Terry Gilliam Talks Brad Pitt’s Performance in ’12 Monkeys’

U.S. writer-director Terry Gilliam had the crowd in stitches throughout his masterclass at the Lumière Film Festival, where he presented the restored version of his 1995 cult movie “12 Monkeys.”

On the making of “12 Monkeys” and its lead actors’ remarkable performances, Gilliam explained that part of the film’s success was down to the fact that he gave Bruce Willis and Brad Pitt roles that were totally different to what they were used to playing, casting Willis as the introvert prisoner James Cole, and Pitt as psychotic mental patient Jeffrey Goines.

“Brad worked incredibly hard to prepare for the role – he went to psychiatric wards, visited mental hospitals… and the first day of the shoot, he exploded on the set! It was breathtaking how funny he was, how strange, how psychotic, it was incredible! So, in the end, Bruce did one of the best performances of his life, and so did Brad,” said Gilliam.

“12 Monkeys” was restored in 4K by Arrow Films and NBC Universal under the supervision of Gilliam and is scheduled for DVD and theatrical release by Paris-based distributor L’Atelier d’images on Nov. 8.

The Lumière Film Festival runs in Lyon through Oct. 22.

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