In a recent interview, Brad Pitt spoke to The Associated Press about his new film, “War Machine,” in which he plays a slightly fictionalized version of Gen. Stanley McChrystal; stepping back into the limelight for the first time since Angelina Jolie Pitt filed for divorce from him; and his future in movies. Here are excepted highlights:
ON ACKNOWLEDGING A DRINKING PROBLEM
I’ve got no secrets. I’ve got nothing to hide. We’re human and I find the human condition very interesting. If we’re not talking about it, then we’re not getting better.
ON WHY HIS CHARACTER ISN’T NAMED GEN. STANLEY McCHRYSTAL
We had no interest in impugning General McChrystal or any of his guys. For me, the problem is more systematic. And the impetus for me was a visit to Walter Reed. Although those young men and women who are absolutely heroic in a very harrowing situation, their lives are forever changed and so are their families. I just really made me question who is spending this currency of dedication. Who’s writing the check? Who’s making the order?
ON SENDING MORE TROOPS TO AFGHANISTAN
Nothing that we’ve ever done has said that more troops are going to do anything but cause any more damage, more loss of life and limb. So why are we not questioning this? It seems time for some kind of hearing. I don’t trust a governmental I hearing. It needs to come from the people. We talk a lot about supporting our troops but I think supporting our troops is much more than giving them money and a pat on the back. I think it’s being responsible to how we use that ultimate dedication. I guess it’s this idea of American exceptionalism that I question the definition of. We are exceptional is so many ways. But it doesn’t mean we can just throw might at any problem. We’re sending them into a culture that we don’t understand.
ON NETFLIX AND ‘WAR MACHINE’
It wouldn’t have gotten made without Netflix. The reality for the studios is it just doesn’t make sense for them on paper. They can take the gamble up to $35 million on a risky film. And then otherwise they focus on big tent-poles which seem to be safer and make the big payoffs. It’s not their fault in any way. The numbers just don’t run for them. Now with Netflix and other entities like Netflix, it becomes a whole new delivery system for these kinds of films I prefer to gamble on. For us, it’s opened up a whole new world of possibilities. I’ll stick work with studios, I’ll always do that, at least I think so, as long as they’re around. Because they are still films that deserve to have the big-screen, cultural experience.
ON BEST-PICTURE WINNER ‘MOONLIGHT’
That’s what I’m most proud of. That’s Barry Jenkins’ — and the cast and crew —that’s their vision, but to be able to help get it over the hill — a difficult movie, a challenging film like that, that feels good. That feels really good. I like that job.