Category: BP Press

Mindfood

We chat to just married actor Brad Pitt about his new film Fury, being married to a Dame and on meeting the Queen.

There’s not much that can impress movie stars the likes of Brad and Angie, but it seems that royalty is in a league all of its own.

In New York City to promote his WWII drama, Fury, just days after Queen Elizabeth awarded Angelina with an honorary Dame title, Pitt couldn’t keep the smile off his face, recalling this most prestigious event.

“Well, that was just cool. Grand Dame Commander,” he says, shaking his head.
It was a family affair for the Jolie-Pitt’s at Buckingham Palace.

“It was a lovely day for our family, and we were offered the opportunity to meet (the Queen) afterwards and bring the kids in,” he laughs. “And to see the kids like that; I have never seen them that still and respectful in my whole life. And to see them bow and say ‘Your Majesty,’ and curtsy. It was an absolute delight and just a lovely day for us all.”

Read more. Thanks Gabriella.

Details magazine

We went behind the scenes of Brad Pitt’s Details magazine photo shoot, where the actor talked about his love of the outdoors and how he ranks himself as a parent.

“I’ve discovered I don’t suck at being a dad,” Brad, 50, told Details.

The father of six has traveled the world with his children Shiloh, Vivienne, Maddox, Zahara, Pax and Knox — plus their mom and recently wedded wife, Angelina Jolie. With such a large family, the Oscar winner has little time alone, but when he can get away, he gravitates towards the California Redwoods.

“I will always be most comfortable in the outdoors,” Brad told Details. “I grew up in the Ozarks … and I’m quite reverential when it comes to a tree.”

So much so that he had the height of the world’s largest sequoia — 311.4 feet — tattooed on his forearm.

Brad’s issue of Details hits newsstands October 28, and he can next be seen on the big screen when his WWII film Fury opens October 17.

Read more. Thanks Gabriella. And thank you Yukko for the pictures below!


• x013 Details November ’14 France.

Brad Pitt and Rachel Boynton Reveal the Backstory of African Oil Doc ‘Big Men’

Made over seven years and in partnership with Pitt’s production company Plan B, Boynton’s film tracks American oil company execs and African politicians as they negotiate a drilling deal that could benefit everyone except the local population.

On Wednesday night, following a Los Angeles screening of Rachel Boynton’s documentary Big Men — an edge-of-your-seat film that offers an unprecedented inside look at how American oil companies and African governments interact when oil is discovered in Africa — The Hollywood Reporter met up with Boynton and one of the film’s executive producers, Brad Pitt, to discuss how the project came together and what they hope people will take away from it.

Boynton spent seven years of her life making the film, which premiered at the Tribeca Film Festival in April, screened theatrically last year (unfortunately rendering it ineligible for Oscar consideration this year) and is now playing in select theaters across the nation.

It seems to be the hope of Boynton and Pitt — whose Plan B production company champions films of social value, such as this year’s best picture Oscar winner 12 Years a Slave — that Big Men will raise awareness and bring about reforms that will benefit the people of African nations who have heretofore rarely shared in the profits of the discoveries of oil within their borders.

Here is a transcript of our conversation.

Read more. Also added to BP Press.

There’s no fuel like the fury of the undead

Just ask Brad Pitt. He has spent weeks running on it, circling the globe, crashing movie theaters and introducing audiences to his mega-zombie thriller World War Z, in theaters today.

After years of being “drawn to the smaller, more intimate films,” like Tree of Life and Killing Them Softly, Pitt has done an about-face with World War Z. “It’s a monster of a film,” he says, made for two young zombie fans: his oldest boys with Angelina Jolie, Maddox, 11 and Pax, 9.

The popcorn flick hits theaters six months after its original release date, thanks to reshoots and a newly scripted ending. But if you were expecting Pitt to hedge about the sweat equity involved in finally releasing this morphing 3-D blockbuster, you’ve got the wrong man.

“Listen, I’m pretty proud of this film,” he says on a warm Los Angeles afternoon in May, dressed in black and hair tied back, those famous blue eyes twinkling. “I’ve really enjoyed especially this last six months, getting back in there and fixing it.”

More on that later. In War Z, Pitt plays Gerry Lane, a former United Nations investigator confronted by a raging worldwide pandemic of rabid zombies. This is apocalypse by extinction, and Lane is forced to leave his wife (the Globe and Emmy-nominated Mireille Enos) and two daughters to combat a threat multiplying by the hour.

Even among zombies, Gerry Lane might be the most relatable character Pitt has played in years: a father as tough as Bourne but fairly fallible, steadfast as Bond, yet hardly as skilled. “He’s someone who has special skills and has been in war zones, and crisis was his background. But at the same time he’s this everyman,” says director Marc Forster (Quantum of Solace).

“Gerry Lane,” Pitt chuckles. “One of the worst names in film ever. It was appropriate. I don’t know why it’s appropriate. Gerry with a ‘G’. He’s the anti-action hero. It’s an anti-action hero name.”

Read more. Thanks Beetlebug.

Cast of Fury visits Fort Irwin

Actors Brad Pitt, Shia LaBeouf, Logan Lerman, Jon Bernthal, Kevin Vance, director David Ayer, set coordinator Owen Thornton and co-producer Alex Ott from the movie, Fury, visited the National Training Center, June 26 – 28. This visit allowed the actors and crew to speak with Soldiers about their shared experiences and the intricacies of being a part of a tank crew.

Read more. Thanks also Nikki. Filming will take place in the UK and starts September, as far as I know.


• x032 June 26-28 – Visiting National Training Center – Fort Irwin, CA.

PS. Also spotted what seems to be a new tattoo for our Brad.
PS2. The BP Press Archive was updated by yours truly this week, along with the BP Media Archive (Talkshows ’13 & World War Z). More will get done this week.

Brad Pitt reveals why Jolie went public

Just hours before a Tuesday afternoon interview with USA TODAY, his partner Angelina Jolie revealed in a New York Times op-ed that she has undergone a double mastectomy and reconstruction after learning she carried the BRCA1 gene mutation, which doctors estimated gave her an 87% chance of developing breast cancer.

How is Pitt feeling? “I’m quite emotional about it, of course,” said the World War Z star. “She could have stayed absolutely private about it and I don’t think anyone would have been none the wiser with such good results. But it was really important to her to share the story and that others would understand it doesn’t have to be a scary thing. In fact, it can be an empowering thing, and something that makes you stronger and us stronger.”

Read more.

The Real Life of Brangelina

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.

Brad Pitt: America’s war on drugs is a charade, and a failure

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.

Brad Pitt is a man on the move

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.

Nearing 50, a heightened perspective for Pitt

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.

WWNO interviews Brad about MIR’s future

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.

Brad Pitt says New Orleans is getting it right

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.