He’s already married if scores of reports are to be believed, but Brad Pitt would rather sit back with fiancee Angelina Jolie and their brood of six, enjoying a quiet day together.
“My kids are growing up, and I really want to give them most of my time, so I’ve cut down on public appearances. I love helping them with their homework and just sneaking out of busy schedules to see them,” says the actor. “And while Angelina and I have no plans to marry yet, I know it’s going to happen soon, |so you can expect an announcement shortly.”
The 48-year-old discusses his next release, Killing Them Softly, recent career choices and his secret sojourns to India.
What is your new film about?
It’s an adaptation of George V Higgins’s novel Cogan’s Trade, with the action moved from the 1970s to the 2008 financial crisis. My character, Jackie Cogan, is a professional enforcer who investigates a heist that went down during a mob-protected poker game.
You expressly showed interest in working with the director, Andrew Dominik. It is usually the other way around. What sets him apart?
I have been a big fan of Andrew’s work since his first film, Chopper (2000). I’ve always wanted to work with him. I got my chance in The Assassination Of Jesse James By The Coward Robert Ford (2007), and we became good friends then. I’m fortunate he picked me for this film. He gives actors the liberty to share inputs. It’s easy to work with him because he’s a grafter.
Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie
Hollywood actor Brad Pitt (Reuters)
‘My kids are growing up. I want to give them most of my time, so I’ve cut down on public appearances’
Jesse James faced a lot of trouble during post-production, because the studio interfered with the film’s creative content. Did that happen this time too?
No, Andrew was more cautious this time. What happened last time was that Warner Bros had a different idea as to how the film should be projected. We had to go through several painful edits, which stretched on. Andrew approved of the final cut after a lot of protest.
I don’t agree to a studio’s interference in the creative process, but this is an unending debate. I would like to believe that each film is a different experience and one has to deal with such situations at times. A film is a team effort. You have to reach a consensus to make it a satisfying collaboration.
‘I’m still confounded by people’s definition of mainstream and parallel cinema’
You seem to have moved away from the so-called mainstream roles you were known for. Is that a conscious decision?
I have spent a considerable amount of time in Hollywood now, but I’m still confounded by people’s definition of mainstream and parallel cinema. When I take on a project, I look at the story, the character and the potential impact it will have on my audience. If you mean to say that my films are not entertaining enough to be called mainstream, then I don’t know if that is what I intend to do.
How can my films be liked by a majority of people without them being entertaining? I’m not working only to please
critics. I’m greedier than that. Last year, Tree Of Life and Moneyball got me acclaim, but no awards. I wasn’t upset because I focus on longevity.
How do you define this stage of your career? What kind of films are you looking to do now?
I am in a comfortable spot. By comfort, I don’t mean complacency. It is the creative liberty of choosing which films I wish to do and refuse those that I don’t feel like doing. Making socially relevant films has gradually become part of my agenda.
‘I had seen a few Bollywood movies and they were amazing. There is so much drama and colour’
What’s your take on Indian cinema?
It seems to be growing very well at its own pace. I love Bollywood films. There is so much drama and colour. I had seen a few movies and they were amazing. I would love to work with Bollywood superstars. I haven’t interacted with any filmmakers there, but yes, I have met a lot of actors.
What about acting in or producing a Bollywood film?
Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie along with their kids
I might produce a Bollywood movie. But yes, if offered a film, I would never say no. I would love to do one. I would also love to do a dance number with the whole crew in the backdrop.
‘I found Benares absolutely staggering’
You’ve visited India, but always stayed away from the media glare. Why is that?
That way, I got to see a lot of India. I got to bounce around a bit while everyone else was shooting. There is no place like it. It’s so diverse — both the south and the north; one can’t see all of it in a few weeks. But I found Benares absolutely staggering. I have never seen anything like it before. The city just spills into the River Ganges. It’s a holy place where people go to die. It’s really
I’m currently working on Voyage Of Time, which is a documentary based on The Tree Of Life. Then there’s World War Z, Twelve Years A Slave and The Counselor, all of which I am really looking forward to.