Brad Pitt on Marriage, ‘Moneyball,’ and Misery

Cover courtesy of The Hollywood Reporter

Brad Pitt has been mighty chatty lately, what with a lengthy Entertainment Weekly interview in September and now a one-on-one with the Hollywood Reporter. As Pitt faces 50 in less than two years, the Oscar-nominated actor has become more sanguine about opening up–and when he opens up, eye-opening details come pouring out about marriage, “Moneyball,” and misery.

Pitt has actually brought up marriage talk with his famous partner of seven years, Angelina Jolie. Pitt dropped hints to Ellen DeGeneres and USA Today in September. “We’d actually like to,” he tells the Hollywood Reporter, “and it seems to mean more and more to our kids. We made this declaration some time ago that we weren’t going to do it ’til everyone can. But I don’t think we’ll be able to hold out. It means so much to my kids … and it means something to me, too, to make that kind of commitment.”

That so-called “declaration” surfaced in an October 2006 Esquire interview, when he stated, “Angie and I will consider tying the knot when everyone else in the country who wants to be married is legally able.” Jolie, for her part, admitted in a 2010 Nightline interview that “it’d be hard to say ‘No’ to the kids. They’re not asking.” Now they’re asking, and Pitt’s applying the word “ludicrous” to their marital boycott.

Bigger brood?

If six kids aren’t enough to badger them into a state of matrimony, what about an even bigger brood? Adoption, though not in the works, is always a possibility. “We haven’t closed the book on it,” Pitt tells the Hollywood Reporter, although he speaks of a “really nice balance in the house right now.” The twosome are–so far–parents to Maddox (born August 5, 2001), Pax (November 29, 2003), Zahara (July 6, 2005), Shiloh (May 27, 2006), and twins Knox and Vivienne (July 12, 2008).

Story behind Brad Pitt’s failed auditions >>

Hitters, hitmen, zombies

Pitt is busy on film projects: He has already cleared away his lead role as a hitman’s scout in “Cogan’s Trade,” which reunited him with New Zealand director Andrew Dominik (“The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford”), and he has a cameo in “Twelve Years a Trade.”
The big buzz though surrounds “World War Z” (Sexiest Man Alive meets zombies!), due out Dec. 12.

Attention, though, is focused on his Oscar chances: He’s up for best actor for “Moneyball,” for which he’s also a producer. (Arguably his strongest rival will be pal and prankster George Clooney.) He didn’t get an actor nod for “The Tree of Life,” but the drama’s up for best picture. He may or may not get producer credit on that one as well, but the real drama, according to the Hollywood Reporter, was the making, and near unmaking, of “Moneyball.”

Best friends face off in Oscars >>

“Moneyball” maneuvers

Pitt rejected the first script, which leaned more toward comedy. His reading of Michael Lewis’s recounting of the Oakland A’s was about “this idea of second chances and how we sometimes let ourselves be rated too much by others.”

He offered to exit the film, but the director “graciously” left instead, and Pitt enlisted a team with “Schindler’s List” playwright and Steven Soderbergh as director. Ironically, the movie about buying talent on the cheap got rejected by producers when the price tag hit $60 million. Pitt did some more lobbying, and dug up “Capote” director Bennett Miller: now the picture boasts six Oscar nominations.

Depression to strong foundations

One thing that Pitt carefully omits is the name of his ex, Jennifer Aniston, after he had to issue a clarification after he told Parade” magazine that his marriage contributed to an uninteresting life.

He does though talk about that dark, dope-fueled depression period in the late 1990s and thereafter (he was married to Aniston from 2000-2005). It was during a trip to Casablanca, where he witnessed extreme poverty, that he decided to pursue a mission to better others’ lives: So far, that has resulted in the Make It Right Foundation and the Jolie-Pitt Foundation.

Read Pitt’s interview here.