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It delights its fans in the middle of summer. Brad Pitt will be on display Wednesday, August 3 from Bullet traina police comedy set aboard 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 was delivered at 8 pm on France 2, in an interview that can be found in its entirety on franceinfo.fr. He talks about his new work, his wishes for the future, and his feelings about the state of health of cinema today.
France 2: You are the poster of the comedy of the summer, Bullet train. It’s a completely crazy story where you play the role of Ladybug, a hapless and not very professional hit man. What did you like about this role?
Brad Pitt : (Laughs) In the translation, you say it’s a bit loser, That’s it ? Yeah he really is, he’s an idiot and being an idiot is really the most fun. He always does a bit of shit, can we say that? He always has good intentions, but fails all the time.
The action takes place on a high-speed train in Japan between Tokyo and Kyoto. It is the country of moderation, where transportation is perfect, clean, silent… There you arrive and break everything on this train.
Yes indeed, but I suspect that in real life there is only calm on the surface and behind the scenes they are just as crazy as we are. I’m doing this wonderful trip between Tokyo and Kyoto… It’s true, in the movie nothing goes as planned! Everything explodes.
“To sum it up, it’s a movie where six or seven sociopaths get on this train. They all have their own intentions, their reason for being on board, and they all get in the way. That’s what creates all the conflict and the humor”.
It is a very funny film, very aesthetic, very brutal too. Do you know how many people you kill in this movie?
It’s David Leitch’s imprint [le réalisateur de Bullet Train], who is an old friend and started out as a specialist. He continued to work on john wicklater he was director of dead pool 2. His touch is the encounter between ultra-violence and humor with great kinetic energy, that’s what makes the film fun and perfect for summer.
You talk about your relationship with David Leitch. He started out as a specialist; he was even your stunt double in some movies like fight club. So they’ve known each other for a long time?
Absolutely ! The first time we met was in fight club : He was my stunt double. He was very good, an expert in combat training. so we did The Mexican, MR. and Mrs. Smith, Troy… There are three films. Each time, he helped me 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 it is to him that I obey. The circle closes in a certain way… But he had already told me at the time of MR. and Mrs. Smith who wanted to be a director. I had replied: “Yes, yes, like everyone else… Good luck, friend!” And lo and behold, he succeeded.
In this film, he performs his own stunts, as he did in once upon a time in hollywood. She went well? There were no injuries?
(laughs) Ah, we always go home with bruises, sometimes a little blood! It clearly happened to Aaron [Taylor-Johnson, acteur à l’affiche de Bullet Train]. But we did it with great caution, everything was safe. It was in a studio because we were in full confinement. And it wasn’t just fights: There’s a lot of comedy in it, a bit like Jackie Chan, you know, who is a really underrated guy, who we have a lot of respect for. So everything was designed very safely, to create humor, to serve the characters… but also to add that ultra-violence.
So that’s it, are you a specialist? You have loved?
Not really… No, I’m a lazier actor! You see, there’s Tom Cruise: he does everything, like hanging from the cockpit of a plane… Well, I’m the other one! Rather I say: “No, listen, go ahead, I’m going to have a coffee, I’m going to watch and then say ‘thank you very much’.”
In recent years you have been more surprising in your roles, with characters quite far from the image that one could have of you…
I am a movie fanatic. I have always liked 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 to mix. I like a lot of different movies and I want to shoot in as many genres as possible.
“And this movie, Bullet Train, happened when we were in complete lockdown. We were all starting to go a little crazy, there was this kind of depression and people were really anxious. I read this script and it made me laugh.”
I said to myself: given the times, these difficult times, it will be perfect to release this movie now, when people can finally go out and enjoy life.
You also turn a lot to production, you also won an Oscar as a producer in 2014 and another for best actor in 2020. When will you get an Oscar as a director? Would you like it?
No, that was never my goal. In fact, we were very lucky, with my production company, to get an Oscar in the category of best film. It’s a great source of pride, but that was never the point. My partners and I love stories, we love artists. We try to have the best stories, help artists do what they want to do… and make the best movies possible. This is our project.
You produce auteur, independent films, supporting young actors. What do you like about that role of patron, supporting the cinema?
Yes, we work with recognized talents and emerging talents. We take great pride in giving them opportunities. It is a great opportunity. But basically, it’s just loving what other people are doing. For example, we have Joey King in our movie: he’s awesome! We have another series paper girls, who is going out with young women and it’s great to see how they take things. There are always decisions to be made in a scene. You look at the actors and you wonder if they’re going to go to the right, if they’re going to go to the left… And when they decide to do something that would never have occurred to me, I could literally scream with pleasure at times in front of the camera. screen! It’s just being a part of everything.
What is your point of view as a producer about the state of cinema today? There was the Covid; in France, the number of admissions continues to fall. And there is competition from platforms, like Netflix… Does that worry you?
Not really. We have to move with the times, follow what the times dictate above all. I like that there are more movies on streaming platforms.
“I like the fact that we can have both the big screen experience and the platform experience.”
I don’t think the big screen is going to wither away. It is true that it is more difficult to cover the cost of the films that are transmitted in this way, so streaming allows to find new talents, to launch more new stories… I went to see Elvis at the movies with young Austin Butler. Kill everything on the screen! It was great to see that and be with other people to see it. We need this experience for these types of films, and Bullet train It’s a good example. When people start laughing in a room, it’s contagious and cool. But then again, there is room for streaming and I like that dichotomy.
You started your acting career very young, but before that you had studied to be… a journalist. So, journalist Brad Pitt, what would you ask the actor today?
So, I wasn’t very good at it; That’s why it didn’t last! So I’m probably not the best person to answer this question. I don’t know… What I can say is that I’m glad we can talk more about the difficulties, the ordeals we’re going through. I feel that over time, we can more and more face our weaknesses, bring them to the table and even find humor in them. And thanks to comedy and comedians for allowing us to laugh at ourselves. In fact, it couldn’t add anything to what you’re doing.