FAME - by Jude Swain

Actor Brad Pitt shares some of his most intimate thoughts with Jude Swain

You are a married man now, so have you started thinking about what kind of dad you would be?

I don’t know, but my father had a very authoritarian, Southern upbringing where not much was spoken. In fact, he and his father hardly spoke a word to each other. It used to be a bit like that with my father, but little by little we’ve tried to break out of that and see each other as equals. Luckily, he hasn’t handed down his father’s legacy, so now we’re finally able to discuss things without holding back—without beating around the bush. Certainly, when I get that job [as a dad] I will have to be aware of not being like that.

Are you broody?

Not especially, but I’ll probably be happiest following my parents’ model of a relationship: marriage, children and happy home.

Was it harder to fall in love because you are a celebrity?

No. I’ve found it easier to fall in love as I got older. But then again, your idea of love changes, doesn’t it? When you are in sixth grade with a little girlfriend, you think that is love; this is it! As you get older—and get to know someone—you understand what’s important for you, her and the two of you as a team.

What is your motto?

“Complacency is boredom. Boredom is death.” It’s how I feel about my acting. For me to take a part, it has to be interesting. It has to be about pushing forward and not rehashing the stuff I’ve done before.

Well, your future is looking pretty diverse. Snatch has just been released and coming up there is The Mexican with Julia Roberts and Sopranos boss James Gandolfini, a remake of Ocean’s 11 with George Clooney and then there is Joel and Ethan Coen’s war drama To The White Sea.

Yes, it’s busy. I can’t keep doing the same things because that would be absolutely stifling. I never want to fall into that trap.

What vices do you have?

Smoking Marlborough Lights.

Would you ever have plastic surgery?

No. There is too much emphasis on the exterior. People are too obsessed with their image. We shouldn’t be so consumed with plastic surgery, clothes, big peal white teeth or what shampoo we use. It just sends out the wrong message. We’re completely missing the point by doing that.

Who or what would you die for?

Other than a few, close people in my life, no one.

Were you ever a school bully, or were you bullied yourself? No, I’ve only ever had the usual sort of fights over girls or because of some kind of disrespect. From memory, I won one—probably because I took a cheap shot like grabbing the guy’s nuts, or something—and lost one. The only serious damage was to my ego.

What makes you angry?

Any time you are threatened, whether it’s imagined or real, you feel threatened, and sometimes you get to a point when you get so fed up with that, you hit this masochistic stage, because you’re tired of that. But it’s not something I’m clear on. I think I spend more time trying to push down any kind of rage. I’ve only recently realized that I’m sitting on a big box of it.

Who was the last person you hit?

Edward [Norton] while we were filming Fight Club, I clipped him once in the face, just enough to wake him up.

Fight Club was very violent and your role was a very tough, manly one. Do you have a feminine side?

Yes, but its very hairy.

Do you believe in revenge?

I’ve gotta say, I’m not really big on vengeance. I may dream about it, but I wouldn’t do it. I certainly haven’t peed in soup like my character in Fight Club.

What about when you sued Playgirl magazine for the nude photos of you and Gwyneth [Paltrow]?

That was different. It was more than just [the photos]. It’s that invasion. It’s not right. I wouldn’t have been there unless I felt 100 percent secure. I felt that they’d crossed the line and if they weren’t going to be accountable for themselves, then I wanted to make them accountable because I would never do that to anybody. Listen I check these things out. We were on private property and that photographer broke laws to get there. It was so covert and hideous.

Does fame sometimes feel like a curse?

I don’t feel like I’m in a cage. Maybe I feel more cut off from the herd than anything—a little, lone gazelle with the lions. But I don’t feel constrained in my personal life by what I do professionally at all. I don’t feel limitations as a result of what I do. What was it Picasso said? “Fame is a beast; I wouldn’t wish it on my worst enemy.” I agree with that to an extent.

Does it bug you that people see you as just a sex object and not a serious actor?

Yeah. I’m concerned about it, but I’ve pretty much given up worrying about that. It’s a losing battle that takes up too much time. It gets in the way. I don’t have anything to do with this image thing: I really don’t. Just I do whatever [film] interests me at the time and hopefully it’ll keep me honest.

You are starring in the British film Snatch, the new comedy thriller by Madonna’s man, Guy Ritchie, which also stars soccer-hard-man-turned-actor Vinnie Jones. What do you like about Britain?

The pubs. Guy took me on a tour of Irish pubs in London’s East End to improve my accent for my part in the film. That was fun.

Did you have many problems with the accent?

Mumbling helped [laughs].

Did you make a big fuss about the millennium?

Not really, it was a moment, like Sunday in the week, to stop and reflect on what’s just passed.

Are you afraid of dying?

Not really, but I am aware of my own mortality. Making movies has made me realize that nothing is permanent. It’s like those faded black-and-white photos of people dressed in old-fashioned clothes. One day that’s going to be us.

What do you think your epitaph will be?

I don’t really think about that stuff. Burn in hell, maybe.