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Inside the 2023 LACMA Gala

And then the room hushed as Pitt took the podium and began a rousing speech in honor of Fincher, who directed the actor in Seven, Fight Club, and The Curious Case of Benjamin Button.

“Well, here’s something you never hear in a David Fincher screening: ‘That was fun. We should have brought the kids,’” he said, in his famously droll pitch. “Hi, my name is Brad Pitt, and I’m a survivor.”

Pitt, now with a shit-eating grin on his face, started offering up some of the things you hear the director say on a Fincher set.

First: “Let’s shoot this now before we all lose interest in living.”

And another: “Okay, we have the out-of-focus version. Now, let’s try it in focus.”

And last: “I want you guys to enjoy yourselves, but that’s what Saturdays and Sundays are for.”

“My life was forever altered one day in ’94 when I sat down for a coffee with David Fincher,” said Pitt. “Now, I don’t know if what we do really matters in the end. What I do think what matters is the people we hitch ourselves to and the indelible mark that they leave upon our very being.”

Fincher, a bit flustered, admitted that growing up, he always wanted to be a visual artist. And maybe he is—he conceded that a movie director might have to oversee hundreds of staff and scout places to shoot and use actors to embody their vision and hustle through meetings with backers to get funding… but artists have to do that, too, right?

“I’m pretty sure Cristo had a lot of weird meetings about locations and street closures and load times and refueling and linear acres of fabric, and somehow I always think of him as an artist,” he said.

In closing the speech, he looked to Baca and said “I’m grateful for my inclusion, and to see things standing next to Judy. I may even be mistaken for an artist.”

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• x010 November 05 – Art + Film Gala – Los Angeles, CA.
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