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Film

The film Brad Pitt described as his "most irresponsible"

@josephtaysom

Brad Pitt’s acting career is now in its fifth decade, and over that time, he’s cemented himself as one of the all-time greats. Still, even Pitt has made the occasional faux-pas, and there’s one “irresponsible” project he deeply regrets.

In 1997, Pitt’s stock was sky-high, and he couldn’t do anything wrong at the box office. Everything the actor touched became a hit, and any director worth their salt wanted Pitt to be part of their project following the success of Interview with the VampireLegends of the Fall, and Seven.

However, given his success, there was no need for Pitt to rush into projects that he didn’t believe in. Instead, he discovered how filmmakers could sell him a dream that could often look irrecognisable in reality.

Pitt wasn’t used to his projects going anything other than swimmingly, and working on The Devil’s Own was a learning process for the Oscar-winning actor. He starred in the film alongside Harrison Ford, and from the moment he walked on set, Pitt realised something was amiss.

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The picture was the final film directed by Alan J. Pakula before his death in 1998, and his methods didn’t sit right with Pitt. In fact, at one point, he even tried to leave the project, but after being told the compensation he’d have to pay, Pitt was left with no choice but to see it out. “We had no script. Well, we had a great script but it got tossed for various reasons,” Pitt told Newsweek in February 1997. “To have to make something up as you go along… what pressure!”

He continued: “It was ridiculous. It was the most irresponsible bit of filmmaking – if you can even call it that – that I’ve ever seen. I couldn’t believe it. I don’t know why anyone would want to continue making that movie. We had nothing. The movie was the complete victim of this drowning studio head … who said, ‘I don’t care. We’re making it. I don’t care what you have. Shoot something'”.

Pitt then revealed when he told the studio head he “wanted out”, he was told it would cost $63million because they’d already sold it across the world on the provision that he’d be starring in the film.

The studio, understandably, was furious with Pitt for making negative remarks about The Devil’s Own before it had arrived in cinemas. Furthermore, the actor later revealed they tried to get him to appear on Entertainment Tonight to clear up his comments.

“I didn’t even think about it,” Pitt told Rolling Stone. “This was old news. Then I get home [Los Angeles]… Boom! The calls start at seven in the morning. ‘Go on Entertainment Tonight,’ they begged. ‘Say you didn’t mean it.’ I was like, ‘I can’t do that. [He shakes his head] I said it. I said it.'”

Although he refused to withdraw his comments, Pitt did write to Newsweek to explain he was referring to the filming process rather than the final product. Despite Pitt burying The Devil’s Own before its release, the film was somehow still a resounding success at the box office and raked in an impressive $140.8 million. A true testament to his pulling power.

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