Interviews


Brad Pitt


Occupation: Actor
Date of Birth: December 18, 1963
Place of Birth: Shawnee, Okla., USA
Sign: Sun in Sagittarius, Moon in Aquarius
Relations: Wife: Jennifer Aniston
Education: Attended University of Missouri at Columbia

 

BRAD PITT'S path from Missouri-bred choirboy to delectable hunk was cemented with a strong Baptist faith and at least a trillion situps. His father, a trucking company manager, raised Brad and his younger brother and sister to be respectable, churchgoing folk. After graduating from Kickapoo High, Pitt headed off to the University of Missouri, where he majored in advertising, graphic design, and frat-boy shenanigans. Just two weeks and two credits shy of graduating, Pitt crammed all of his earthly belongings in the rattletrap Datsun he called "Runaround Sue," and headed out to Hollywood to become, well, a movie star. He told his parents and friends that he was off to attend the Art Center College of Design in Pasadena, because he was afraid to tell them that, in fact, he planned to relegate himself to the status of a table-waiting, limo-driving, chicken-suit-wearing, L.A. cliché  all in the hope that someday he would be famous.

Luckily, Pitt's days spent donning a chicken costume for El Pollo Loco and driving strippers to bachelor parties were numbered. With a few acting classes under his belt, he soon landed a recurring role as the hormone-propelled boyfriend of Priscilla Presley's daughter on Dallas. A subsequent appearance in a terrible slasher flick called Cutting Class may not have done much for his résumé, but he came away from the project with Hollywood starlet Jill Schoelen on his arm. (Pitt had previously dated actress Robin Givens, the ex-Mrs. Mike Tyson, but that relationship understandably ended amid certain, er, pressures.) A role in 1991's Thelma and Louise, as the horny hitchhiker responsible for Thelma's Geena Davis first orgasm, finally catapulted Pitt into the spotlight. And rightly so: it was the first occasion that Pitt's abdominals had been properly lighted, and Hollywood sat up and took notice along with a fair-sized chunk of slavering moviegoers.

Between the requisite primping, preening, and ab crunches, there were women to be had  and the younger the better, apparently. Pitt took up housekeeping with sixteen-year-old nubile coquette Juliette Lewis not long after the two co-starred in the TV movie Too Young To Die?. The relationship endured for three years, ranking as Pitt's longest romantic alliance since setting foot in Hollywood. He buffered his breakup with Lewis by taking up with a girl named Jitka, who owned two bobcats she promptly relocated to Pitt's household. (Incidentally, the house in question was the former residence of Elvira, Mistress of the Dark, and it boasts its own cave.) Jitka and her exotic pets didn't last long. After landing the romantic lead in the epic drama Legends of the Fall, People magazine saw fit to pronounce Pitt "The Sexiest Man Alive." Though he set out to prove all his crass oglers wrong  or at least earn other qualifiers like "good actor"  his appeal proved potent enough to cross some major boundaries. Singer Melissa Etheridge provided this Brad Pitt testimonial: "One night a few of us, shall we say, lesbians, were in the hot tub watching the guys play basketball in the pool. We were staring at Brad and we all agreed he could change a woman's mind."

Pitt's handling in the press wasn't all centered around his chiselled features, piercing blue eyes, astounding abs, and winning smile. He had begun to command critical respect for his work long before the People curse took hold. His performances as the doomed golden boy in Robert Redford's A River Runs Through It and as the gloomy, yet golden, vampire in Interview With the Vampire were praised for their effective, albeit wooden, potency. Pitt gave another capable, if slightly stilted, performance in Seven, as a cop tracking down a serial killer. As usual, he lost his head over his co-star, golden girl Gwyneth Paltrow, ten years his junior; their romance lasted two-and-a-half years, the last seven months of which they were engaged to be married. Pitt wed Friends star Jennifer Aniston in July, 2000.

Pitt scored his first critical acclaim, not to mention his first Oscar nomination, in the role of a mental patient in Terry Gilliam's 12 Monkeys, in which he attempted  with little success  to disguise his comeliness with cross-eyed brown contacts and a psychotic grin. He affected a fair Irish brogue as a charismatic I.R.A. terrorist in 1997's The Devil's Own, and a passable Germanic accent as Austrian journeyer Heinrich Harrar in Seven Years in Tibet, a performance many have credited as the best of his career. Pitt, who commands in the neighborhood of $10 million per film nowadays, signed to play Death in Meet Joe Black, director Martin Brest's lavish, if ill-conceived, 1998 remake of Death Takes a Holiday. He reteamed with Seven director David Fincher for the 1999 release Fight Club, the anarchic story of doomed male Gen-Xers who react to the soul-numbing effects of rampant '90s consumerism by forming underground clubs for the purpose of beating the tar out of each other. Based on the Chuck Palahniuk novel of the same title, the controversial Club may have left critics and audience members divided on the subject of its ultimate efficacy and import, but no one could disagree that Pitt's six-pack abs have only gotten better with time.

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