Mindfood – October 15, 2014

BRAD PITT – by Michelle Manelis

We chat to just married actor Brad Pitt about his new film Fury, being married to a Dame and on meeting the Queen.There’s not much that can impress movie stars the likes of Brad and Angie, but it seems that royalty is in a league all of its own. In New York City to promote his WWII drama, Fury, just days after Queen Elizabeth awarded Angelina with an honorary Dame title, Pitt couldn’t keep the smile off his face, recalling this most prestigious event.“Well, that was just cool. Grand Dame Commander,” he says, shaking his head.

It was a family affair for the Jolie-Pitt’s at Buckingham Palace. “It was a lovely day for our family, and we were offered the opportunity to meet (the Queen) afterwards and bring the kids in,” he laughs. “And to see the kids like that; I have never seen them that still and respectful in my whole life. And to see them bow and say ‘Your Majesty,’ and curtsy. It was an absolute delight and just a lovely day for us all.”

Meanwhile Jolie is directing her hubby in the upcoming movie, By The Sea, a drama set in France in the mid 1970s for which she also takes writing credits. What’s it like being directed by the misses? He smiles. “She’s as tough as nails.”

But it seems that one director in the family is enough. “I have no aspirations to direct,” he says. “It’s so time consuming. I have aspirations to do some other things, in design work and along that front, that would take the same amount of time.”

Fury is likely to be one of the contenders for next year’s award season and Pitt stars as ‘Wardaddy,’ who leads his platoon, played by actors including Shia LeBeouf and Logan Lerman into Germany as WWII is winding down. Violent and horrific, Fury is not for the faint of heart.

“We always talk about respect for our soldiers and our young men and women and what we ask them to do.” He pauses. “And absolutely goddamned right, but I have such a deeper understanding and appreciation of their preparation, mentally and physically. And we are actors, we are tourists in their world for a short amount of time but to see the depth, mentally and physically what they go through, to understand what is being asked of them, and what they are putting on the line for us, what they are risking for us, I just have to say that I have immense respect and feel for them. It’s not an easy thing for them returning back to civil society, even with all of your limbs. I just am quite moved.”

The movie is set in the final few weeks of WWII and playing the leader of his unit came naturally to Pitt. “You know, I discovered that I don’t suck at it, but this one was a particular training in leadership. The tank commander is responsible for his guys, their morale, and he’s got to make sure they are in a good place when they are operating,” he says.

“It was just a really interesting study in leadership. And like as a father, sometimes you let them have their room and sometimes you have got to put the clamps on and it’s all that. And you have got to know when to read them and when they need to vent and when they need to get in line and get in order.” He smiles. “I was the oldest one of the bunch of actors, too, so they were looking at me for some kind of guidance, and I love those boys. We were like a dysfunctional family.”