Among Hollywood’s current biggest stars, I’d say that Brad Pitt has the best track record in recent years in choosing the right roles for himself. In an discussion for Interview magazine with filmmaker Guy Ritchie (who directed Pitt in one of his best roles, Irish Traveler bare-knuckle boxer Mickey O’Neill in Snatch.), Pitt speaks about how he chooses roles now that he’s one of Hollywood’s biggest stars.
Now that he’s an industry veteran, Pitt reveals that he only wants to appear in films in which he’ll have the chance to discover something new or be surprised. He says, “So much of making movies is about discovery on the day, what you’re figuring out. If you know everything going in, then it’s not worth doing—it’s already done. So I’m interested in finding people who I think have a voice—and a very specific voice. It’s hard to be surprised by a film. It’s hard to be surprised by another actor or by a director when you’ve seen enough and been around. So when I am, or when I forget that I’m watching someone’s movie, or when I don’t know how someone made a certain turn that I didn’t expect . . . You know, I’m in.”
Furthermore, Pitt says he has no desire to retread on the type of films he has already done before, explaining, “This is like a clean-up-the-loose-ends-and-tidy-up-the-place kind of year, which I also look at as a refill kind of year. I’m not good at going back-to-back-to-back-to-back with movies, and it’s just now that I’m starting to get my bearings again and a flavor for what’s next. But it can’t be something repetitive that I’ve done before. I’m bored to death by that, and when I attempt things like that, it never works–I end up hurting the movie. So it’s just about discovery now and finding something new that’s interesting to me.” Hmm… so fair enough to say Ocean’s 14 isn’t in the cards?
But though Pitt feels strongly about himself as an actor right now — he actually says he feels “Pretty damn solid. I’d say pretty damn solid” about his acting — he admits that he feels the need to move into producing films, something he has done regularly since 2006. He explains, “I’d rather be behind the camera. As a producer, obviously, you’re part of a team that brings the story to the screen. It wouldn’t be there if you didn’t champion it or if you and a group of people weren’t championing it. I like that.” Pitt seems to prefer the role of producing rather than directing (he swore had no desire to direct films about a year ago, saying, “I have no aspirations whatsoever.”)
Nonetheless, despite being more selective Pitt has Twelve Years a Slave, World War Z, and The Counselor set for a 2013 release, and he is producing the first two. Guess more films have interested him this year than in other recent years!