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Brad Pitt Is Responsible For His Distinct 12 Monkeys Look

Director Terry Gilliam’s “12 Monkeys” has truly become one of the classic mainstream sci-fi films of the ’90s. Yes, it was very successful in its day, but plenty of box office hits disappear into the background after they leave theaters. This is a film that has endured, in no small part because it played a special part in the careers of its stars. For Bruce Willis, it was a way for the actor to flex his muscles outside of action movies like “Die Hard.” For Brad Pitt, it helped ensure that he wasn’t going to be typecast as the classically handsome guy for the rest of his life. And he’s certainly well disguised in this movie, utilizing a look he, in part, cooked up himself.

The Hollywood Reporter spoke with the cast and crew of “12 Monkeys” in honor of its 25th anniversary in early 2021. Pitt’s character, Jeffrey Goynes, has a very unique look, with the actor portraying a mental patient who may hold the key to humanity’s salvation. While Pitt has his frustrations with his acting in the film, he was committed to bringing the character to life and the look was a big part of that. Gilliam explained that Pitt was personally responsible for the character’s distinctive eye:

“He came up with the funny eye in Goynes’ character. He’s wearing a contact lens that shows his eye out the wrong way, because he was really working hard to get away from being a pretty face and be something interesting. It was good to see. I just love when you see people pushing their own limits. […] Both [Pitt and Willis] wanted to prove something about themselves. It was great to watch them both become what they needed to become. It also scared the s*** out of me. Because I wasn’t sure it was going to work.”

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