as his own minder.
In fact, Pitt’s minder is outside in the corridor, an imposing presence, standing quietly beside the gaggle of clipboard-wielding publicists. He is perhaps less a precautionary measure for Pitt – who with his muscled 6ft frame appears perfectly capable of looking after himself – than for his wife, Angelina Jolie, who is in an adjacent room being interrogated by a handful of European journalists.Being the most recognised show-business couple in the world has its own perils and disadvantages.
Pitt walks over to turn off the air conditioning and reaches for two bottles of water. He is a courteous man, his manner attentive and earnest. Very earnest. He is in London for discussions about his latest project as a producer, ‘a satire about the war in Afghanistan’ (he does not elaborate), but mostly to talk about his role in By the Sea, a new film written by, directed by and co-starring Jolie.