“I don’t think the big screen will die”

He delighted his fans in the heart of summer. Brad Pitt can be seen, Wednesday, August 3, from Bullet Traina police comedy on a train in which seven murderers try to liquidate themselves. On the occasion of his promotion in Paris, the actor and producer within the company Plan B Entertainment gave himself to 20 hours of France 2, in an interview that can be found in full at franceinfo.fr. He talks about his new opus, his aspirations for the future and his feelings about the current state of health in cinema.

France 2: You are the poster of summer comedy, Bullet Train. It’s a completely crazy story where you play the role of Ladybug, an unlucky, not-so-professional hitman. What do you like about this role?

Brad Pitt : (Laughs) In translation, you said it was quite a losses, that’s it? Yes, he really is, he is a jerk and playing something very funny. He always does a little, shall we say that? He always had good intentions, but he failed all the time.

The action takes place on a high-speed train in Japan between Tokyo and Kyoto. This is the country of moderation, where the transportation is perfect, clean, quiet… There, you arrive and you break everything on this train.

Yes, actually, but I suspect that in real life it is quiet above and behind the scenes they are as crazy as we are. I made this beautiful trip between Tokyo and Kyoto… True, in the movie, nothing goes as planned! Everything explodes.

“To sum it up, it’s a film where six or seven sociopaths get on this train. Each one has their own intentions, their reason for getting on and everyone gets in the way of that. That’s what creates all the conflict. and humor.”

This film is very funny, very aesthetic, also very brutal. Do you know how many people you killed in this movie?

This is David Leitch’s footprint [le réalisateur de Bullet Train], who is an old friend and started out as a stuntman. He continued to work John Wickthen is the director of Dead Pool 2. His touch is the encounter between ultraviolence and humor with great kinetic energy, that makes the film fun and perfect for summer.

You talked about your relationship with David Leitch. He started out as a stuntman; he was even your stunt double in some movies like fight club. So how long have you known each other?

Absolutely! The first time we met in fight club : he is my stunt double. He was very good, an expert in combat training. Then we did The Mexican, Mr and Mrs Smith, Troy… That’s three films. Every time, he helped me to develop the character, which I wanted to see on the screen, and now he is the author of the film and I work for him, and he is what I follow. The circle is closed in a way… But he already told me during the Mr and Mrs Smith that he wants to be a director. I answered: “Yes, yes, like everyone else… Good luck, man!” And look, he succeeded.

In this film, you do your own stunts, just like you did in Once Upon a Time in Hollywood. Is it going well? No injuries?

(Laughs) Ah, we always come home with bruises, sometimes blood! What happened to Aaron was very clear [Taylor-Johnson, acteur à l’affiche de Bullet Train]. But we do that with great care, everyone is safe. It’s in a studio because we have full confinement. And it’s not just fights: there’s a lot of comedy in it, a bit like Jackie Chan, you know – who’s a very down-to-earth person, who we respect. So everything is designed with a lot of security, making fun, serving characters…

So, are you a stuntman? Are you in love?

Not at all… No, I’m more of a lazy artist! You see, there’s Tom Cruise: he does everything, like holding the cabin of an airplane… Well, I’m the other guy! Instead, I say: “No, listen, okay, I’m going to go get some coffee, I’ll take a look and then say ‘thank you very much’.”

In recent years, you have been more surprised by your roles, with characters that are quite far from the image of one of you…

I am a movie fanatic. I always like all movies. I like movies with De Niro, I like movies with Will Ferrell, I like what new actors or actresses do, like Jodie Comer in Killing Eve… In short, I really like mixing. I like a lot of different films, and I want to shoot in as many genres as possible.

“And this movie, Bullet Train, happened when we were in total lockdown. We all started going crazy, there was this kind of depression and people were really worried. And I read this script and it just makes me laugh. .”

I said to myself: given the times, these difficult times, it would be perfect to release this film now, when people can finally go out and enjoy life.

You have also done a lot in production, you also won an Oscar as a producer in 2014 and another one for best actor in 2020. When will you get an Oscar as a director? Do you like it?

No, that was never my goal. In fact, we were very lucky, in my production company, to get an Oscar in the best film category. It’s a great source of pride, but that’s never the goal. My colleagues and I love stories, we love artists. We strive to have the best stories, to help artists do what they want to do… and to make the best films possible. This is our project.

You create auteur, independent films, support young actors. What do you want in this role of the patron, to support the cinema?

Yes, we work with recognized talents and emerging talents. Very proud to give opportunities to them. Great opportunity. But basically, it’s worshiping what other people are doing. For example, we have Joey King in our film: he is impressive! We have another series, Women’s Roles, who date young women and it’s great to see how they own things. There are always decisions to be made in a scene. You look at the actors and you wonder if they go to the right, if they go to the left… happiness in front of the screen! It’s just part of everything.

What is your view as a producer of the current state of cinema? There is Covid; in France, the number of admissions continues to decline. And there is competition from platforms, like Netflix… Does that worry you?

Absolutely not. We must follow the times, follow the dictates of the time above all else. I love that there are more films on the streaming platform.

“I love the fact that we can have an experience on the big screen and across platforms.”

I don’t think the big screen will wither. True, it is more difficult to cover the cost of films broadcast in this way, so streaming makes it possible to find new talent, to release more new stories… I went to see Elvis in movies with young Austin Butler. It kills everything on the screen! It’s great to see that and be with other people to see it. We need this experience for these types of films, and Bullet Train a good example. When people start laughing in a room, it’s contagious and it’s good. But again, there is a place for streaming and I like that dichotomy.

You started your acting career very young, but before that, you studied to become… a journalist. So journalist Brad Pitt, what would he ask the actor today?

So, I’m not very good at it; that’s why it didn’t take long! So I’m probably not the best person to answer this question. I don’t know… What I can say is that I am happy that we can talk more about the difficulties, the difficulties that we are going through. I feel that as time goes by, we can face our weaknesses more, bring them to the table and find something funny in them. And thanks to jokes and comedians for letting us laugh at ourselves. Honestly, I can’t add anything to what you’ve done.

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