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Brad Pitt, Movie Star and Sex Symbol
Brad Pitt is one of the world's most popular movie stars, garnering as much attention for his personal life as he does for his work on the big screen.
Born in 1963 in Shawnee, Oklahoma, Brad Pitt spent most of his young life in Springfield, Missouri, far from the world of show business. He caught the acting bug in college, and dropped out of the University of Missouri just two credits shy of a degree. He moved to Hollywood at the age of 23 and worked a series of day jobs while awaiting his big break in the movies.
That break seemed to come along several times, with small television roles and uncredited performances in movies like "No Way Out" and "Less Than Zero", but nothing seemed to click for the actor. His real break finally came with a supporting role in "Thelma & Louise" as a con-man who robs Geena Davis' character following a night of romance.
Brad Pitt Discusses "Making It Right" with Charlie Rose
From there, he scored leading roles in two films that didn't fare very well - "Johnny Suede" and "Cool World" - but his career really took off when he landed a role in Robert Redford's "A River Runs Through It" in 1992. That role was followed with the lead as a charming serial killer in "Kalifornia", and then a cameo in "True Romance" as that film's comic relief, a stoner named Floyd.
Critical acclaim began to come Brad Pitt's way with movies like "Legends of the Fall", "12 Monkeys" and "Seven". By the turn of the Twenty-first century, Brad Pitt movies had become surefire box-office gold. A string of successful movies like "The Mexican", "Spy Games" and the "Ocean's" series have cemented Brad Pitt's role as a major force in Hollywood.
In recent years, Brad Pitt has been focusing his celebrity more and more toward humanitarian causes. He founded the "Make It Right" foundation, which builds eco-friendly homes in post-Katrina New Orleans, and even donated $5 million of his own money to the cause. He and Angelina Jolie together have donated money and helped raise awareness of the plights of people in the wake of major disasters, like the earthquakes in Kashmir and Haiti, as well as man-made tragedies in Chad and Sudan. The couple regularly donate several million dollars of their own money to various charitable organizations each year.
Fun Brad Pitt Facts
- "Brad" is actually his middle name - his first name is William
- Voted People magazine's Sexiest Man Alive, twice
- While portraying the character Achilles in "Troy", Brad Pitt was injured when he tore his Achilles' tendon
- Intended to remake the Hong Kong thriller "Infernal Affairs" with himself and Tom Cruise in the leads, but instead produced the remake when Martin Scorsese directed it as "The Departed"
- Has appeared in nine movies with numbers in the title: "12 Monkey", three "Ocean's" movies, "Seven", "Seven Years in Tibet", "Sinbad: Legend of the Seven Seas", "Less Than Zero" and "Two-Fisted Tales"
- Nominated for two Academy Awards, for "12 Monkeys" and "The Curious Case of Benjamin Button"
- Has his pilot's license
- Is banned from traveling to China because of his involvement with "Seven Years in Tibet", which tells the story of the young Dalai Lama
Brad Pitt Movies List
Buy "Inglorious Basterds" on Blu-ray, DVD & On Demand
Inglorious Basterds (2009)
- In Quentin Tarantino's "Inglorious Basterds", Brad Pitt plays Lt. Aldo Raine, leader of a band of Nazi-killing Jews behind enemy lines in German-occupied France during World War II. He and his squad of "Basterds" have made it their mission to strike fear in the hearts of the Nazi's the way the Apache Indians frightened the settlers in early American history - by scalping them!
- The movie is classic Tarantino, a cross between a twisted fairy tale and an edge-of-the-seat thriller with dazzling dialogue and a superb cast
"Ingloriuos Basterds" Movie Trailer
Buy "Fight Club" on Blu-ray, DVD & On Demand
Fight Club (1999)
- In the cult classic Brad Pitt movie "Fight Club", Pitt plays Tyler Durden, the enigmatic and dangerous mentor of Edward Norton's un-named narrator. Norton plays a man dissatisfied with his comfortable consumer existence, and when he meets Durden on an airplane the two of them quickly become friends and invent Fight Club, where men come to beat the hell out of each other in an effort to achieve physical and emotional relief. Things go too far when Durden becomes a violent anarchist, and Norton's character has to face a disturbing truth about himself and his relationship with the unbalanced Tyler Durden.
Ocean's Trilogy (Ocean's Eleven/ Ocean's Twelve/ Ocean's Thirteen)
- In director Steven Soderbergh's "Ocean's" franchise, Brad Pitt plays Randy, a con-man who teams with his old pal Danny Ocean (played by George Clooney) to pull off a series of high-stakes heists in Las Vegas.
- The films were devised by Soderbergh to help him finance his more personal film projects - the windfall of cash he makes with each Ocean's movie allows him to finance his less commercial films on his own terms.
- In a running gag throughout the series, Brad Pitt's character is eating something in almost every shot he appears in!
Buy "The Curious Case of Benjamin Button" on Blu-ray, DVD and On Demand
The Curious Case of Benjamin Button (2008)
- "The Curious Case of Benjamin Button" marked the third Brad Pitt movie with "Fight Club" director David Fincher. The two reunite for this ambitious movie about a man who ages in reverse. Brad Pitt received his second Oscar-nomination for his portrayal of Benjamin Button, a man who starts life as an old man and grows younger and younger every year. He befriends a little girl at the boarding house where he grows up, and it isn't until he's an old man in a young man's body that the two of them are able to realize their love for each other.
- The screenplay was written by Eric Roth, who also wrote the screenplay for the Tom Hanks movie "Forrest Gump", and many viewers have noticed strong similarities between the two films.
"The Curious Case of Benjamin Button" Movie Trailer
- In "Seven", also directed by David Fincher, Brad Pitt co-stars with Morgan Freeman as a detective newly assigned to the homicide division. His arrival coincides with the discovery of a serial killer who is using the "Seven Deadly Sins" as the basis for his killings. It's up to the two detectives to decrypt the killer's coded messages and stop him before he completes his murderous plot.
- In an effort to hide the identity of the film's killer, Kevin Spacey's name was left out of the opening credits, and he was not involved in any of the pre-release promotion of the movie.
"Troy" on Blu-ray, DVD & On Demand
- In this adaptation of the Homer epic poem "The Iliad", Brad Pitt plays legendary Greek warrior Achilles, who helps the Greeks defeat the Trojans during the Trojan Wars.
- The film is packed with action sequences, and Brad Pitt and Eric Bana decided not to use stunt men during their on-screen duel. They instead made an agreement before filming that they would each pay the other for any unintentional hits during filming. In the end, Brad Pitt had to pay Eric Bana $750, while Bana owed Pitt nothing!
By "Mr & Mrs Smith" on Blu-ray, DVD & On Demand
Mr & Mrs Smith (2005)
- In "Mr & Mrs Smith", Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie play a married couple living a boring suburban life. Neither one knows that the other is hiding a secret identity - they are both assassins, and each has been hired to kill the other! It isn't until they are each charged with assassinating the other that they come to learn about each other and fall in love all over again, this time without the burden of hiding their true identities.
- The film was roundly panned by the critics, but it was a box office success nonetheless, probably in no small part because Brad and Angelina met on the set and began their now famous (or infamous) relationship.
Buy "Snatch." on Blu-ray, DVD & On Demand
- After watching director Guy Ritchie's "Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels", Brad Pitt contacted the director and asked to be in his next movie. The result is "Snatch", which features Brad Pitt in a hilarious turn as a nearly un-intelligible Irish Gypsy boxer recruited to throw a fight.
- The indecipherable accent used by Pitt's character was inspired by criticism of Ritchie's previous film - critics had claimed that the dialogue in "Lock, Stock" was too hard to follow, so Ritchie devised a character whose speech no one would able to understand!
"Snatch." Movie Trailer
Buy "The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford" on Blu-ray, DVD & On Demand
The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford (2007)
- Brad Pitt stars as Jesse James in this gritty re-telling of the life, and murder, of the notorious outlaw. Casey Affleck plays the titular Robert Ford, a wanna-be bad guy who ingratiates himself into the legendary James Gang because he idolizes Jesse. Before too long, Ford decides that he can usurp James' fame by assassinating him, only to find that he instead becomes one of the most hated men in America.
- This Brad Pitt movie had a hard time attracting audiences, and some blame the overly-long title. The movie did draw plenty of critical praise, and Casey Affleck was nominated for an Oscar for his performance as Robert Ford.
Buy "12 Monkeys" on Blu-ray, DVD & On Demand
12 Monkeys (1996)
- In his first Oscar-nominated performance, Brad Pitt plays the son of a wealthy scientist who may be responsible for the disease that will cause the near-extinction of the human race. Bruce Willis plays a time traveler sent back to the 1990s to prevent the release of a virus that will destroy mankind, and Pitt is the insane accomplice he meets when he is involuntarily committed to an asylum.
- This Terry Gilliam film became a cult classic, and helped establish Brad Pitt as more than just a pretty face.
"12 Monkeys" Movie Trailer
Buy "Burn After Reading" on Blu-ray, DVD and On Demand
Burn After Reading (2008)
- In this Coen brothers film, Brad Pitt plays a not-too-bright health club employee who stumbles across what he thinks is a CD-ROM filled with government secrets. It's actually the rantings of a disgruntled CIA employee, and when Pitt's character devises a scheme to sell the information, everything goes tragically wrong in that way that only Joel and Ethan Coen can devise.
- The film also stars Brad Pitt's pal George Clooney, but the two only have one scene together, and it doesn't end will for Brad!
Interview with the Vampire (1994)
- When it was announced that Tom Cruise would be playing the lead in the film adaptation of "Interview with the Vampire", even the book's author was not pleased with the choice. She, and audiences, eventually changed their mind about the choice, and when the film was released Cruise was vindicated for his portrayal of the Vampire Lestat. The same was not true for Brad Pitt, whose performance was harshly criticized by many. The movie was a huge hit, nonetheless, and it helped to launch the career of Kirsten Dunst, who played the terrifying role of a vampire in the guise of a child.
"Legends of the Fall" Movie Trailer
Legends of the Fall (1995)
- In "Legends of the Fall", based on the book by Jim Harrison, Brad Pitt plays one of three brothers in early Twentieth-century Montana. When one of the brothers brings home his fiancé, the strong bond between the bothers becomes strained. World War I sees the brothers fighting overseas, and when they return to the family homestead, everything changes, and not for the better. Brother is pitted against brother, and their father's dream of sheltering them from the harshness of the world is shattered.
- The film's stunning photography and strong performances made it a favorite of film-goers and critics alike, and it's success helped to launch director Ed Zwick from his television career to one of the most respected film makers working today.
Buy "A River Runs Through It" and "Spy Games" on Blu-ray & On Demand
A River Runs Through It (1992)
Spy Games (2001)
- In the role that showed the world that he had true acting abilities, Brad Pitt stars in "A River Runs Through It" as one of two sons of a Montana minister. The three men bond with each through their love of fly-fishing, but have little else in common.
- Directed by Robert Redford, "A River Runs Through It" was an early success in Brad Pitt's movie career.
- Nearly ten years later, Brad Pitt and Robert Redford appeared together on-screen in the highly-successful thriller "Spy Games".