D – 1997

TIRED OF BEING NICE – by Silvia Bizio

Brad Pitt, the sexiest man alive is tired of being nice.

According to Brad Pitt, “sexy” is a bad world, or at least, a world to avoid if you want to have a serious conversation with him. The actor, nominated for “sexiest man alive” by People magazine, the blond 33-years-old with the intense-blue eyes, who drives every american
teenager girl crazy, would like to be considered only for his work. And with reason, because thanks to his last chosen roles, he demonstrated he indeed has talent. He made these choices to drastically change his image of a sex-symbol, or an angel on earth, after romantic roles such
the one in “Legends of The Fall”: so he was a psychotic in the futuristic “12 monkeys” directed by Terry Gilliam, a visionary cop who’s beaten more than Philip Marlowe in “Seven” and now he’s a terrorist (terribly lovely and fascinating, it must be said) in “The Devil’s own” by Alan J. Pakula, just released in USA and Italy, where he co-stars with Harrison Ford. But most of all, he’s an austrian climber in “Seven Years in Tibet” the film he just finish shooting in Argentina about the Dalai Lama. Maybe he has to learn a bit of savoir faire hollywood style: two months ago during a Newsweek interview, he didn’t hesitate to call “The Devil’s Own” a “irresponsible
cinema piece” a statement he’s now trying to correct every time he can. “It was my fault, for not explaining what I was referring to, the time before the real shooting, when we didn’t have a definitive script to play” defending the movie from all the rumors surrounding it, even before they started the shooting. Some fights between the two main co-stars, between Pitt and Pakula, delays that doubled the budget, a script audited many times to please the actors, initially completely in disagreement. The movie has been reviewed badly, revealing all the shooting problems. Pitt is an IRA terrorist, arriving in New York under a fake name, guest of an irish policeman (Ford) who treats him like a father, before discovering their different ways to pursue freedom and justice. Just after the shooting between New York and Ireland, Pitt spent five months in Argentina (he’s just come back) for “Seven Years in Tibet” by the french director Jean-Jacques Annaud. Now he’s the star of “Meet Joe Black” in which he’s Death itself. In the meantime he found the time to propose to his fianceè Gwyneth Paltrow, who he met during the shooting of “Seven”. And lately he’s talking about his parents “My father is a sweetie, mom is the tough one” he says. “The most amazing thing about my parents, is the unconditional love they always gave to us, me, my brother and my sister. You are our children, we will always approve and support you, no matter what, they always said. I think this kind of love can give you the strenght to face anything”.

Q: Life seems to be smiling at you…..

R: It couldn’t be better. I’m working hard, love is.. Do you know the word “pussycat”? I’m like that with Gwyneth, I’m truly in love and I’d do anything for her. Women are the best on earth, I have great respect for love, the biggest compliment you can give to someone is to ask to be together all your life.

Q: So you proposed to Gwyneth Paltrow?

R: I’m really mad at the press! I read at least four times that I had proposed, before even thinking about it. I choose the ring, made up my mind about how to propose, I wanted it to be very romantic, and then I read in the press that I’ve already proposed! This is ruining my style, I thought. So I waited a little, but eventually I did it, sorry the details will always be private. We didn’t fix a date yet, we have things to be done and finished before we get the time to have a proper honeymoon.

Q: Let’s talk about The Devil’s Own: did you have your ideas of IRA before this movie? Did you change it?

R: I was really surprised in the beginning about how little me and the majority of americans know about the fight that has been going on for 300 years in Ireland, and how few the information is that we get. There are entire generations, families who suffer from this situation. I didn’t have specific prejudgments: I knew they were terrorists but I didn’t know why they fought. Now I can know their position better, still after all my readings, documentaries, my trips to Ireland, all I can say is that the situation is so complicated, the rights and wrongs so well divided, I can’t fully understand what’s going on there.

Q: You wanted to do this movie for seven years, what was so exciting about this story?

R: It was fascinating the idea of this young man arriving in America with a mission, who meets this decent man, worthy of respect, and they could be friends, but because of their different political and moral faith, they end up like enemies.

Q: How was to work with Harrison Ford?

R: Harrison is always been one of my favourite actors, because of his acting integrity, I just adore watching his movies, he’s never over the line. And he has a great sense of humor. I have to say I tried to emulate him, it’s been very useful to me to work with him.

Q: We are waiting to see “Seven Years in Tibet”. It has been a great experience to shoot it,
hasn’t it?

R: It’s been really incredible. I’m the austrian climber Heinrich Harrer, the movies tells about his time spent in Lhasa and his friendship with the Dalai Lama. This man fascinated me,
at first he’s not a nice soul, but then thanks to the tibetan and buddhist culture, he changes completely. It was a very interesting time, but little known because so few people were admitted in Lhasa. The shooting was so hard, between the mountains in Argentina and Canada, because we were not allowed to enter Tibet. In British Columbia we were transported every day by helicopters to the glaciers, and each time they had to make sure we were safe from avalanches. Each day we arrived with a 21-days food supply, just in case we were forced up there for some reason. At the end, you will see a great movie, Jean-Jacques Annaud is a terrific man and director.

Q: So you never really went to Tibet?

R: They didn’t allow us to enter the country, because according to the Chinese governement we were doing something wrong to their people, accusing them to intentionally delete a culture. Harrison Ford was banned too, because of the project of Martin Scorsese and Harrison’s wife Melissa (Mathison, screenwriter of ET and of Scorsese movie about the Dalai Lama). Our names are surely a pain in the ass there!

Q: You had to learn how to climb?

R: In some way. We did some climbing in Austria and Italy, just to get accostumed with the tools, ropes, shoes, ice axes, etc. I’ll never forget the experience, it’s all so clean and white up there, so peaceful.

Q: What is your relationship with the Dalai Lama and the Tibetan buddhism?

R: Unfortunately, with the Dalai Lama none. He has very urgent matters to deal with, we never got the chance to meet. About buddhism, well, you can’t avoid to be touched by the culture, when you have the chance to spend time with that beautiful, peaceful, patient, generous people. But buddhism is not for me, or any other religion. I grew up as a christian, but right now I’m agnostic.

Q: You’re one of the most famous faces in Hollywood. It must be difficult to have some privacy, to go out without being surrounded by fans.

R: It gets hard sometimes. But this is how it is, me and Gwyneth got used to it. There are times when fans are nicer than other times. Two weeks ago me and Gwyneth made a visit to the Metropolitan Museum, we got the chance to have some time without being asked for an autograph, it was amazing. Sometimes it’s a game, we have to hide somehow. But I’m not complaining, I’m one of the luckiest men in the world, the lack of privacy is a small price to pay for the fame
and the opportunity to do what I like.