How did you train, or what did you have to do before you knew you were gonna be in the roof of that house and had to take your shirt off?
Uh, no. You know, I look at films like- well, depends on what character you’re doing. But in there, you know, I’m playing a stunt man so I can’t… I gotta be on the better end of shape. So, you know, I try to eat right during the film. Get some exercise. And, that’s that.
That’s that. And then when it’s off, then it’s Shake Shack and pizzas. (laughter)
Hollywood is teeming with thousands of stuntmen, many of them also dreaming of becoming a star someday. So, in that context, in portraying Cliff, THE STUNTMAN, what are your own reflections on fame, how fleeting it can be, and how, for every Cliff, there are hundreds who are struggling to make it in Hollywood?
Category: BP Press
The 35th Santa Barbara International Film Festival (SBIFF) presented its highest honor, the Maltin Modern Master Award (established in 1995, and then re-named to recognize long-time renowned film critic Leonard Maltin in 2015), to actor Brad Pitt at the Arlington Theatre on January 21st. The award was created to honor an individual who has enriched our culture through accomplishments in the motion picture industry, and the evening was a celebration of his work, not only in his two most recent films, Once Upon A Time in Hollywood and Ad Astra, but also his entire film catalog.
During the two-hour presentation, featuring clips from many of Pitt’s films, and discussion with Maltin, himself, the actor talked in-depth about everything from his first Oscar nomination, his major in college, growing up as a film buff, his first impression of a professional film set, his unsuccessful first attempt at getting a SAG card, when he felt like he was actually a professional working actor, the filmmakers that have made the greatest impact on him, one of the film roles that he passed on, and a common theme in many of his roles.
“I swear to God, I had to hide a tear,” Brad Pitt says, looking over at Quentin Tarantino and Leonardo DiCaprio, remembering the first time Tarantino played him the José Feliciano cover of “California Dreamin’” on the set of “Once Upon a Time … in Hollywood.” “Look,” Pitt continues. “I’m not ashamed to say it. I got a little misty.”
We’ve settled onto a couple of sofas inside a bungalow at the Chateau Marmont because … where else would we meet to talk about Tarantino’s wistful elegy to a bygone Hollywood? As the song declares, it’s a winter’s day, though the (palm tree) leaves are green, not brown, and the sun setting just beyond the swimming pool is making the sky periwinkle blue, not a dismal gray.
But otherwise, yeah, we’re California dreamin’, sitting back, talking about a movie that earned 10 Oscar nominations — three for Tarantino as a director, writer and producer, and acting nods for DiCaprio and Pitt — and also considering the good fortune that has graced their lives over the last few decades.
“You know, when I first moved out here, it was the summer of ’86 and I didn’t know [expletive]-all about Los Angeles, other than what I’d seen on ‘The Beverly Hillbillies’ and ‘Dragnet,’” Pitt says. “I landed in Burbank at a house I could crash at for a month or so. It was just me and a maid from Thailand who couldn’t speak English. Man, I was just so up for the adventure, and so excited when I’d drive by a studio where they make movies. It meant the world to me.”
• x003 LA Times
Fresh off his Golden Globes win for his role in Quenin Tarantino’s film. Once Upon a time in Hollywood, iconic America actor Brad Pitt sat down with New Europe’s Federico Grandesso while the latter was in Venice to promote the science fiction film Ad Astra, his most, and a collaboration with director James Gray.
NEW EUROPE (NE): What’s your feeling about the major success of Tarantino’s Once Upon a Time in Hollywood?
BRAD PITT (BP): Well, that the movie was well-received by the critics and audiences alike, and has made a huge earning at the US box office, was expected. I think it’s great. It’s big for a Quentin film that it could still land like that. I think it was the only original content released over last summer that is neither a sequel nor based on a comic book or something like that. So, it’s no small feat. It says a lot that the studios can still gamble on films like his. I’m really pleased for it because the film was well-suited to my taste, of course.
Brad Pitt, Chris Evans, Laura Dern and Six Other Stars Grace the Covers of W’s Best Performances 2020 Issue
For the Best Performances 2020 issue, the stars of the biggest films of the past year posed for photographer Juergen Teller in the most quintessential of Los Angeles locales: strip malls, parking lots and hotel rooms. This time around, the annual portfolio features nine different covers, with Brad Pitt (Once Upon a Time…in Hollywood and Ad Astra), Joaquin Phoenix (Joker), Jennifer Lopez (Hustlers), Eddie Murphy (Dolemite Is My Name), Chris Evans (Knives Out and Avengers: Endgame), Laura Dern (Marriage Story and Little Women), Adam Driver (Marriage Story, The Report, and Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker), Adam Sandler (Uncut Gems) and Scarlett Johansson (Marriage Story and Jojo Rabbit) at their bold, unvarnished, effervescent best. For the portfolio inside the issue, the actors sat down with W’s Editor at Large Lynn Hirschberg to discuss their lives and work: Dern reflects on her public perception (she’s never felt like an icon), Lopez recalls her early days as a dancer, and Murphy opens up about the films and comedy albums that influenced him as a kid. Here, all of Teller’s iconic covers for W’s first issue of the new decade, and its tenth edition of Best Performances.
Be sure to read Brad’s hilarious (in my opinion) short interview right here.
• x005 W Photoshoot
Jack Davison’s photographs capture this year’s best actors with a minimalist and inventive approach.
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Released in December, just before awards season, the Great Performers Issue is one of The New York Times Magazine’s most anticipated of the year. After watching many hours of movies released in 2019, The Times’s co-chief film critic A.O. Scott and critic-at-large Wesley Morris narrowed down their choices for most striking performances in film this year to 10 actors: Adam Driver, Scarlett Johansson, Jennifer Lopez, Elisabeth Moss, Brad Pitt, Leonardo DiCaprio, Lupita Nyong’o, Julianne Moore, Antonio Banderas and Robert De Niro. All 10 appear in this weekend’s issue of the magazine.
“You have to kind of read the room,” Mr. Davison said. Some actors asked questions and wanted to collaborate; others wanted him to do his thing. Mr. Pitt, for one, “was quite interested in what the materials did when I was shooting through them,” Mr. Davison recalled. Mr. Banderas even got playful. All told, Mr. Davison spent two days shooting in Los Angeles, two more in New York and one in Spain (to shoot Mr. Banderas).
As the stuntman Cliff Booth in Quentin Tarantino’s “Once Upon a Time … in Hollywood,” Brad Pitt laid down a performance of vintage Hollywood dudeness. His character is equally at ease being a human security blanket for his B-list-actor boss, played by Leonardo DiCaprio, as he is subduing murderous Manson family members while tripping on acid. In James Gray’s “Ad Astra,” Pitt used the same tools he wielded so deftly in Tarantino’s film — laconic cool; understated emotion — to build an entirely different version of masculinity. In it, he’s Roy McBride, an astronaut on an interplanetary mission to find his absentee (in multiple senses of the word) father. But McBride’s imperturbability is rooted in repression and hurt, nothing like Booth’s so-it-goes acceptance. “The two characters could be connected,” Pitt says, “in the sense that you have to go through an evolution to get to a place of comfort. You have to go through profound internal hardships.”
• x004 New York Times