PEOPLE INTERVIEW – by Frank Rousseau
Translation by Natlc & Gracie
In your last film The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, your character goes back in time, in the literal sense of the term, Benjamin Button looks younger over the years. Your fountain of youth to you, it is what?
My six Children! Believe me, it is necessary to have health to bring up such a tribe. Angelina and me, we are in constant movement and that is what maintains our form!
In this work, you are made up and made up. I do not know if your ‘tribe’ came to visit you on the set, but if it is the case, how did they react by seeing you as an older person?
I hesitated a lot before accepting they come. I told myself that I was going to traumatize them being so made up. In fact, they made no comment. I ignore it if it does because they are accustomed to see me playing, but I saw no astonishment in their look. That their dad was hairless, and 50 years older, well, they couldn’t have cared less!
This film takes place partly in an elder care center. Is it a place which you saw frequently to ‘live’ better in your role?
No. On the other hand I have had members of my family which reside there. I also have a friend working in an elder care center, and he said that each time he talked with people close to death, they did not speak about their career, or awards, about a book they have written or of their professional success, but about their regrets and the people whom they love and whom they did not see enough. David’s film also treats the disappearing of people they love and of the way we manage their departure.
Are you aware, Brad, to be, today the most appealing papa of the world? Dustin Hoffman said of you: ‘Compared to Brad Pitt, all Fathers of the world resemble bad onions.’
It was maybe true before I became a Dad of six!(laughs) To be awaken ten times in the middle of the night because your babies are upset, that ruins your sex appeal in no time! Did you see my circles! If the girls that dream in front of poster see me in the morning when I wake, they would recant surely. You have to understand it, I have a monstrous deficit of sleep. As it was with Shiloh, the twins have always buttock irritations. In the beginning, but now it’s worse. Do you know a French brand of cream for buttock erythema by the way? I’ll buy it! (laughs)
How did your Fatherhood upset your schedule, your daily and your way of life?
If I still enjoy to work, to shoot films or to produce them, then I must admit that I blossom more, henceforth while passing time with my children in the house. Before, when I left the house, I said, ‘what is my time table today!’ ‘you grab nuance!’ (laughs) Even if I feel no regrets on my past roles, I do now pay more attention to the roles I interpret because I know that my children will fall one day on my filmography. I do not at all want to disappoint them.
Would you agree that to have children would make stars less egocentric people and more responsible?
This is the evidence! When you have children, you no longer say ‘I’ but ‘them’ or ‘we’/ Becoming a Dad literally changed my perspectives and my priorities, which does me crazy good. My children forced me not to take myself too seriously. During the shooting of Seven Years in Tibet, the Buddhist monks already gotten me to understand that, to attain a form of endless purity, it was necessary to disregard beauty, glory and fortune. In the world which I evolved, I was rather unfortunate! With the children, I live now at a higher speed, now I surely sit on my ego!
In this respect, how does Maddox react, your elder son, when he sees your face on huge posters or in coverage of magazines?
We had a big debate on this subject. It is finally understood that it was preferable to see coverage of the doctors, of firefighters, of discoverers, of individuals who bring something concrete, which betters our world, the types which save people, that sacrifice themselves for a good reason. They are the true heroes.
I either do not want to be received as a monument, as an icon or to become a statue on which the pigeons will defecate (laugh). Between us, I, rather have impression to be a normal guy, trap in the body of a star of cinema. The actors are treated as very special persons. Suddenly, some of my colleagues live in permanent lie. They imagine to be elected, different, and it is trap. I would have been able to be taken in this trap if I had not had around me friends or members of my family – and especially my children! To bring me back down to Earth. Through them, I reinvented myself. I have to admit, I’m a dream seller.
And what do you think you provide them?
Equilibrium, the joy of life, desire to bloom, to grow. I love making them discover nature. Personally speaking, to live in harmony with environment, is better than to go to the Prozac! I try especially hard to find them new games or tournaments, every day. And, believe me, it is necessary to have imagination and also health, because if there is definitely something that do not support my children, it is routine!
What kind of child William Bradley Pitt AKA Brad Pitt?
Fearless, very sportsman and always leaving to do stupidities(Laugh)! A true terror. I did not stay in place.It was necessary to have moves. At the start, I wanted to be big to be a photographer, then I had my period disco music. I dreamed, in fact, to resemble John Travolta and to do resemble him in Saturday Night fever. His suit was really appealing to me, I’m a true fan sir.
In the interviews that you give, you never speak practically of your mom…
(laughs) Because they never ask me question…
I put it down to you, then. How did she educated?
My mother, who was a High school departmental advisor, has always been adhesive of the family, the true force who kept us together, the reason why there were a real connection between us. This is a warm and devoted woman. A mom who listens, especially. I remember she would come in my room and talk about the hours with me. She did so even with Doug and Julie, the younger ones. She knew how to slow down what was wrong, and nobody else knew how to make me smile again.
And Papa Pitt?
He has never been a big chatterbox. And the rare times when he spoke, we listened to it religiously so much it impressed us. He was the manager of a transport company. A very tough and demanding work.
Since that you live under the same roof as that pretty Angelina, do you feel you have changed?
As you know it, Angelina is very implied in the humanitarian. It is a mission which is in her heart and, believe me, it is invested thoroughly there. I already had a certain look on this world, but I must acknowledge that Angelina truly opened my eyes. Being close to her, I think I’m more a humanitarian person, and less self-absorbed. I think have taken a more human dimension and especially less nombriliste. Every morning while getting up, I wonder what we could do so this Earth turns rounder little. Angelina instilled into me, in a way, a conscience!
You give the impression to be on a small cloud…
On the contrary, With children, you do not evolve in the abstract, but in the concrete. A kid is a little human being who needs to be directed, structured. So you have to spend your life doing that, not live with you head lost in the clouds. Even if I like to stare at the sky (laughs)!
You are very involved with the environment and charitable associations. Speak to us of one of your the most recent actions.
I try to intervene where the need is cruelly felt. But not only in the Third World countries. Thanks to charitable organizations as Global Green USA, can help in the building of 10 000 environmental houses in the county of Ninth Yard, one of the most affected by hurricane Katrina. For my part, I launched an architecture competition to the planetary ladder. Three thousand candidates replied to the call, the objective being to draw a house that respects the environment, that be economical, functional and that integrates itself in the landscape…
I believed understand that you were also very concerned by scholastic education in the United States?
Yes, it hurts thinking that the most powerful country in the world, the country where I was born, pays miserable money to the institutions dedicated to educate the young generations. I find this all the more absurd because, by giving neither means nor remunerations, to these educators, it shape a future in discount.
It seems that, thanks to your knowledge in architecture, you would be the champion of the papas to establish towers as Lego?
I tried to construct some buildings in Lego or in cubes with Maddox, but, at present, he seems more interested by baseball!
In the future, do you see yourself as a sweet grandfather, or a grumbling one?
With the heap of grandchildren which I shall have, I shall be able to only be a very cool grandfather! When I see myself in the future, I see myself very well with my grandchildren, on the corner of a crackling fireplace, and liking to be called grandpa Brady…(laughs).