May 2019, the Cannes Film Festival experiences an astonishing scene of collective euphoria: the official screening of Once Upon a Time in… Hollywood unfolds peacefully until in the film, the character played by Brad Pitt repairs a TV antenna and decides to take off his yellow T-shirt. The public, made up of the gratin of the profession, usually a little pinched, suddenly lets go. Whistles, cries and applause greet this half-striptease. No doubt, Brad, 55, is always at the top of his beauty and his charisma. “I’ve never done anything so homo-erotic in my life. It sounds like Joe Gage. Like something from the 70s, The Builder on the Roof”declared in a podcast, in 2020, a hilarious Quentin Tarantino about this key scene that has become cult.
This magical appearance in Once Upon a Time…in Hollywood recalls another: that in Thelma and Louise in 1991. Brad Pitt then camped the role of a playboy, and was going to make a sensational debut in Hollywood. On screen for only fourteen minutes, this handsome stranger was going to convey something powerful, unforgettable. He was not, however, the first choice of the production, although he had the intimate conviction that this role of vaguely white trash seducer fell naturally to him: “An actor had already been hired, but he left to shoot another film and I was called for the casting. I was all in, because I knew it was my chance, a role for me, I felt it : I was from Oklahoma, I knew this kind of guy”. (Firstsummer 2019).
“I was playing Priscilla Presley’s fiancé”
William Bradley Pitt was actually born on December 18, 1963 in Shawnee, Oklahoma. His father, William Alvin Pitt, is an executive of a transport company, and his mother, Jane, is an educational consultant in a high school. With his brother Doug (born in 1966) and his sister Julie (born in 1969), he grew up in Springfield (Missouri) where he was an altar boy in a Baptist church. The Pitts? The typical profile of an affluent middle-class family in the southern United States. In high school, Brad is a good student who does a lot of sports, participates in the eloquence club and performs in musical shows. A first step towards the cinema? Not yet, because the post-teen is looking for himself after high school, starting studies in design and architecture which he abandons to follow a training course as a journalist… which he also abandons two days before the exam. The reason ? He is 22 years old and wants to try his luck in Los Angeles in order, he claims in front of his parents, to go to art school and a bit of acting on the side, just to pay the rent. “I had $300, a rusty Datsun, my luggage piled up on the roof, and every time I crossed a border I was screaming, Yeah!, throwing my arms up in the air. But when I got to Los Angeles, I rowed”explained the star to Audience in August 2019. Sure enough, while Tom Cruise rose to stardom with Top GunBrad plays the sandwich men, disguised as a giant chicken for the restaurant chain El Pollo Loco : “I was one of those guys you recruit to flap my wings in front of the entrance. I had to attract the kids.” For two years, he will do extras, in series like 21 Jump Street Where dallas: “I was playing Priscilla Presley’s fiancé, fortunately my fourteen minutes of Thelma and Louise allowed me to delete these shitty experiences from my CV”.(Audience)
Fourteen minutes that will open new doors for him. Brad continues with a first role in And in the middle flows a river, by Robert Redford who sees in him his double, thirty years younger. The public receives the message 5/5 and makes this handsome blond kid an XXL star of the 90s. With his grunge but clean style that suits the era so well, Brad becomes an adored poster-boy. His loves with Juliette Lewis, Gwyneth Paltrow and his marriage to Jennifer Aniston upset groupies around the world. On the cinema side, he takes care of his filmo and becomes downright essential in the 2000s, through artistically fruitful collaborations with great filmmakers like David Fincher or Quentin Tarantino. It’s a terrible movie though. Mr. & Mrs. Smith, which will influence his fate. On the set of this 2005 action comedy, he falls in love with his partner, Angelina Jolie, who sets out to transform Brad, a weed-smoking and beer-drinking post-teen from Oklahoma, into a father. an inclusive and progressive large family. It’s the time of the Brangelinas, a couple of rich and nice glossy model stars, at the head of a Foundation to defend noble causes like gay marriage, the reconstruction of New Orleans neighborhoods or hunger in the world. Brad follows the movement started by Angelina whom he marries in 2014, although he remained deep down this kid from Oklahoma who was a fan of the show white trash Jackass.
“At Alcoholics Anonymous, I joined a very cool support group”
In addition, the actor assumes a passion for firearms, believing, like many of his compatriots, that it is a constitutional right to possess them. Angie cringes, especially since the father of her children and business partner has fallen back into his addictive ways by drinking more than reason. In September 2016, she filed for divorce and claimed custody of the six children. In the aftermath, Jolie’s teams leaked not-pretty-pretty details about her husband to the press: Brad would have cheated on her with a French actress and girls from the East, Brad would also be an alcoholic who would have his hand nimble on the children… The Brangelinas were therefore only an illusion, a media circus capable of masking the toxicity of their relationship. Faced with the offensive, Brad remains in grand mode, defeats his guilt in a long-term interview in a prestigious American newspaper and refuses to outbid, preferring to treat himself discreetly at Alcoholics Anonymous. “In AA, I joined a very cool support group of people selected by application”confesses the 58-year-old actor in the columns of QG, in July 2022. For six years now, Brad Pitt has only drunk water at a temperate temperature. Six years that he fights against his ex for the custody of his children and the protection of his business. Six years that the press tries to find him a new wife. But on this point, Brad does not seem in a hurry: the marriage, he has already given!
A coveted celib…
Unlike his pal George Clooney, Brad Pitt was not a frantic flirt in the 90’s. From 1990 to 1993, he dated the very grunge actress Juliette Lewis, who fell into drugs and depression when Brad left her. Then it will be the glam period with Gwyneth Paltrow, met on the set of Seven. Young, beautiful and blond, they embody the perfect couple. They got engaged in 1996, everyone expected the wedding… Failed! They separate a year later. Gwyneth is not ready… Brad then settles down with America’s best friend: Jennifer Aniston, whom he marries in 2000. The seemingly solid couple shattered in 2005 when Brad falls under the spell of Angelina Jolie on the set of Mr. & Mrs. Smithwhom he married in 2014, to divorce two later … Since then, he has been given stories with the architect Neri Oxman, Charlize Theron, the model Nicole Poturalski or the actress Alia Shawkat, without any formalization.
Casual or chic everything suits him
Brad does what he wants with his hair, reinventing himself with looks that are always relevant. Time seems to favor it. An asset that the actor summed up in New Obs in 2012 : “We get the cards we get, and I’ve been dealt some very good ones.”
His divorce: a real fight club
They have been going blow for blow for six years. First there was the subject of child custody where Brad took a heavy toll in terms of image – Angelina Jolie accusing him of alcoholism, infidelity and abusing one of their children. Rude, but Brad is holding on and decided to counterattack last June by filing a complaint against his ex who will have to answer for the “willful harm” that she would have inflicted on him by reselling his shares in the Miraval wine estate (Var) without having informed him. Brad questioning the stranglehold of his imposed co-shareholder, a Russian oligarch named Yuri Scheffler. After Amber Heard and Johnny Depp, a new legal blockbuster to come: Pitt vs Jolie!
In addition to a fee of 20 million dollars per film, Brad likes to make ends meet with commercials shot mainly in France or Japan. Delonghi, Boursorama using his cool and laid-back image, Chanel offered him $7 million in 2012 to recite an inept text along the lines of: “The earth turns, and we turn with it”. But what fascinates him are above all related artistic or wine-growing projects. There is its very efficient production box Plan Bwhich financed great films like Twelve years a slave Where Blonde haira biopic on Marilyn Monroe, soon on netflix. And there is also the Miraval estate (Var) and its renowned rosé production and the relaunch this summer of the mythical Miraval Studios, where Pink Floyd recorded The Wallet The Cure, Kiss Me, Kiss Me, Kiss Me.
1991: THELMA AND LOUISERidley Scott signs a feminist and visionary road-movie in which the young Brad makes a furtive appearance but which will mark the spirits forever. A star is born.
1992: AND IN THE MIDDLE RUNS A RIVER An ode to Montana, its nature and fly fishing by Robert Redford. A first big role for Brad Pitt in a film that has become cult.
1995: SEVENDavid Fincher signs a classic serial killer film then very fashionable in the 90s. Brad Pitt, as a stubborn young cop, bursts the screen in front of Morgan Freeman and Kevin Spacey.
1999: FIGHT CLUBSecond collaboration with David Fincher in which the actor, all in muscles, shapes a character as strange as unhealthy. A hypnotic composition.
2004: TROYAn XXL adaptation of The Iliad by Wolfgang Petersen where he has fun playing an ultra-charismatic Achilles.
2008: THE STRANGE STORY OF BENJAMIN BUTTONAgain Fincher at the helm of this adaptation of a short story by Scott Fitzgerald. The story of a man who is born old and gets younger as the years go by.
2009: INGLOURIOUS BASTERDSAn uchronic war film by Tarantino. Brad Pitt plays a commando leader specializing in the neutralization of Nazi soldiers. Brutal.
2019: ONCE UPON A TIME… IN HOLLYWOODAt the top of his physical form, he plays the stunt double of a series actor on the pick-up embodied by DiCaprio. A nostalgic film about Hollywood at the end of the 60’s.
2022: BULLET TRAINDirected by David Leitch, a stuntman who was Brad Pitt’s understudy on Troy, a summery and supercharged action film carried by a Brad in second degree mode.
See also: “A viper, a homewrecker” … announced as a couple with Brad Pitt, Marion Cotillard responds scathingly