Brad Pitt is one of the most celebrated actors of our time. His career spans over three decades, during which he has taken on a wide range of roles in various genres. Some of his most challenging roles have required him to undergo significant physical transformations, while others have tested his emotional depth as an actor. Here, we take a look at some of the lesser-known facts and stories from behind the scenes of Brad Pitt’s most challenging roles.
Fight Club (1999)
In David Fincher’s cult classic Fight Club, Brad Pitt plays Tyler Durden, a charismatic and anarchic character who becomes a cult leader to a group of disaffected young men. To prepare for the role, Pitt underwent intensive training in boxing and martial arts, spending months working with stunt coordinators and fight choreographers. He also lost 10 pounds in weight to achieve a lean and muscular look. However, it was his performance in the famous “chemical burn” scene that really tested Pitt’s limits. The scene required him to have his face and body covered in prosthetic burns, which he wore for over 14 hours a day, for several weeks.
In Wolfgang Petersen’s epic historical drama Troy, Brad Pitt played the role of Greek hero Achilles. The role required him to have long, blond hair, which he grew out for over a year. However, during filming, Pitt’s hair became damaged due to the constant exposure to the sun, sand and sea. To solve the problem, the production team had to hire a hairdresser who flew in from Los Angeles every two weeks to tend to Pitt’s hair. The hairdresser, who had previously worked on the set of Lord of the Rings, used a special shampoo made from chamomile and honey to restore Pitt’s hair to its former glory.
The Curious Case of Benjamin Button (2008)
The Curious Case of Benjamin Button is a visually stunning film that explores the life of a man who ages backwards. To play the lead role of Benjamin Button, Brad Pitt underwent a lengthy process of makeup and prosthetics, which took over five hours to apply every day. To achieve the desired effect of aging backwards, Pitt had to wear a wig and have his facial features digitally altered using motion capture technology. However, despite the technical challenges, the role allowed Pitt to showcase his emotional range as an actor, leading to one of the most memorable performances of his career.
In Moneyball, Brad Pitt played the role of Billy Beane, a former baseball player who becomes a general manager for the Oakland Athletics. The role required Pitt to embody the real-life character’s intense focus and drive for success. To prepare for the role, Pitt spent time with the real Billy Beane, attending meetings and games to observe his mannerisms and behavior. The effort paid off, with Pitt earning an Oscar nomination for his performance.
Ad Astra (2019)
In the sci-fi film Ad Astra, Brad Pitt played Roy McBride, an astronaut who embarks on a dangerous mission to find his missing father in space. The role required Pitt to undergo rigorous training, including zero-gravity simulation flights and astronaut boot camp. In an interview with Entertainment Weekly, Pitt described the physical and emotional toll of the role, saying “It was probably the hardest film I’ve ever worked on. I mean, emotionally and physically, it was just taxing.”
In conclusion, Brad Pitt’s career has been marked by a series of challenging roles that have pushed him to his limits as an actor. From physical transformations to emotional depth, Pitt has consistently risen to the challenge, delivering some of the most iconic performances of our time.