May 15, 2013
by admin / BP Press family

When I met Brad Pitt the day after Easter, he was so tired that he was perhaps more reflective than usual. He had just finished a week of spring break with his family. He had camped out with them the night before on his property north of Santa Barbara, and he had woken up, he said, too early, as well as too wet. They had slept in tents, four of his six children, along with two of their friends, and then he had gotten all of them in a van and driven them down to LA.

“Angie too?” I asked.

“Yeah,” he said. “Angie too.”

I told him that I’d met her a few years before, when I profiled her for Esquire. She was making a movie about the wife of the murdered journalist Daniel Pearl, and the thesis of my story was that while 9/11 was supposed to make us all better — a better country and a better people — it only worked for Angelina Jolie. The story has won a kind of immortality as “The Worst Celebrity Profile Ever Written,” and when I told that to Angelina Jolie’s partner, he at first laughed and said that he hoped Esquire would use that as the title of the profile I was writing about him. Then he got serious. “But you were right,” he said. “You were right, you were right. Angie is….the best person…..”

Read more. Tom Junod’s profile of Brad Pitt will appear in the June/July issue of Esquire, which is on newsstands at the end of the month.

April 4, 2013

Today, with very little effort, anyone can land in virtually any city in this country, and within a day or two, procure their drug of choice. Since declaring a war on drugs 40 years ago, the United States has spent more than a trillion dollars, arrested more than 45 million people, and racked up the highest incarceration rate in the world. Yet it remains laughably easy to obtain illegal drugs. So why do we continue down this same path? Why do we talk about the drug war as if it’s a success? It’s a charade.

The drug war continues because it is a system that perpetuates itself. On a local level, any time a bust is made, scarcity drives up prices and, of course, the profit potential. History has taught us that there is no shortage of opportunists willing to fill the void and so the cycle continues and rates of drug use and dealing remain unchanged while incarceration skyrockets.

Read more.

December 1, 2012

Brad Pitt bounds into a suite at the Waldorf-Astoria, doles out a quick handshake that turns into a hug, and sprints to one of the three windows in the room. He pulls open the curtains and looks at the sleet and rain hammering Manhattan 29 floors below him. Like any commuter, Pitt is concerned about annoying travel delays and getting to work on time.

“I gotta get out of here. I go straight to set,” he says, referring to the London re-shoots of the zombie flick World War Z. “I just buzzed in and am buzzing out. I hit the plane this afternoon.”

Yes, this is what the most famous actor in the world is really like. Shockingly, weirdly, almost off-puttingly accessible. Once you get past the thick layers of security – necessary, as evidenced by a hotel employee who had earlier flipped out in ecstasy after seeing Pitt in person – and peel back all your expectations, fed by years of panting tabloid coverage of everything Pitt, you meet a guy who’s friendly, a bit tired, and exceedingly pleasant.

“He’s the most normal guy. I spent a lot of time with him on those Ocean’s movies – he doesn’t do anything to drum up that insanity. He lives in the middle of that and he’s somehow found a way to not go crazy. He’s not crazy,” confirms his friend Matt Damon, who had just seen Pitt. “I don’t know if that’s his family or his upbringing and now it’s become his children and his wife. It’s incredible – seeing him yesterday, he’s the same great guy from Missouri. I don’t understand how he keeps doing great work. It would seem to me that you would lose your ability to be a human being. I genuinely don’t know how he’s still such a great guy, such a real guy.”

Read lots more.


• x001 November 29 – Killing Them Softly (portrait) – New York City, NY.

December 1, 2012

The face is hardly wrinkled and the long blond locks appear unchanged, but Brad Pitt, who will turn 49 in December, is increasingly preoccupied with the passage of time and the thought that his rarefied place in movies is fleeting.

It’s now been more than 20 years since Pitt broke out as the heartthrob of “Thelma & Louise.” While nothing has diminished his status as one of the few genuine movie stars on the planet, Pitt says he’s now working as if an expiration date lurks.

“I’m definitely past halfway,” says Pitt. “I think about it very much as a father. You just want to be around to see (your children) do everything. If I have so many days left, how am I filling those days? I’ve been agonizing over that one a bit like I never have before.”

But that sense of urgency has helped fuel some of Pitt’s best, most daring work, including his new film, “Killing Them Softly.” It’s his second with Andrew Dominik, the New Zealand-born director of “The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford.” In the adaption of George V. Higgins’ 1974 crime novel, “Cogan’s Trade,” Pitt plays a hit man operating in a shabby underworld of image-conscious gangsters.

It’s almost surprising how few blockbusters Pitt has starred in over the last decade. Instead, he’s gravitated toward working with revered directors like Terrence Malick (“Tree of Life”) and the Coen brothers, and shaping his opportunities by producing them. His production company, Plan B, produced both “Jesse James” and “Killing Them Softly,” as well as many of his films in between.

Read lots more.


• x003 November 28 – Killing Them Softly (portrait) – New York City, NY.

March 25, 2012

Brad Pitt took a few minutes with WWNO reporter Eileen Fleming to review the status of the Make it Right project he founded in the Lower Ninth Ward. Before hosting a fundraiser, he spent some time in the neighborhood.

For my meeting with Brad Pitt for a 15-minute interview, I drove as instructed to a nearly complete home in the Make it Right neighborhood in Lower Ninth Ward. Security allowed me in, and I was shown to an empty back room where Brad Pitt was sitting by himself, behind a bare, simple fold-out table.

Q. “It is nice and echo-y in here because this is a brand new…

A. “ They’re so air tight that, I mean, you can’t hear – Claiborne’s right there and you cannot, you can’t hear it.”

Read more. Notice the interview comes in two great parts. You can also download and listen to the audio version of both interviews, go check the BP Media archive for that!


• x001 WWNO. Thanks Gabriella.

March 25, 2012

The day before he hosted a star-studded fundraising event for his Make It Right Foundation in New Orleans, actor Brad Pitt took time for an interview with writer Kathy Finn, for a Reuters news story. In addition to comments that appeared in that story, Pitt shared other thoughts about affordable housing, Make It Right and New Orleans. Here are some highlights.

Q. You launched Make It Right in 2007 with a goal of building 150 energy-efficient, environmentally friendly houses for Lower Ninth Ward residents whose homes were destroyed in the Hurricane Katrina flood. You’ve now built more than 75 homes. How does it feel to see this progress?

A. We’ve been there four years now, so I’ve gotten to know and care for a lot of the people. It’s amazing, their heroics, their courage to come back to the scene of the crime, so to speak. It’s really moving. You hear their stories and what they’ve been through, and even the decades of being marginalized before [Katrina]. And now this place that was [seen as] the least likely to come back, is the foremost high-performance [environmentally sustainable] neighborhood in the country. It’s a story I get very excited about.

Read more.


• x001 My New Orleans. Thanks Maria.