Jean Black, a makeup artist who never gives interviews, talks about working with Brad Pitt and his famous face for almost 30 years, and what it is that makes him so special.
You’ve probably never heard of Jean Black but she’s been behind the scenes with Brad Pitt for over 27 years, a quiet cog in the machine that is his career—and an integral part of his personal life. Black is a makeup artist who has worked with Pitt on about 30 of his films (they recently counted it up for fun), all of his editorial shoots, and all of his red carpet events. Needless to say, a working relationship like this in Hollywood, the most fickle of towns and industries, is very very unusual.
Black’s relationship with Pitt is endearing. She talks about him like he’s a real, true friend because, well, that’s exactly what he is. She’s camped with him on a boulder for A River Runs Through It, trudged through mud for Fury, and been with him throughout his incredible personal and professional rollercoaster of a life. She’s had the kind of experience with a celebrity that just doesn’t exist for most normal people. She’s the one in the trailer with him, she’s the one holding cold spoons to his eyes when he’s tired and looks it, she’s there when he’s falling in love, and there when he’s getting divorced. And she has something (many things) to say about why Pitt is so lovable. Furthermore, she’s the ultimate authority on what exactly it is about Brad Pitt’s face that churns us all into a frenzy. Reluctant to take too much credit for her life’s work, Black insists that Pitt’s appeal is largely due to his charm—to some kind of magical charisma that he himself is not aware of. We talked to her about some of his most iconic movies, what it’s like to be friends with the ultimate celebrity, and how working with Pitt is the easiest job in Hollywood.