Superstardom makes Brad Pitt easy to talk about.
September 29, 2011 11:41 AM   Subscribe

 
Good article, though I'd argue that in Moneyball, Brad Pitt is playing Robert Redford.
posted by grabbingsand at 11:56 AM on September 29, 2011 [16 favorites]


Eh. He's no George Clooney.
posted by The World Famous at 11:57 AM on September 29, 2011 [1 favorite]


All I do all day is think about Brad Pitt.
posted by Bunny Ultramod at 12:00 PM on September 29, 2011 [9 favorites]


No Johnny Suede?

(And I think he's actually playing himself in True Romance. Unless you think that he's not a stoner bro.)
posted by klangklangston at 12:01 PM on September 29, 2011 [1 favorite]


You're just thinking about the image of Brad Pitt, the shadow-Pitt that dances on the wall of the cave.
posted by clockzero at 12:01 PM on September 29, 2011 [18 favorites]


Overthinking a plate of Pitts.
posted by Trurl at 12:02 PM on September 29, 2011 [3 favorites]


I thought he seemed very Redfordian in the commercials for Moneyball. Good point, grabbingsand.
posted by Mister_A at 12:03 PM on September 29, 2011


I like Brad Pitt, I guess that makes me a rube.
posted by pwally at 12:04 PM on September 29, 2011


Weird, I could have sworn this was going to be about that Chad Schmidt movie that never happened...
posted by Ian A.T. at 12:05 PM on September 29, 2011 [2 favorites]


I feel compelled to point out that Angelina looks a lot like the octomom in that photo.
posted by Mister_A at 12:05 PM on September 29, 2011 [1 favorite]


I wonder what he and Gwyneth found to talk about.
posted by Trurl at 12:05 PM on September 29, 2011


For all that Brad Pitt has done for the people and the city of New Orleans, I will love him forever.
posted by ColdChef at 12:07 PM on September 29, 2011 [24 favorites]


The cover interview with him in Entertainment Weekly (it doesn't seem to be up on their site) basically surveyed his career, and he seems to have a similar take on himself--that he's a character actor.

I truly never got the "Brad Pitt Thing" until he started aging, and stopped a little with the shirtless glamor shots. I think outside of finding him amusing in True Romance, I didn't really like him-like him until Ocean's Eleven, where I enjoyed him immensely as a foil to Clooney.
posted by padraigin at 12:08 PM on September 29, 2011 [2 favorites]


It is impossible to overthink me. But thanks for trying.
posted by Brad Pitt at 12:08 PM on September 29, 2011 [33 favorites]


I though that was going to be the same old stuff about actors that play themselves like Christopher Walken, Al Pacino, Nicolas Cage, etc.. Although, off the top of my head I don't think there really are any other actors that play it up, for and against their own image, the way Brad Pitt does. Interesting.
posted by P.o.B. at 12:09 PM on September 29, 2011


Also, Full Frontal is a great movie.
posted by P.o.B. at 12:10 PM on September 29, 2011 [1 favorite]


I made it 5 paragraphs before I encountered a pretty central contradiction:

Brad Pitt didn’t make those things ideal; he became popular because his image matched the things that our society values.

...
[Pitt and Jolie] make practices and attitudes that might otherwise be “other,” “weird,” or otherwise transgressive into the mainstream

OK, so which is it?
posted by gurple at 12:11 PM on September 29, 2011 [1 favorite]


I think the point the first article is making is that we celebrate Pitt because he represents an idealize normalcy, but that this position allows him to participate in behavior that's at the fringes of being accepted (not getting married; adopting international children), and by the force of his stardom helps normalize that sort of thing.

And I agree with ColdChef about New Orleans.
posted by Bunny Ultramod at 12:13 PM on September 29, 2011 [3 favorites]


If Brad Pitt and George Clooney started dating

Now there's a thought to get me through the rest of the workday.
posted by en forme de poire at 12:14 PM on September 29, 2011 [29 favorites]


The roles she refers to as "roles in which Pitt is clearly playing against type" - 12 Monkeys, Fight Club, and Inglourious Basterds - are to me the deinitive Brad Pitt roles along with Seven and Spy Game (which she calls “Pictures When Pitt Plays Himself”). He's one of the few current superstar actors that interests me enough keep up on his current projects. Maybe I'm conveniently blocking out the fluff, but he seems to have a good track record and takes interesting chances with the roles he takes and how he approaches playing them. He's one of the most likable A-listers out there.
posted by Slack-a-gogo at 12:16 PM on September 29, 2011 [10 favorites]


And BU/gurple, I think he was really able to do most of the "transgressive" things after having built up a lot of social capital already. So there's some temporal distance that helps with the contradiction also. This is probably the nerdiest sentence about Brad Pitt I have ever written.
posted by en forme de poire at 12:16 PM on September 29, 2011


...so far.
posted by shakespeherian at 12:18 PM on September 29, 2011 [2 favorites]


These last few comments reminded me of this piece by Momus about Michael Jackson. He makes the point that celebrities (other than Michael Jackson) cultivate images of being both weird and ordinary. That's embodied in Brangelina.
posted by roll truck roll at 12:19 PM on September 29, 2011


Interesting points about Jesse James, which I also really enjoyed. (and which also has a beautiful score, by the way). Thanks for the post.
posted by neuromodulator at 12:20 PM on September 29, 2011 [1 favorite]


I don't like that they went so quickly into his personal life. I know a lot of people do, but personally I could care less about what ideology his family life and marriages have to do with anything. If I go and see a movie with Brad Pitt in it, I go because it's a movie that seems interesting which Brad Pitt happens to be in. Is it really appropriate to conflate his personal life with the roles he plays in movies?
posted by Hoopo at 12:22 PM on September 29, 2011


I don't have any useful thoughts about Brad Pitt! But I am glad to learn from this thread that he has benefited New Orleans!
posted by everichon at 12:23 PM on September 29, 2011 [1 favorite]


Pitt seems like a nice guy, the kind of person you'd like to sit down and have a drink with.

Which is to say, not the kind of criteria I'd use when deciding to vote for the person, but certainly the kind I'd use when deciding what movie to go see.

And that being said, I'd actually love to talk to the man about his movies, because he's repeatedly found himself in some of my favorite roles (the ones listed here as "Pitt as an actor"), which I can only assume is a testament to him enjoying playing against the work he's already done.
posted by quin at 12:24 PM on September 29, 2011 [1 favorite]


For those curious about Pitt's work in New Orleans, he's behind the Make It Right Foundation. Wikipedia discusses it somewhat.
posted by Bunny Ultramod at 12:26 PM on September 29, 2011


Is it really appropriate to conflate his personal life with the roles he plays in movies?

His actual personal life or his public relations personal life?
posted by The World Famous at 12:26 PM on September 29, 2011 [1 favorite]


He makes the point that celebrities (other than Michael Jackson) cultivate images of being both weird and ordinary.

This is true of literally everyone, if you look closely enough at them. So for this theory to have any interpretive traction, I would think you'd have to establish that the personas being promulgated are both weird and ordinary in ways different from how the celebrities themselves are weird and ordinary, at which point it starts to seem a lot like regular p.r.
posted by clockzero at 12:26 PM on September 29, 2011


The most impressive thing that I've ever read about Pitt is that Melissa Etheridge and some of her lesbian friends decided that they'd play for the other team only for Brad.
posted by Halloween Jack at 12:28 PM on September 29, 2011 [1 favorite]


I always figured that if they remade Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid, it'd be Brad Pitt and Matthew McConaughey.
posted by jquinby at 12:29 PM on September 29, 2011 [1 favorite]


I always figured that if they remade Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid, it'd be Brad Pitt and Matthew McConaughey.

I would go see that.
posted by padraigin at 12:31 PM on September 29, 2011 [8 favorites]


The most impressive thing that I've ever read about Pitt is that Melissa Etheridge and some of her lesbian friends decided that they'd play for the other team only for Brad.

She said this out loud often enough that it was very widely speculated that he fathered her children (turned out to be David Crosby, who is a sort of anti-Brad Pitt physically speaking).
posted by padraigin at 12:32 PM on September 29, 2011


I would go see that.

Actually, I would too, but only if they ditched the "Raindrops" scene.
posted by jquinby at 12:32 PM on September 29, 2011


I always figured that if they remade Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid, it'd be Brad Pitt and Matthew McConaughey.

I assume that by "they" you mean the Society Of Jerks Who Spit On The Grave Of Paul Newman.
posted by The World Famous at 12:35 PM on September 29, 2011 [12 favorites]


Someone please explain to me what the hell this phrase is:

(Not uncoincidentally,...

Does that mean coincidentally? Does it mean intentionally? Does it mean coincidentally? What is uncoincidental let alone NOT uncoincidental????
posted by spicynuts at 12:35 PM on September 29, 2011


It ain't not coincidental.
posted by Bunny Ultramod at 12:36 PM on September 29, 2011 [1 favorite]


I always figured that if they remade Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid, it'd be Brad Pitt and Matthew McConaughey.

Hmm... Pitt, yes, but I don't know about McConaughey. I love that perpetually stoned and shirtless Longhorn, but he hasn't been very impressive as an actor in a long time. Maybe a fellow Oceans player like Matt Damon.

Now there's a thought to get me through the rest of the workday.

Have you ever explored the world of fanfiction?
posted by kmz at 12:38 PM on September 29, 2011 [2 favorites]



The roles she refers to as "roles in which Pitt is clearly playing against type" - 12 Monkeys, Fight Club, and Inglourious Basterds - are to me the deinitive Brad Pitt roles


Pitt always struck me as a character actor trapped in a leading man's body. He does crazy and unhinged very well, and in movies that require him not to be at least slightly addled and hard to mentally relate to, his performances are sleepier and less interesting.
posted by The Whelk at 12:41 PM on September 29, 2011 [14 favorites]


Pitt always struck me as a character actor trapped in a leading man's body. He does crazy and unhinged very well, and in movies that require him not to be at least slightly addled and hard to mentally relate to, his performances are sleepier and less interesting.

This is precisely the point of my Moneyball review.
posted by Bunny Ultramod at 12:44 PM on September 29, 2011 [2 favorites]


Yeah, I mean, Burn After Reading. Character actor all the way.
posted by adamdschneider at 12:47 PM on September 29, 2011 [2 favorites]


For the story of exactly how he got himself trapped in that leading man's body, refer to kmz's fanfiction comment, above.
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 12:48 PM on September 29, 2011 [3 favorites]


I got caught up on this grammatical error which annoys the hell out of me, and I could read no further.. "(Whether or not this is true is completely besides the points: the sell it so well, it’s impossible not to buy)."

It's "BESIDE" the point!!! Not "besides" the point.! "Besides" doesn't even make sense for fuxsake. And the rest of the sentence? Who wrote this?
posted by Liquidwolf at 12:48 PM on September 29, 2011 [1 favorite]


Osbourne Cox?
posted by Horselover Phattie at 12:52 PM on September 29, 2011 [1 favorite]


"It’s a beautiful allusion to watch"

huh?
posted by stubby phillips at 12:52 PM on September 29, 2011


Malkovich. Malkovich?
posted by not_on_display at 12:54 PM on September 29, 2011 [1 favorite]


In Tree of Life Brad Pitt is not playing himself. He's very good and feels like a less virtuoso version of the big acting that Daniel Day Lewis does. If you want an Actor who plays himself as star look at Tom Cruise in everything except Tropic of Thunder. Even in Magnolia he's carried by a very Tom Cruise current.
posted by I Foody at 12:55 PM on September 29, 2011 [1 favorite]


It’s a beautiful allusion to watch

Two hands, beautiful face, time waits for no man...
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 12:55 PM on September 29, 2011 [1 favorite]


If you want an Actor who plays himself as star look at Tom Cruise in everything except Tropic of Thunder.

Based on the unpublished Henry Miller manuscript.
posted by theodolite at 1:00 PM on September 29, 2011 [12 favorites]


I love when it asks you to identify the mushroom. Get it wrong? TIME OUT!
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 1:00 PM on September 29, 2011 [9 favorites]


I love when I post a comment in the wrong thread, and it's actually better out of context.
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 1:02 PM on September 29, 2011 [11 favorites]


I love when it asks you to identify the mushroom. Get it wrong? TIME OUT!

I absolutely love this sort of comment.
posted by Bunny Ultramod at 1:02 PM on September 29, 2011 [1 favorite]


If you want an Actor who plays himself as star look at Tom Cruise in everything except Tropic of Thunder.


I disagree. The ONLY way that role works is because you know it's Tom Cruise.
posted by spicynuts at 1:02 PM on September 29, 2011 [4 favorites]


Though I don't like a lot of his movies, I think he's a pretty good actor.

Burn After Reading was fantastic. Sledge Hammer!

He went through a very public divorce, joining himself with another (sexual, sultry) woman who seemed to have moved in when he was still married to his first (All-American) wife.

Sexy, sultry vs. All-American? There's a LOT of baggage being unloaded here.

I haven't seen too many of his movies, but I don't see how the characters in A River Runs Through It and Tree of Life are similar at all. (Other than being portrayed by Brad Pitt.) Or what I Foody just said.

But Pitt and Jolie are just “normal” enough — and just beautiful enough — that they make practices and attitudes that might otherwise be “other,” “weird,” or otherwise transgressive into the mainstream.

WTF? Billy Bob Thornton and Angelina Jolie may have been mildly "transgressive" (isn't he a cross dresser?), but Brad and Angelina are a very socially conservative modern family, imo.

Also, Brad Pitt was in Being John Malkovich?! Was it in the puppet documentary or something? It must have been quick.
posted by mrgrimm at 1:04 PM on September 29, 2011


Also, Brad Pitt was in Being John Malkovich?!

Via Wikipedia: Brad Pitt also has a half-second-long cameo, as a miffed star in the documentary on Malkovich's career. He seems to be on the verge of saying something before the shot ends.
posted by Bunny Ultramod at 1:06 PM on September 29, 2011 [1 favorite]


WTF? Billy Bob Thornton and Angelina Jolie may have been mildly "transgressive" (isn't he a cross dresser?), but Brad and Angelina are a very socially conservative modern family, imo.

Yeah. One of the things I was totally bummed about when Angelina grew up and met Brad was that she stopped being a completely 100-proof no-denying-it wackaloon who was also apparently sort of sweet-natured and alternately irritated by and wistful about her dad, and became kind of...boring and normal. Angelina pre-Brad made me feel like it was okay to be crazy. Angelina post-Brad makes me feel like it's bokay to be crazy as long as you're under 30 and don't have any kids yet, and also it helps to be quite rich, famous and beautiful.
posted by Snarl Furillo at 1:10 PM on September 29, 2011 [6 favorites]


Via Wikipedia: Brad Pitt also has a half-second-long cameo, as a miffed star in the documentary on Malkovich's career.

Found it. ~2:07 C'mon. That shouldn't be even credited.

Sean Penn is hilarious, as is that whole scene. Don't fuck with your audience!
posted by mrgrimm at 1:13 PM on September 29, 2011


 If you want an Actor who plays himself as star look at Tom Cruise in everything except Tropic of Thunder. Even in Magnolia he's carried by a very Tom Cruise current.

My favorite Tom Cruise movie ever is "Collateral," in which Tom Cruise playing Tom Cruise The Melodramatic Sociopath Hitman is exactly identical to every other Tom Cruise portrayal, and that is why it works. You don't think "why is he not even bothering to stretch himself in the role this time?"; you think "OH MY GOD he has been this persona all along! He IS the melodramatic sociopath hitman dude playing a Tom Cruise dude playing these other dudes!"
posted by nicebookrack at 1:14 PM on September 29, 2011 [11 favorites]


There's a LOT of baggage being unloaded here.

Well yes, that's the point. I don't think the author necessarily agrees with these characterizations. She's pointing them out, not supporting them.

but Brad and Angelina are a very socially conservative modern family

First of all, I would be careful about stating that they "are" anything - they oftentimes present themselves as a socially conservative modern family, except for the fact that they're unmarried, have both biological children and adopted children, have non-traditional parenting styles that often come under severe criticism and scrutiny, etc. etc. So yes, if you define "conservative" as "monogamous breeders," then they present themselves as being conservative.
posted by muddgirl at 1:15 PM on September 29, 2011 [3 favorites]


(I posted this comment over there, too.)

This phenomenon happens all the time with bigger-than-life actors such as George Clooney, Julia Roberts, etc. For the most part, I don't mind -- mainly because I generally don't mind the actors themselves and their images. Brad Pitt seems to be in that category. He might always play himself,

However, the one person I cannot STAND is Tom Cruise. I can never, ever get past the innate Tom Cruiseyness of Tom Cruise because I feel like he's wrapped this tremendous artifice around his life. Even aside from all of the wacky Scientology stuff and gossipy rumors, he seems so wound-up and calculating... and not particularly self-aware. You never get the sense that he's relaxing into a character, even when that character is just himself in real life.

Interestingly, I think he got over that to some degree in Interview with the Vampire, in which a younger Brad Pitt was doing pretty much the same thing. But in Tropic Thunder, where Cruise was supposed to be making fun of the Hollywood system (and, to some degree, himself), it didn't work for me. Too much of a setup.

And that's where it splits for me, because (as written above) people like Pitt and Clooney, especially, seem to genuinely have fun with each other. That kind of chemistry begets some highly enjoyable movies... and even more enjoyable byproducts like "I'm F*cking Matt Damon" :)
posted by Madamina at 1:21 PM on September 29, 2011 [2 favorites]


what are the "non-traditional parenting styles" (that are any different from any other celebrity couple)?

Honestly, I don't follow them much. I remember seeing a tabloid story once about how Brad Pitt takes the kids on dangerous ATV rides or something, but that was about it.

What are we talking about here? Diaper-free babies? Waldorf schools? What's non-traditional about their parenting (aside from having a multiracial family, which isn't that unusual anymore)?

It seems like a very normal rich American family to me, but again, I do not follow them.
posted by mrgrimm at 1:24 PM on September 29, 2011


I always figured that if they remade Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid, it'd be Brad Pitt and Matthew McConaughey.

Pitt plays the Kid, fine, but McConaughey gets Butch, Paul Newman's role? That would be a crime against movies, truly.
posted by thinkpiece at 1:25 PM on September 29, 2011 [4 favorites]


What? No, clearly it would be the other way around.
posted by elizardbits at 1:27 PM on September 29, 2011


Pitt would definitely be the more relaxed Butch rather than the relatively high-strung Kid, despite his physical resemblance to Redford.
posted by shakespeherian at 1:31 PM on September 29, 2011


Well, I guess for me the Kid doesn't require too much acting, it's all in the jawline, eh? But Butch needs to spark and jibe and feint with the wit and the twinkle, all the while masking that tilting-at-windmills longing for money, Etta, Bolivia. I can't think on who'd do the job(the Ryans are too young) ... maybe Matt Damon?
posted by thinkpiece at 1:35 PM on September 29, 2011


It seems like a very normal rich American family to me, but again, I do not follow them.

I don't see how you get to "very socially conservative" from that though.

maybe Matt Damon?

That was my vote!
posted by kmz at 1:38 PM on September 29, 2011 [1 favorite]


This article isn't about the realities of the Jolie-Pitt family, but rather about their public presentation. Jolie, especially, faces a lot of criticism from many sources based on the public perception of her parenting choices.

"Why is Angelina turning Shiloh into A BOY? Is it harming the three year old?" -- Unfortunately, allowing your children to dress how they want is still a non-traditional parenting choice.

Zahara's uncombed hair - in my circles of the internet this was a huge deal back in 2009.

I think Jolie gets a lot of this criticism because of the old virgin/whore dichotomy, where paradoxically only virgins can be suitable mothers.
posted by muddgirl at 1:43 PM on September 29, 2011 [4 favorites]


Also, this blog is pretty awesome. Thanks, shakespeherian
posted by muddgirl at 1:45 PM on September 29, 2011


Brad Pitt opens movies,

See, that's the part that throws me. Pitt has had a notably unsuccessful career in his above-the-title roles. His career now runs to about thirty movies where he is not in a cameo, and of those, only about a quarter of them have gone comfortably past the $100-million dollar mark the delineates "hit" (and most of those have been big ensemble pieces like the Ocean's movies or Troy, where he kinda gets lost in the crowd). I am surprised that he still gets billed as the star of a movie, when Brad Pitt moves tend to be a whole lot of Seven Years in Tibet and Meet Joe Black and The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford. The guy has yet to make a movie as commercially successful as any of the Alvin and the Chipmunks movies. Don't get me wrong -- he is an appealing actor with surprisingly good comic skills, but I am puzzled that studios keep gambling on him when by the numbers, Chris Tucker or Tim Allen is a better bet.
posted by ricochet biscuit at 1:52 PM on September 29, 2011 [1 favorite]


I think I latched onto McConaughey because I was struck by how much he reminded me of Newman in A Time To Kill. There must've been a publicity still of him with a cigar or something. I confess I don't think I've seen him in much since then, so I'll defer.

Dunno about Damon as Butch. It needs to be someone who's simultaneously great-looking and slightly menacing with that twinkle that lets you know he'll likely to get out of anything (or that he has up until now). Not really sure who could pull that off these days.
posted by jquinby at 1:52 PM on September 29, 2011


I know right? Pitt is in a lot of crap, or complete bombs, he should be a liability in a leading role but still It's like we just collectively decided he should be The Movie Star and lo, he is.
posted by The Whelk at 1:54 PM on September 29, 2011 [3 favorites]


when by the numbers, Chris Tucker or Tim Allen is a better bet.

Chris Tucker is only a good bet if the title of the movie includes the words "Rush" and "Hour" and a number and where Tucker's name is next to the words "Jackie" and "Chan".

Also, the movie has to be released before 2008.

Pitt is in a lot of crap, or complete bombs

I'm looking at his IMDB page and not seeing a lot of crap or complete bombs. I mean, I thought Burn After Reading was really disappointing, but I'm not sure I'd call it crap. Babel was crap, I'll grant you that. But still "a lot of crap?" I'm not seeing it.
posted by The World Famous at 2:01 PM on September 29, 2011 [2 favorites]


*does not apply when critical-darling directors or Oscar-bait involved
posted by psoas at 2:12 PM on September 29, 2011 [1 favorite]


Dunno about Damon as Butch. It needs to be someone who's simultaneously great-looking and slightly menacing with that twinkle that lets you know he'll likely to get out of anything (or that he has up until now)...

Heath Ledger would have been the perfect partner for your Butch Cassidy remake with Brad, jquinby.

(The very thought makes me want to saddle up!!)
posted by Jody Tresidder at 2:13 PM on September 29, 2011 [2 favorites]


Brad Pitt films from 2000-2010:

Title, Budget (in millions), Box Office
Basterds, 70, 320
Button, 150, 333
Burn after reading, 36, 161
Assassination, 30, 15
Oceans 13, 85, 311
Oceans 12, 110, 360
Oceans 11, 85, 450
Babel, 25, 135
Megamind, 130, 360
Mr / Ms Smith, 110, 480
Troy, 175, 497
Spy Game, 92, 143
Mexican, 57, 147
Snatch, 10, 83

So with the exception of Assassination of Jesse James, Brad Pitt has always made money for films he has starred in, or come damn close to it. Just because films he stars in don't make 100 million dollars (although a lot of what he did between 2000 and 2010 appears to have done just that) they still make back 2-3 times the initial investment for the studios and people backing them.

That is good money right there. And of those movies, I'd say most of them are actually Good Movies as well, not just Michael Bay "fuck the frame" bullshit.
posted by mrzarquon at 2:16 PM on September 29, 2011 [2 favorites]


ricochet biscuit: what point are you trying to make? The movies Pitt stars in are the scripts he chooses. He can completely write his own way in Hollywood, and does so by picking challenging roles in smaller movies. No family was ever at the multiplex choosing between Alvin and the Chipmunks and The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford and going with the former because they like Jason Lee more. And Time Allen wouldn't have made Seven Years in Tibet open any geater than it did. These are completely invalid comparisons.

In other words, Pitt's presence gets these movies made in the first place, when without him there the studios would have passed. And since he doesn't have to play the family-film game, he doesn't.
posted by Navelgazer at 2:17 PM on September 29, 2011 [1 favorite]


Dunno if it's true, but Pitt's movies might do really well on DVD.
posted by Kevin Street at 2:17 PM on September 29, 2011


"Zahara's uncombed hair - in my circles of the internet this was a huge deal back in 2009."

I am terrified of your circles of the internet.
posted by klangklangston at 2:21 PM on September 29, 2011 [7 favorites]


He's not a actually a leading man. Much better in buddy films or stoner bro cameos. But of all the big name male actors, he is second only to Depp in the range of movies he has done.

As for the assassination of Jesse James, that was an award-bait film to show his chops, it was about building his brand, not making money.
posted by Ad hominem at 2:29 PM on September 29, 2011


Kind of off-topic, but am I the only person who didn't find Pitt's character in Snatch completely incomprehensible? There's a thick accent and some unfamiliar slang, but it's really not that hard to understand.
posted by asnider at 2:31 PM on September 29, 2011


I am terrified of your circles of the internet.

To my defense, most of my circle was critically engaging with the concept that it's OK to criticise Jolie's (rather harmless) parenting choices. So it's not that Zahara's hair was a big deal, but the fact that "Zahara's hair was a big deal" was a big deal. Or something.
posted by muddgirl at 2:35 PM on September 29, 2011


asnider, no, you weren't the only one, but I think you have to be used to decyphering different accents in order for it to seem simple. People who are insulated and only hear a few dialects of their own language tend to have a narrow view of what is and isn't comprehensible.
posted by daq at 2:35 PM on September 29, 2011


I saw "Mr. and Mrs. Smith" on an airplane, and it was so terrible I contemplated blowing the emergency exit.
posted by Horselover Phattie at 2:36 PM on September 29, 2011 [1 favorite]


As for the assassination of Jesse James, that was an award-bait film to show his chops, it was about building his brand, not making money.

I don't meant to project too much of your world view from one sentence, but this is such a cynical reaction to what I saw as an actually good and thoughtful film, and it seems sad to react that way to something just because it obviously has non-commercial aspects. There are reasons to make something other than making money, brand-building, or showing off. I know you might not be saying that, but it sounds like that's what your'e saying.
posted by neuromodulator at 2:36 PM on September 29, 2011 [3 favorites]


ugh don't mean to, obviously
posted by neuromodulator at 2:39 PM on September 29, 2011


Pitt always struck me as a character actor trapped in a leading man's body. He does crazy and unhinged very well, and in movies that require him not to be at least slightly addled and hard to mentally relate to, his performances are sleepier and less interesting.


This is because Brad Pitt is not an exceptional actor. People seem think he is but he is not. He needs a tic or some kind of exaggerated or over the top characterization to latch on to. Watch him in 12 Monkeys, which AFAIK was his first "wow Brad Pitt is a good actor role"... It's all exaggeration and neuroses, big movement smoke and mirrors. Now check out Fight Club. Same schtick. He is a decent, serviceable actor, nothing more.
posted by nathancaswell at 2:40 PM on September 29, 2011 [1 favorite]


PS Pitt is a better "actor" but Clooney is 100x the classic "movie star" that Pitt is.
posted by nathancaswell at 2:43 PM on September 29, 2011


PPS, neither one is Peter Mullan.
posted by nathancaswell at 2:44 PM on September 29, 2011


Watch him in 12 Monkeys, which AFAIK was his first "wow Brad Pitt is a good actor role"... It's all exaggeration and neuroses, big movement smoke and mirrors. Now check out Fight Club.

Now watch The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford. Same tics.
posted by shakespeherian at 2:45 PM on September 29, 2011 [1 favorite]


Not sure if anyone mentioned this, because I only skimmed the comments here, but I thought the first article made an interesting point regarding the apparent ease of Pitt's charisma. He's normal and likable with such ease, and since we see that as a reflection of his persona both on and off screen, what we like about him is that he shows it's possible to be that normal. He defines the upper edge of normality and likeability.

Well, I like him, anyway.
posted by malapropist at 2:48 PM on September 29, 2011 [1 favorite]


I thought Clooney was great on the basis of Solaris.
posted by neuromodulator at 2:49 PM on September 29, 2011 [2 favorites]


You're being facetious, but watch him in Tree of Life... the clenching and unclenching of the jaw, the offset jaw itself, the sudden movements that indicate there's some violence underneath... these are effective but, to me, too similar to many of his other characters. He plays a pile characterizations, not characters.

Jessie James was pretty, lots of staring off and looking stoic and difficult to get a bead on, nothing remarkably difficult to pull of there, IMO.
posted by nathancaswell at 2:50 PM on September 29, 2011


Watch him in 12 Monkeys, which AFAIK was his first "wow Brad Pitt is a good actor role"

I thought he was pretty darn good in Thelma & Louise. And I am a straight man.

I don't meant to project too much of your world view from one sentence, but this is such a cynical reaction to what I saw as an actually good and thoughtful film, and it seems sad to react that way to something just because it obviously has non-commercial aspects.

I fell asleep during The Assassination of Jesse James. Snoooooooooze. I didn't like Tree of Life that much, but I thought it was a much better slow movie.

Butch Cassidy = Craig Robinson
Sundance Kid = Donald Glover

So obvious.
posted by mrgrimm at 2:50 PM on September 29, 2011 [3 favorites]


But of all the big name male actors, he is second only to Depp in the range of movies he has done.

Antonio Banderas. Tom Hanks. Daniel Day-Lewis?
posted by mrgrimm at 2:52 PM on September 29, 2011


This is because Brad Pitt is not an exceptional actor.

Contrast for comparison and supporting material: Clive Owen & Chiwetel Ejiofor.
posted by bonehead at 2:52 PM on September 29, 2011


I thought he was pretty darn good in Thelma & Louise.

He plays a good dreamboat cause he's a dreamboat. That's like saying he was great in Legends of the Fall. Sure, he was extremely effective in the role, cast very well and didn't fuck it up. But that doesn't make him a great actor.
posted by nathancaswell at 2:53 PM on September 29, 2011


I'd totally pay to see BCatSDK with Clive and Chiwetel, btw.
posted by bonehead at 2:53 PM on September 29, 2011 [3 favorites]


these are effective but, to me, too similar to many of his other characters.

I think you're confusing what makes someone a good actor and what makes someone a good character actor. A good actor doesn't need to be able to play 63 radically different kinds of people. The King of Comedy mostly aside, DeNiro's characters all share a vast number of similarities, because they are being brought to life by the same guy, and being translated through his particular physicality. That doesn't mean he's a middling actor.
posted by shakespeherian at 2:56 PM on September 29, 2011 [1 favorite]


They forgot Cool World, where he plays a note-perfect '40s GI-turned-gumshoe. Also, Ralph Bakshi's last movie.
posted by Slap*Happy at 2:57 PM on September 29, 2011


Needs more Brad Pitt.
posted by Mom at 2:58 PM on September 29, 2011


Butch Cassidy = Craig Robinson
Sundance Kid = Donald Glover

So obvious.


I would also like to see this movie.

I'd totally pay to see BCatSDK with Clive and Chiwetel, btw.


Basically I would like for several people to remake this film with different actors, and then I will watch them all on Netflix while folding laundry, and report my findings.
posted by padraigin at 2:59 PM on September 29, 2011 [9 favorites]


Would you use fabric softener?

Knowing the answer to that is critical to assessing your report.
posted by Kirth Gerson at 3:02 PM on September 29, 2011


Butch Cassidy should be Ryan Gosling and Michael Fassbender, duh (although from his turn as Magneto he will need a dialect coach).
posted by nathancaswell at 3:02 PM on September 29, 2011 [1 favorite]


I was never all "hubba-hubba, Brad Pitt, OMG" until a friend reminded me that he was in Thelma and Louise, apparently his breakout role. And now I'm all "hubba-hubba, Brad Pitt, OMG."

I'm not a celebrity watcher, and I haven't seen most of his movies, but I have a lot of respect for his social conscience.
posted by theora55 at 3:03 PM on September 29, 2011 [1 favorite]


Unfortunately, the actual remake of Butch and Sundance will star Martin Lawrence and Will Smith, directed by Michael Mann, processed so that the only colors in the film are blue and amber, and every decent line in the entire movie will be replaced with "aw hell no."
posted by The World Famous at 3:08 PM on September 29, 2011 [8 favorites]


I'm gonna derail for just a sec 'cause I have no where else to put this observation and I gotta testify: the kiss between Ryan Gosling and Carrie Mulligan in the elevator in Drive? Wow. I've never seen Brad Pitt (or my beloved Johnny D.) sizzle like that on screen. Nearly as, uh, riveting as Viggo and Maria Bello on the steps in A History of Violence ...
posted by thinkpiece at 3:09 PM on September 29, 2011 [2 favorites]


The Bolivians are here... Shit just got REAL.
posted by nathancaswell at 3:10 PM on September 29, 2011 [3 favorites]


Oh! We watched Drive last night, that was a great movie.
posted by tumid dahlia at 3:10 PM on September 29, 2011


Man I do not know what is wrong with me. Because I can't really get into some "acting actors" (mostly Clive Owen or Leonardo DiCaprio) in the current trend of smart-action-moves like (respectively) Children of Men or Inception. If I wasn't lazy, I would make a fan edit of Inception that magically erased DiCaprio. Maybe he could be like a ghost or something. Maybe I'm shallow and can't get over their craggy faces? I just don't know! It's disorienting because I walk out of movies that they're in, and I read some reviews and no one else sees it the way I do.

Also, I was totally going to make a comment about Brad Pitt and George Clooney and their "totally heterosexual" dudelove, and I was going to back it up with a recent photo-shoot where they were flirting in a totally straight way, but then I looked it up and it was actually Gosling and Clooney! So maybe that's just how Clooney is with every attractive younger costar.
posted by muddgirl at 3:15 PM on September 29, 2011 [1 favorite]


Wait until you see Brad Pitt in the remake of Au Hasard Balthazar. You won't even notice that it's an actor in a donkey suit.
posted by perhapses at 3:18 PM on September 29, 2011 [1 favorite]


The proof that Brad Pitt is an amazing actor is in all those scenes in Fight Club where he's playing Edward Norton.
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 3:23 PM on September 29, 2011 [8 favorites]


It's a long time ago, but Pitt was pretty good in Kalifornia as well.

Lucy's gone. I'll call you Shelley. Hi Shelley!
posted by LionIndex at 3:24 PM on September 29, 2011 [2 favorites]


I've questioned George's orientation for a long while.
posted by thinkpiece at 3:24 PM on September 29, 2011


Martin Lawrence and Will Smith

Funny, because they're black?
posted by Threeway Handshake at 3:25 PM on September 29, 2011


I'm with you that Inception was an emotionless, overly crafted (if admittedly technically impressive) clunker that was more interested in establishing rules and following them with a shortsighted intensity. But Children of Men, shit, that movie is sublime. It makes me want to cry every five minutes. If it's not reaching into your stomach and squeezing your organs it's handling something else with just the most effortless artistic touch, the kind of virtuoso shit that makes you want to just give up all your hopes and aspirations of succeeding in that field, because YOU'RE NEVER GOING TO BE THAT GOOD.

In film school I had a professor who used to want to be a musician until the first time she heard Philip Glass. That's what I feel like about every 10 minutes while watching Children of Men.
posted by nathancaswell at 3:27 PM on September 29, 2011 [3 favorites]


Because I can't really get into some "acting actors" (mostly Clive Owen...

If you haven't already, I very much recommend Shoot 'Em Up. It's an unbelievably over the top action movie with Owen, Paul Giamatti, and Monica Bellucci. It's hard to describe beyond "OMG!" and "FUCKING AWESOME!"

Owen is certainly an actor's actor, but here is he just clearly having a lot of fun, (even when he's being stone-faced and cold).

It's not a good movie, but it is a great movie, if you know what I mean.
posted by quin at 3:28 PM on September 29, 2011 [2 favorites]


Funny, because they're black?

No, because they're often in really terrible buddy action comedies.

Why would them being black be funny?
posted by The World Famous at 3:28 PM on September 29, 2011


But Children of Men, shit, that movie is sublime.

Sure, when I mentally deleted Clive Owen from every scene. I admit that I have a problem.
posted by muddgirl at 3:29 PM on September 29, 2011 [1 favorite]


Funny, because they're black?

No, funny cause they're in Bad Boys.
posted by nathancaswell at 3:29 PM on September 29, 2011


The star of any Butch Cassidy remake would have to be Viggo Mortensen. This seems obvious to me.
posted by BitterOldPunk at 3:39 PM on September 29, 2011 [2 favorites]


I'd like to see a squabbling old dude version of Butch Cassidy. Maybe Paul Newman and Clint Eastwood.
posted by Ad hominem at 3:42 PM on September 29, 2011


I'd like to see a squabbling old dude version of Butch Cassidy. Maybe Paul Newman and Clint Eastwood.

You might have a hard time getting Paul Newman for the role.
posted by The World Famous at 3:43 PM on September 29, 2011 [1 favorite]


I haven't seen BC&TSK recently, but I assume if a remake were made for 2012 release, it would star Ryan Gosling and Jeremy Renner.
posted by muddgirl at 3:44 PM on September 29, 2011


Nah, if we can do a CGI Jeff Bridges we can do a Paul Newman.
posted by Horselover Phattie at 3:45 PM on September 29, 2011


Just get Andy Serkis in one of those CGI suits and we'll be set.
posted by muddgirl at 3:46 PM on September 29, 2011


Nah, if we can do a CGI Jeff Bridges we can do a Paul Newman.

We cannot do a CGI Jeff Bridges.
posted by The World Famous at 3:48 PM on September 29, 2011 [5 favorites]


> We cannot do a CGI Jeff Bridges.

Sure we can. And the software is incrementally better by now so CGI Paul Newman will look 12% less creepy.
posted by Horselover Phattie at 3:54 PM on September 29, 2011


Agree that Shoot 'Em Up is a great movie, and Children of Men is a sublime movie. But I liked Inception, too.

As for the Butch Cassidy remake, you're all thinking too linearly. You'd really need to reinvent the characters, rather than play to the Redford / Newman types. So, instead, I give you: Walton Goggins and Neil Patrick Harris.
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 3:55 PM on September 29, 2011 [1 favorite]


Butch Cassidy And The Sundance Kid 2

Starring

Patrick Stewart as Butch Cassidy
Ian McKellen as The Sundance Kid
and Miranda Richardson as Etta Place
posted by dng at 3:56 PM on September 29, 2011


Sure we can

Your link is to a video of a blank screen. I have no idea what you're talking about.
posted by The World Famous at 4:01 PM on September 29, 2011


He’s the quintessential movie star.

Which isn't remotely true. Maybe due to a lack of charismatic, handsome leading men, but stacked up against the real stars of the Golden Age, he's not even close. It's nice that she's got a PhD but I don't think she has any actual grasp on what separates actors from stars.

Plainly put, actors become stars through two primary means:

1.) Playing “themselves” on screen, which is to say playing a relatively consistent version of their established image;

2.) Maintaining an extratextual (“private”) life that reinforces that image.


Stars have mystery--until he married Jolie, he was in danger of losing that, I think, and becoming accessible, etc.

But in general--I'm not remotely impressed with this person's writing or insights. His bit part in Thelma and Louise did not establish the persona--but he blew everyone else off the screen.
posted by Ideefixe at 4:06 PM on September 29, 2011


You might have a hard time getting Paul Newman for the role.

Fucking knew it, as soon as I clicked submit I thought "Newman is dead isn't he". Oh well, gotta revise my pitch for the Grumpy Old Men meets Butch Cassidy flick.
posted by Ad hominem at 4:08 PM on September 29, 2011


Maybe due to a lack of charismatic, handsome leading men

That's just, like, your opinion, man.

Honestly I get confused when people try to argue that Brad Pitt doesn't have that "movie star" quality. Maybe we're watching different movies.

Stars have mystery

I don't think this has ever been true. Stars (especially "Golden Age" stars) have a perfectly-crafted "private life."
posted by muddgirl at 4:12 PM on September 29, 2011


Stars have mystery

I don't think this has ever been true.


Cygnus X-1 is pretty mysterious.
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 4:17 PM on September 29, 2011 [5 favorites]


I'd totally pay to see BCatSDK with Clive and Chiwetel, btw.

I WILL PAY ONE HUNDRED AMERICAN DOLLARS TO SEE THIS MOVIE. (but only if the "Raindrops Keep Fallin' On My Head" scene is replaced with something equally jarringly awful)

(Chewy and Clive Owen should be in every movie)
posted by biscotti at 4:32 PM on September 29, 2011 [1 favorite]


The first time I remember thinking "Wow. Brad Pitt can really act." was when I saw Kalifonia. He gave my roommate nightmares.
posted by 4ster at 4:36 PM on September 29, 2011


Sorry, I can't agree that stars don't have mystery! That's what makes a movie star, a star! The studio versions of their lives was pure fantasy, and even the most ardent fan-mag reader knew it. But when the audience sits down in the theater--they're not thinking about how Photoplay showed us Ava Gardner's dressing table--the star is there for the fan to project his/her own fantasy onto.

I don't mean that Pitt isn't a movie star, but rather the writer's overblown notion of him as the "quintessential star" which is balderdash, but she's a newly minted PhD, so take that with a grain of salt.

But what would have happened if Clooney, who auditioned many times for Ridley Scott, had gotten the part instead of Pitt?
posted by Ideefixe at 4:42 PM on September 29, 2011


Paul Newman was, is, and forever will be THE quintessential American movie star. Brad Pitt will be little more than a trivia question answer decades from now.
posted by Renoroc at 4:56 PM on September 29, 2011 [1 favorite]


Brad Pitt was very funny in Burn After Reading. His scene in the car with John Malkovich is fantastic.
posted by straight at 5:15 PM on September 29, 2011 [1 favorite]


I find comments like "So and so will always and forever be #1!" this to be odd, and maybe a little naive. Sure, Brad Pitt will be a trivia question answer in the future (future future), but so will Paul Newman. I think we all tend to prefer and give greater importance to cultural touchstones that happened in our lifetimes or affected us in our formative years, etc, and I think that often we can't see beyond that.

I watch a lot of movies, varied in time, location, genre, etc, and I have actually never watched a Paul Newman movie. He's just not a cultural touchstone for me. By and large, I don't listen to the music my grandparents or parents did, and my kids probably won't listen to what I do (even though In the Aeroplane Over the Sea is and always will be the quintessential Indie Rock album FOREVER).

The best things (to me, anyway) about pop culture are that it is always moving and completely impermanent.
posted by arcticwoman at 5:19 PM on September 29, 2011


You might have a hard time getting Paul Newman for the role.

Fucking knew it, as soon as I clicked submit I thought "Newman is dead isn't he". Oh well, gotta revise my pitch for the Grumpy Old Men meets Butch Cassidy flick.


How can Paul Newman possibly be dead when I see his smiling face on every bag of dog treats I buy?? I was certain the man was still alive because he's all over the grocery store. I realize there's precedent for a dude to be deceased and still hawking cereal or whatever, but that just seems wrong.

Anyway, my votes for the BCatSDK remake are Simon Pegg and Nick Frost Brad Pitt and Jude Law. Jude Law can wear the same 'stache he had in Sherlock Holmes.
posted by oneirodynia at 5:33 PM on September 29, 2011


I watch a lot of movies, varied in time, location, genre, etc, and I have actually never watched a Paul Newman movie.

Not even Cars or The Hudsucker Proxy? I strongly suggest watching a Paul Newman movie sometime. There are some truly great ones.
posted by The World Famous at 5:36 PM on September 29, 2011 [1 favorite]


BCatSDK remake

Brett & Jemaine.
posted by maxwelton at 5:37 PM on September 29, 2011 [4 favorites]


Maybe a little OT, but how normal is Brad Pitt? My favorite story:

Toward the end of the card counting team's run (it's a long story, told in my glory days on kuro5hin) my wife was in Vegas trying to find a playable high stakes blackjack game. She was in the Hard Rock and spots a $100 minimum table where one guy is playing. There's some people milling around but she's eyeing up the game and it looks good, fast action and dealt deep, so she decides to get in what play she can before she's busted.

She plays for four hours, with zero heat. She makes small talk with the dealer and the other guy and she is doing all the things that get you caught counting cards, spreading ridiculous ratios and top bets in the mid 4 figures per hand, and nobody is paying any attention to her. Finally she realizes she is too exhausted to keep playing and leaves.

Back at the hotel room she gets a text message broadcast to the team saying "Saw Y over at the Hard Rock playing blackjack with Brad Effing Pitt. Must be nice."

Later she would say, "well, he did kinda look like Brad Pitt."
posted by localroger at 5:42 PM on September 29, 2011 [6 favorites]


oneirodynia, I'm not sure how familiar you are with Newman's Own, but it's worth pointing out that all their profits go to charity. Paul Newman cared a lot about the causes the company supported, and I think it's great that it's managed to carry on after his death.
posted by naoko at 5:44 PM on September 29, 2011 [1 favorite]


I'm part of the Fight Club generation, so I have to love him.
posted by Lovecraft In Brooklyn at 5:51 PM on September 29, 2011


Paul Newman the movie star, awesome.
Paul Newman the salsa, terrible.
posted by nathancaswell at 6:06 PM on September 29, 2011


But the lemonade! And Newman-O's, omg...
posted by naoko at 6:13 PM on September 29, 2011


Paul Newman was, is, and forever will be THE quintessential American movie star. Brad Pitt will be little more than a trivia question answer decades from now.

Dude, there is an entire generation of people for whom Paul Newman only means salad dressing and popcorn.
posted by elizardbits at 6:15 PM on September 29, 2011 [2 favorites]


In college, my friends and I went through a rather lengthy period where we drank a lot of Newman's lemonade with vodka. I still like his pasta sauce.
posted by muddgirl at 6:22 PM on September 29, 2011


Dude, there is an entire generation of people for whom Paul Newman only means salad dressing and popcorn.

Hey now, he's both Butch Cassidy and the Newman-Os man for me and all of my siblings (the youngest of whom is 16).
posted by naoko at 6:23 PM on September 29, 2011


I am still bitter from the time my cousin's extremely cretinous ex-gf mistook Brando in Apocalypse Now for Billy Zane.
posted by elizardbits at 6:26 PM on September 29, 2011 [3 favorites]


That was the best damned performance of Billy Zane's career. Don't you dare take that away from him.
posted by The World Famous at 6:31 PM on September 29, 2011 [3 favorites]


Paul Newman was local when I lived in Westport, but I never met him.
posted by Lovecraft In Brooklyn at 6:38 PM on September 29, 2011


I thought you might be worried
posted by adamdschneider at 6:39 PM on September 29, 2011 [1 favorite]


about the security
posted by adamdschneider at 6:39 PM on September 29, 2011 [1 favorite]


of your shit.
posted by adamdschneider at 6:39 PM on September 29, 2011 [1 favorite]


I'm not sure how familiar you are with Newman's Own

All I know is that the copywriter for their salad dressing labels is batshit insane:

The great salad dressing balloon race across the boot of Italy. An armada of balloons loaded with Low fat Sesame Ginger. The starters gun - Bazoombah! They all rise majestically into the air. Newman's Own balloon, with fewer calories, more taste, and secretly propelled by charity, flies faster than Kraft and further than Wishbone. First across. First on the ground. El Piloto quaffs mucho quaffs of Newman's Own Low Fat Sesame Ginger in victory. A medium light Italian starlet, daughter of Butch Cassidini, named Bitch Cassidini, leaps into the balloon basket, kisses Piloto, her lips smeared with Newman's Own Low Fat, she murmurs: You taste of Sicily, of Vesuvius, of Naples, baby, and patting his fanny she whispers: and no fat.
posted by straight at 7:18 PM on September 29, 2011 [8 favorites]


Good article. However:
It’s brilliant, and it’s why he’s been the biggest male star, both domestically and internationally, for more than a decade.
Except for Will Smith, right?
posted by pts at 7:31 PM on September 29, 2011


Angelina post-Brad makes me feel like it's okay to be crazy as long as you're under 30 and don't have any kids yet,

Well, yeah. When you have kids, you probably want to keep "crazy" to a mild level. Angelina Jolie was a little out-there in her 20s and chilled out when she got older and started a family. What's wrong with that?
posted by spaltavian at 9:08 PM on September 29, 2011


Angelina wasn't that crazy.
posted by Lovecraft In Brooklyn at 9:09 PM on September 29, 2011


Paul Newman was, is, and forever will be THE quintessential American movie star.

This may be true. But while I wanted to watch Paul Newman perform on the big screen, I wanted to BE Steve McQueen.
posted by BitterOldPunk at 9:12 PM on September 29, 2011 [1 favorite]




I always figured that if they remade Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid, it'd be Brad Pitt and Matthew McConaughey.

I assume that by "they" you mean the Society Of Jerks Who Spit On The Grave Of Paul Newman.
posted by The World Famous at 3:35 PM on September 29 [13 favorites +] [!]


I think this is the first comment that ever made me nod sagely and laugh out loud at the same time.
posted by sweetkid at 9:12 PM on September 29, 2011


Most of the time, especially in his recent films, he’s doing a lot of eating.

Someone actually compiled a list of foods Brad Pitt has eaten in his movies.

I love celebrities as much as the next person, but I'd also love to see this kind of attention to detail directed at something that would make the world a better place.
posted by twoleftfeet at 9:36 PM on September 29, 2011


Pitt is in a lot of crap, or complete bombs, he should be a liability in a leading role but still It's like we just collectively decided he should be The Movie Star and lo, he is.

This is such a generically jaded comment that it seems like someone would have posted this exact sentence is any thread about any big actor. His films make a lot of money, so they aren't bombs. And the movies he appears in, while not frequently to my taste, tend not to be Hollywood dreck. His list of films is far more respectable than other big movie stars; compare his movies over the last 10 or 15 years to say, Samuel L. Jackson, Nic Cage or even Edward Norton. Pitt hasn't done comic book movies, too much animated pay check work, or dreadful comedies.

I absolutely hated Inglorious Basterds , but it wasn't a standard prepackaged action movie. The Ocean's movies were sort of standard Hollywood drivel, but even then, he was actually really good in them and the first one had a sense of style. And, more importantly, you can tell he did the sequels because he liked doing them. He was having fun; which is actually something I like about an actor- do "meaningful" movies between mainstream movies you actually enjoy doing. "Fun" is still the primary reason for movies to exist, and I don't begrudge an actor doing a light movie, provided that they actually are entertaining. The problem with Michael Bay-type movies isn't that they aren't sufficiently "serious", but they fail at being fun. Pitt makes fun movies.
posted by spaltavian at 9:36 PM on September 29, 2011 [1 favorite]


> Someone actually compiled a list of foods Brad Pitt has eaten in his movies.

You notice that Fight Club and Twelve Monkeys aren't on the list.

So Brad Pitt only eats when he is playing Brad Pitt.
posted by mrzarquon at 9:47 PM on September 29, 2011 [2 favorites]



This is such a generically jaded comment that it seems like someone would have posted this exact sentence is any thread about any big actor. His films make a lot of money, so they aren't bombs. And the movies he appears in, while not frequently to my taste, tend not to be Hollywood dreck. His list of films is far more respectable than other big movie stars; compare his movies over the last 10 or 15 years to say, Samuel L. Jackson, Nic Cage or even Edward Norton. Pitt hasn't done comic book movies, too much animated pay check work, or dreadful comedies.


Nothing wrong with comic book movies. He's been in some great, entertaining, though-provoking films.
posted by Lovecraft In Brooklyn at 9:54 PM on September 29, 2011


I have a lot of respect for his social conscience

I recall his comments about the occupation of Tibet showed an utter lack of social conscience, though I can't find the quote in the first six pages of google results. His callousness was the cause of a fair bit of disappointment among Tibetan sympathisers who had been fond of him the way so many are.

Has he changed?
posted by not_that_epiphanius at 9:56 PM on September 29, 2011


The most impressive thing that I've ever read about Pitt is that Melissa Etheridge and some of her lesbian friends decided that they'd play for the other team only for Brad.

I would go see that.
posted by pracowity at 10:51 PM on September 29, 2011


I think I've caught maybe caught two interviews with Brad Pitt. One was in Esquire and he didn't have much of anything intelligent to say, but I try not to have expectations about people like that especially if they have to dance like a trained monkey in real life. The other time was on MTV maybe a year or so after Shania Twain had that "You don't impress me much" song. They did some quick little bits with questions as all the little girls were screaming and then they did some trivia stuff. They play that song and he basically just sat there with the same dumb little smile not showing any recognition at all. The VeeJay, or whatever the fuck they call them, looks at him like "WTF? You don't recognize that song?" Nope, he really didn't know a hit single, which had been relentlessly played over the airwaves, was made about him.
So Brad Pitt either just doesn't give a damn and is seriously disconnected from pop culture or he is one damn fine actor without any obvious tells.
posted by P.o.B. at 2:54 AM on September 30, 2011


Or both.

Or some other thing.
posted by Kirth Gerson at 4:17 AM on September 30, 2011


Has he changed? Based on a comment about Tibet that you don't actually remember? Deary me. Maybe you should see the comments above re New Orleans and consider his social conscience.
posted by h00py at 4:20 AM on September 30, 2011


I think he's just this guy, you know?
posted by h00py at 4:21 AM on September 30, 2011 [4 favorites]


I feel compelled to point out that Angelina looks a lot like the octomom in that photo.

Actually, Mister_A, you have that backwards. The cartoonishly-crazy octomom actually had plastic surgery to make her look more like her obsession, Angelina. She denies it, but then Ahmadinejad denies things, too.
posted by IAmBroom at 9:47 AM on September 30, 2011


As a fellow Southwest Missouri native, I really appreciate Brad's loyalty to his roots, as demonstrated by his donations after the Joplin tornado.
posted by naoko at 9:56 AM on September 30, 2011 [1 favorite]


They play that song and he basically just sat there with the same dumb little smile not showing any recognition at all.

That anecdote don't impress me much.
posted by nathancaswell at 9:59 AM on September 30, 2011 [1 favorite]


That song was hell. Good for him for somehow having missed it.
posted by sweetkid at 10:01 AM on September 30, 2011


They play that song and he basically just sat there with the same dumb little smile not showing any recognition at all. The VeeJay, or whatever the fuck they call them, looks at him like "WTF? You don't recognize that song?" Nope, he really didn't know a hit single, which had been relentlessly played over the airwaves, was made about him.

You're so vain. You probably don't even know this overplayed, crappy, Mutt Lange-overproduced hit country-pop single is about you. Don't you? Don't you? Don't you?

So Brad Pitt either just doesn't give a damn and is seriously disconnected from pop culture or he is one damn fine actor without any obvious tells.

I don't listen to the radio or watch any sort of music television programming at all. Ever. Nevertheless, I heard that song so many times when it was popular that I still am tempted to gouge my ears out even just reading its name. But this is the very first time that I have ever heard any suggestion that the song is related in any way to Brad Pitt.

So maybe Brad Pitt is all three of those really great things that you mentioned (i.e. doesn't give a damn, is disconnected from pop culture, and is also a fine actor), or maybe he's like me and just doesn't listen to the lyrics of the one of the worst songs ever written in the history of music, even when it's playing all the freaking time.

but I try not to have expectations about people like that especially if they have to dance like a trained monkey in real life.

We all have to dance like a trained monkey in real life. It's just that most of us don't get filmed while we do it and don't get paid very well for it.
posted by The World Famous at 10:36 AM on September 30, 2011 [2 favorites]


Nope, he really didn't know a hit single, which had been relentlessly played over the airwaves, was made about him. So Brad Pitt either just doesn't give a damn and is seriously disconnected from pop culture or he is one damn fine actor without any obvious tells.

I'm sorry, but even in 1997, there wasn't some homogeneous "pop culture" in which everyone listened to top 40 radio and MTV. And the song isn't "about" Brad Pitt, it just mentions his name as a synonym for "handsome."
posted by straight at 10:45 AM on September 30, 2011 [3 favorites]


The song name checks Brad, but I never got the impression it was supposed to be about him, since many of the other things she says she's not impressed with don't match up to Brad at all (rocket scientists, for example). When she sings "Okay, so you're Brad Pitt, That don't impress me much, So you got the looks but have you got the touch," she isn't literally saying she doesn't like Brad Pitt. She name checks Elvis, too, but no one says the song is "about" Elvis. As straight says above, she just uses Brad as a synonym for "handsome." And actually, if you did try to take the song literally, it would just mean that she isn't impressed with Brad Pitt's good looks because he won't have sex with her.
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 10:57 AM on September 30, 2011 [1 favorite]


We all have to dance like a trained monkey in real life. It's just that most of us don't get filmed while we do it and don't get paid very well for it.

Also, some of us got really substandard monkey-training.
posted by Kirth Gerson at 11:11 AM on September 30, 2011 [3 favorites]


Well, how else are you supposed to train substandard monkeys?
posted by mrzarquon at 11:39 AM on September 30, 2011 [2 favorites]


(I realize the hyphen is in the wrong place for the joke to work)
posted by mrzarquon at 11:39 AM on September 30, 2011


That anecdote don't impress me much.

Aren't you? I wrote it just about you, or at least name checked you in it. Or... well at least it was directed at you, you great looking sly little bastard you. I AM NOT TRYING TO IMPRESS YOU!

*DancesDancesDances*
posted by P.o.B. at 12:22 PM on September 30, 2011


I'd totally pay to see BCatSDK with Clive and Chiwetel, btw.

I'd totally pay to see BCatSDK with Derek and Clive, btw.
posted by biffa at 5:00 PM on September 30, 2011


The most impressive thing that I've ever read about Pitt is that Melissa Etheridge and some of her lesbian friends decided that they'd play for the other team only for Brad.

This applies to myself and my hetero male friends as well.
posted by davey_darling at 4:00 AM on October 1, 2011


So is this supposed to be a sort of Brad Pitt is always Brad Pitt like Alan Alda was always "himself" nonsense? Does the author know him personally?

I admit to having very little exposure to the man's films, and no next to nothing about him personally, nor do I care, but Babel was enjoyable, Mr. and Mrs. Smith was almost as bad as a George Lucas film mixed with modern Doctor Who, and Moneyball is a great film.

I don't know that any movie says much about the actors in them.
posted by juiceCake at 1:10 PM on October 1, 2011


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