AOL Interview – February, 2000

She’s favored to win the Oscar for Best Actress. He’s "the sexiest man alive." Now they’re co-starring in "The Mexican" — and they stopped by AOL Live for an exclusive online chat.

Host: Good evening, everybody. Welcome to AOL online. We have two big stars
with us. Gee, wouldn’t you want to be somewhere else? I don’t think so. Coming from AOL Brazil, Mexico, Japan, and Moviefone Asylum, we bring to you the two biggest stars on the planet to promote "The Mexican," Julia Roberts and Brad Pitt.

Julia Roberts: Hello.

Host: Thanks for joining us online. Is this your first time?

Brad Pitt: I would say so.

Julia Roberts: Yes.

Host: What took you so long?

Julia Roberts: We weren’t invited.

Host: I’m sure the fans are excited. The questions are coming from all over
the world.

Brad Pitt: Fantastic.

Host: Explain the movie; maybe one of you guys can help fill us in.

Julia Roberts: I’ll say what "The Mexican" means, then you can tell them what the movie is about.

Brad Pitt: OK.

Julia Roberts: "The Mexican" is what refers to this ancient pistol, beautiful, hand-carved pistol made about 150 years ago. The legend is it is cursed. There is kind of like a love curse around this pistol called the Mexican. That is where we get our title.

Brad Pitt: When the time starts out, Jerry and Samantha are at a point in their relationship where they have to move forward, but things… have to understand. Jerry has to go retrieve this pistol called the Mexican Then they get entangled in the fable.

Host: There are two pictures together. Julia, you’ve got your trip to Las Vegas. Brad, you’ve got your trip to the other part of the world. How do the stories separate and come back together?

Julia Roberts: Well, it is a great tapestry of — we sort of start off together in our apartment. From that point, we separate, and it’s just this great bantering. Now I’m doing you. It’s just a great sort of weaving. A beautiful, beautiful woven story of he goes there, who does he meet? I go there, who do I meet? How do all the people and chaos bring us back to the same place?

Host: We are taking the first question. What was your favorite part about making "The Mexican"? Can we narrow this down? How long did you shoot? Was your favorite part riding into this town?

Brad Pitt: It is a funny script to begin with. There are funny scenes to banter.

Julia Roberts: Yes. Great conversation.

Brad Pitt: Great dialogue. Going into a movie that is down and dirty, handheld, quickly shot, a couple of takes, moving on. This energy, this pace.

Host: A question from AOL Brazil: I would like to know how you felt about filming in a Latin country.

Brad Pitt: Sure. It was great.

Julia Roberts: We were embraced. We came in like a MASH. unit — equipment, folks, needs, wants. We were noisy. We didn’t smell good all the time. They were really, really nice to us. I think one of the greatest characters in the movie — their town. It is in the poster. It is so beautiful. It is so — it lended a true authenticity to the texture of our movie We are forever indebted to them.

Brad Pitt: Good answer.

Host: Have you ever affected the infrastructure of a town?

Brad Pitt: There was only one phone line in that town. By the time we left,
I’m sure they are watching this now. On eBay.

Julia Roberts: Hi. On eBay.

Host: Julia, how is it to work with the sexiest man alive?

Julia Roberts: It is torture. It is just too hard. I will never do it again.

Brad Pitt: We are doing it again.

Julia Roberts: We are doing it again.

Brad Pitt: That is correct.

Host: You haven’t started?

Brad Pitt: I start tomorrow.

Julia Roberts: I start in April.

Host: This is the first time you had been together in film?

Julia Roberts: Yeah. To be silly and sarcastic. We are punchy; we have been
doing this 48 hours now. To work with someone you know and [have] seen in movies. It is so nice to realize you didn’t have it all wrong, but you didn’t realize quite the wonder it would turn out to be. I was pleasantly surprised every day by some little thing, by this joker.

Brad Pitt: She is being kind.

Julia Roberts: I’m being truthful.

Brad Pitt: I feel the same.

Host: You have to take so many risks in acting.

Brad Pitt: You take a risk to get up in the morning.

Host: But it must be easier to do this in front of a friend.

Brad Pitt: It is much more fun.

Julia Roberts: The security, that is the thing.

Host: You see these movies where they get pissed at someone and throw luggage out of the window.

Brad Pitt: Like you’ve never been there.

Host: Congratulations on "The Mexican." Do any of you have words
of wisdom for anyone trying to break into the business?

Julia Roberts: I’ll give that to you, honey.

Brad Pitt: I’ll take that. Be prepared for no’s. Just get in there and feel
it out. You have to start from the bottom. The more you do, you will discover what works for you and what doesn’t. Keep going. If you believe in it, keep going. A rejection factor is a big part of the business. It is actually kind of a nice opportunity to find your own gauge of what works for you. If you want it, you have to go after it.

Host: Go after it, you did. Before finishing school, you took off. Julia, you watched your parents in their theater company when you were little. Wasn’t it intimidating to drive into this city called Hollywood and take that risk?

Brad Pitt: Yes, but at the same time, it is so exciting. This [is] where it
takes place. Getting to the place where the opportunities exist is a rush.

Julia Roberts: I also — I did the easy route. I moved to New York and moved in with my sister.

Brad Pitt: So you have a sister in New York.

Julia Roberts: That was a great comfort to me.

Host: She is still accepting guests. What about coming into town in Runaway
Sue? Is that the name of your car?

Brad Pitt: You have been digging. That is correct.

Host: Cars are kind of a fun little bit to this movie.

Brad Pitt: Yeah. We got good muscle cars, late 1960s, early 1970s. We got it covered.

Host: Brad, do you prefer dramatic or comedy roles, and why?

Brad Pitt: I kind of run the other one into the ground, so I was ready to mess it up and see how we stood in the comedy world. Now I’m ready to get back to the other. They are both rewarding.

Host: It is genius when they meld together. "Erin Brockovich," there are tense moments with that character.

Brad Pitt: I’m right there with you. That is the ultimate goal. Yes, "Erin Brockovich" had it all.

Julia Roberts: "The Mexican" has it all and then some.

Host: Julia, did you think that the "Erin Brockovich" movie would
be such a huge hit when you read the script?

Julia Roberts: No. In truth, the first script of "Erin Brockovich" I read, I shied away from. I thought, interesting story, amazing this is a true story and I’ve never heard of it. That seemed a tragedy to ponder. But it wasn’t — didn’t feel the compulsion there until Stephen Soderberg came to see me and gave me his ideas that I was turned around and thought there was potential that I thought he could unearth and make the most of.

Host: You haven’t worked with him, Brad?

Brad Pitt: No. Start tomorrow.

Host: What does he have to look forward to?

Julia Roberts: It is great. Once I get there, it will be better.

Host: See "The Mexican" first. It opens March 2, 2001.

Emily: What was your favorite part in "The Mexican" We already touched on this. I don’t know. Can you put your finger on it?

Julia Roberts: To me, there is an art to conversation. There is beauty to two people talking to each other and really saying something of interest. And, you know, we were discussing earlier, there are great conversations in this movie. I love the conversation Brad and Richard Coca have in the desert. You will look farther to that. Is a great dialog. It is concise, clear, it serves a purpose other than people just talking.

Host: What about the glitter pants?

Julia Roberts: Those are my pants.

Brad Pitt: Those are great pants.

Julia Roberts: In the middle of nowhere, these dusty browns and barely greens, I’m there wearing the colors of 31 flavors. It really is a great commentary that she gave each of us with the clothes.

Host: I heard the whole town was wearing orange shirts by the end of the shoot.

Brad Pitt: They caught on.

Host: PickChick7 says: Brad, do you have any interest working behind the camera?

Brad Pitt: Yes, I do. We are working on some things now. Me, I have interest in cinematography and we, yeah, we will see where it goes.

Julia Roberts: Brad is a jack of all trades. You are. Yeah. I’m glad we brought this up. It takes a great snap.

Host: I heard that.

Julia Roberts: Just a clever, clever guy. Loves architecture, just the composition of things. I would completely — you shooting, directing, anything.

Brad Pitt: I’ll give you a call.

Host: This small town that you shot this movie, was there anything interesting
to look at building-wise?

Brad Pitt: Many things. These were built out of adobe. The tunnel into this
place was a mysterious place that time forgot. It is at the top of this mountain range. It is a defunct mining town. You take a mile and a half of tunnel. That is the only way in and out.

Julia Roberts: It is not like the Holland Tunnel. This is like the rabbit made its way through this tunnel.

Host: You weren’t taking pictures?

Julia Roberts: When I’m on a set, I have a box camera in my knitting bag. I
take snaps, but Brad’s got the full meal deal.

Brad Pitt: Making sweaters. Host: If you are not acting, what would you be
doing? That is addressed to both of you.

Julia Roberts: I would be a schoolteacher.

Brad Pitt: Any particular grade or subject?

Julia Roberts: What is your guess?

Brad Pitt: Third grade. Home economics.

Julia Roberts: How cute.

Brad Pitt: English. Amazing gift.

Julia Roberts: I love the words.

Brad Pitt: She loves the words.

Host: Wasn’t Walt Whitman the first book you read?

Julia Roberts: Yeah. I would go into the library every day and read.

Brad Pitt: I did not know that.

Host: It must be exciting when you find a script that is good to read.

Brad Pitt: Really exciting.

Julia Roberts: It is a cause for celebration.

Host: What is your process? Do you immediately call your agent or the person on the phone and say, I’m doing this film?

Brad Pitt: It is more involved than that. There is a dissection of the script. There are many good scripts. The next question is, who is telling the story, who is the director? The third question is, who is going to be performing the story with you?

Host: Well, you get to work together in "The Mexican," coming out on the 2nd. What made you choose this project? One of the fans wants to know.

Julia Roberts: I don’t want to sound too all symbolic and New Age and symbolism…

Brad Pitt: Please do.

Julia Roberts: If I were to, I would say the way "The Mexican" came together with Brad and myself and Gore Verbinski, the director, and James Gandolfini, was as sort of — it seems in retrospect — as predestined and as much all of us being the puppets as the legend of "The Mexican" and the story of destiny, fate, true love and true purpose. The way it came together, and really fast. This was discussed in January; we were shooting in April. That is quick.

Brad Pitt: We were shooting it, where we in the past talked about things before, not directly. Things had circled in the hemisphere and didn’t come to fruition for whatever reason. This is interesting to plug us into. Much more authentic, this quirky story.

Host: The movie touches on the theme, things are not usually what they seem
to be. Don’t you think audiences will be excited by James’ performance?

Brad Pitt: Yes.

Julia Roberts: He is a shining part of the movie.

Brad Pitt: We are starting a church, the church of Gandolfini.

Host: Brad, you learned the art of fly fishing for your role in "The River Runs Through It." Do you still fish?

Brad Pitt: Yes, after many hooks in the neck, I mastered this. I haven’t in some time, but fortunately you can do it until you die. Montana, I’m loyal to.

Host: What did you have to learn specifically for this film? Bad driving, perhaps?

Brad Pitt: No. We wrecked all three cars.

Julia Roberts: Three El Caminos.

Brad Pitt: Not me personally, although I would have loved to. Wrecked the first one in the first day. The second day, wrecked the second car into the third car.

Host: They are like, when are you guys wrapping? Let’s take another question from AOL Live: Brad, I’m used to you being in roles like "Fight Club" and "Snatch." Does this film change the image you have made for yourself?

Brad Pitt: I don’t know. It is beyond my control. We are multifaceted. It is fun to explore other areas and see how you do.

Host: This guy is a tough guy, but a dork?

Brad Pitt: He is a chump. There is Steve McQueen and not Steve McQueen. He
is the anti-McQueen.

Host: Do you think your character likes this character because of that reason?

Julia Roberts: I think she loves everything about Jerry except that he always disagrees with her. Mr. Big love.

Brad Pitt: Big love.

Host: Julia, Brad seems like he would be a jokester — was he?

Brad Pitt: I’m a prankster.

Julia Roberts: Yeah. Funny. Hilarious. We had some hardy ha-has. But not, you know, short-sheet your bed, in the toilet.

Brad Pitt: Didn’t pull any of those. Full frontal laughter.

Host: What characters will you be playing in "Oceans Eleven," the

Julia Roberts: I play George Clooney’s ex-wife, current girlfriend to Andy

Brad Pitt: I play George Clooney’s right-hand man.

Host: Is this in Vegas?

Julia Roberts: Vegas, Atlantic City, Chicago and LA.

Host: I definitely want to be up there if you are up there. In the same outfit you were wearing. Julia, did you experience the making of "The Mexican"
in a different way compared to your other movies? That is for the director’s
cut live chat.

Julia Roberts: I’m sorry, you were saying? They are all different. They are
all different. That is why it is so exciting and so first day of school. Brave new world to discover.

Host: You get to go to so many different locations. Is that part of the fun?

Brad Pitt: Yeah.

Julia Roberts: It is a perk, but it lends itself to a certain amount of longing,
you know.

Brad Pitt: Yes. Yes.

Host: Where do you want to end up shooting? I know you have traveled to the
Netherlands and have been all over the world.

Brad Pitt: I want to shoot in my backyard.

Host: That is the one sacred place left.

Brad Pitt: Nothing is sacred anymore.

Host: Stacey says: This is your first chat. Do you get online at all?

Julia Roberts: I’m not digital.

Brad Pitt: I’m just becoming literate. The future looks bright. I’m in the
learning phase.

Host: What do you think of this technology?

Brad Pitt: Technology rocks. It is fantastic.

Host: Cool. What is one of your favorite movies you have made and enjoyed?

Julia Roberts: All together now — "The Mexican."

Brad Pitt: "The Mexican."

Julia Roberts: You were slow off the mark.

Host: Marsha’s parents can see it, it is R-rated.

Julia Roberts: It is not suited for children. "The Mexican" is not for children. Don’t sneak into "The Mexican."

Host: Did you guys sneak into movies you weren’t supposed to see?

Julia Roberts: I didn’t.

Brad Pitt: Weekly.

Host: You loved "Planet of the Apes"?

Brad Pitt: Yes.

Host: Didn’t you want to be in the movies?

Brad Pitt: I can’t wait to see it, but, no, I’m loyal to the first one, a big loincloth to fill. Thank you, in the back row.

Host: Brad, do you have plans to guest star on Jennifer’s show, "Friends"?

Brad Pitt: I don’t have plans.

Host: That show is popular in Australia. Have you been there?

Brad Pitt: No.

Julia Roberts: Benjamin made "The Red Planet" there. I went to visit him.

Host: Brad, would you ever do another movie like "Fight Club"?

Brad Pitt: In a second. It is one of my favorites.

Host: What was it that made it so good for you?

Brad Pitt: It is a bit subversive. I enjoyed that. And I just thought it was such a statement on our times, more so than we recognize right now. Something that will be more important later, I think. We will see. Regardless, it is one of my favorites.

Host: When do you get a chance to look at great artists that are directing
other projects? You are so busy. How do you get to see how the cool people are and connect with the new filmmakers?

Brad Pitt: You — you catch up. I mean, I also like to go investigate new directors and see what they are doing, see if it is something that gels with where you are heading. You can get screenings of films.

Julia Roberts: You can go buy a ticket.

Host: Speaking of that, if you are going to buy a ticket for "The Mexican,"
you can online. Coming out March 2, 2001. That was our last question.

Julia Roberts: I love the commercial for the Moviefone. I kept calling, it
was 777-MOVIE. I couldn’t get through.

Brad Pitt: Welcome to Moviefone.

Julia Roberts: Hello.

Host: Thank you both for joining us.

Brad Pitt: Good fun.

Julia Roberts: Thank you, everybody, for getting online to talk to us so we
didn’t look like losers. Nobody asks a question, that would be terrible.

Host: Thanks again.

MrLiveGuy: Be sure to check out The Mexican in theaters on March 2nd! Thanks so much for all of your great questions, everyone, and have a great night!

AOLJanaM: Night, everyone! Thanks for coming!