Fox 5’s entertainment reporter, Kevin McCarthy (@KevinMcCarthyTV) sat down with Brad Pitt to talk about Ad Astra, Fight Club, Once Upon a Time In Hollywood (briefly), David Fincher, Butch Cassidy and The Sundance Kid and more. – September 17, 2019.
Actor Brad Pitt talks with CNN’s Christiane Amanpour about masculinity, loneliness and his relationship with alcohol. – September 18, 2019.
“I’m sorry to get sententious on you,” James Gray says around the midpoint of our interview. The director of “Ad Astra” is apologizing for keeping things highbrow, which is no reason to apologize at all.
Gray has been arguing astronauts are bad at talking about the wonders of space travel. His theory is that art gets the metaphysics of space in a way that many who’ve been there cannot express. He’s moved through a decent Neil Armstrong impression, “The Empire Strikes Back” and Vermeer, and now he’d like to stir Japanese printmaker Hokusai into the mix. Gray paraphrases a quote from the artist, about art and age’s ability to distill the vast scope of life with simple expressions, steering himself back on course.
Talking with the director it’s clear each answer starts with its destination way out of sight. Some tie off neatly, others trail off in a semi-rhetorical “Am I making any sense?” Either way, it’s a journey packed with big ideas and lashings of introspection.
Anyone who has watched a Gray movie, which he writes or co-writes as well as directs, will know this extends to his filmmaking. It’s why the American has become known as a director’s director; one who attracts big-name actors looking to him to coax out career-best performances.
Gray’s last movie, 2016’s “The Lost City of Z,” was a reflective character study that sent real-life British explorer Percy Fawcett (Charlie Hunnam) into deepest Amazonia on a quest which consumed body and soul. Now he has returned to fire Brad Pitt into the cosmos on much the same trajectory.
“Ad Astra,” Gray’s seventh feature, sees the director handed a significantly larger budget than usual to realize his ambitious near-future sci-fi thriller. Pitt, Gray’s friend and producing partner, leads as Roy McBride, an astronaut following in the footsteps of his missing-presumed-dead father (Tommy Lee Jones). After a burst of cosmic rays from deep space threatens life on Earth, Roy must venture to the outer reaches of the solar system to find the source, where clues about his father’s disappearance may also lie.
Brad Pitt doesn’t give interviews often, and when he does, they tend to happen in strange and impromptu places. Like this poolhouse, on a property that belongs to neither of us, not too far outside Pasadena. By necessity and inclination, Pitt likes to present a moving target, and so he spends a lot of time passing through spaces like this one, spaces that are convenient to something else he’s doing and that once he leaves, he’ll likely never see again. He’s Brad Pitt, though: With him comes an atmosphere, his own weather, a heightened kind of reality that involves everyone in the vicinity looking directly at him until he’s gone. Despite that—or, maybe at this point, because of it—he’s learned to be comfortable, at ease, just about anywhere. Anyway, picture a room we’re both strangers to. That’s where Brad Pitt and I talk.
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Brad Pitt stars in upcoming science fiction film “Ad Astra” about an astronaut’s journey throughout the solar system to find his missing father.
Now the actor is getting the chance to talk to someone with real-life experience in space.
Pitt had a conversation about life in space with Nick Hague, who has been an astronaut since 2013 and is currently part of the Expedition 59 and 60 crew on the International Space Station.
On the video call, the two discussed everything from Hague’s day-to-day life to his relationship with NASA’s team on the ground to what the astronaut thought of “Ad Astra.”
As NASA prepares to send the first woman and next man to the Moon by 2024 under the Artemis program, Brad Pitt is playing an astronaut in his latest film. Now the actor will have the opportunity to discuss what it’s truly like to live and work in space with a NASA crew member living aboard the International Space Station.
Pitt’s Earth-to-space call will air live at 11:35 a.m. EDT Monday, Sept. 16 on NASA Television and the agency’s website.
NASA astronaut Nick Hague will answer questions from the actor. For nearly 20 years, astronauts have continuously lived and work on the International Space Station, testing technologies, performing science and developing the skills needed to explore farther from Earth.