VIVA! (Romanian edition)

February 2000

We are not talking about beauty only. There is a sort of mixture in Brad Pitt, a mixture of innocence and knowledge, vulnerability and strength,
things which define the most charming actor of the new generation.

Obviously, Brad Pitt looks extremely well. But there had always been handsome guys at Hollywood, in search of a role. But none of them has the
extraordinary self-consciousness that Brad has. Nor the sadness in his eyes, nor that sexy smile that softens women's (as well as men's) hearts.
"He may do whatever he wants in order to look bad", says Bernie Pollack, the costume designer in "Devil's Own", where Pitt played alongside with
Harrison Ford. "He may not wash himself, he may not shave, he may dress shabby... There is something about him that catches your eye". One of his
ex-girlfriends, Juliette Lewis, said in 1992: "I can look good too if I dress up or put make-up on. Otherwise, I'm a completely normal person. With
Brad there is something else. When he's asleep, he looks like a Greek god." Meanwhile, Brad suffers because of his beauty. His friends even say that he
was absolutely terrified when "People" magazine named him, in 1995, "the sexiest man alive".

The first steps
Brad Pitt was born in Shawnee, Oklahoma, on December 18th 1963, but he spent his childhood in Springfield, Missouri, where his family moved soon
after his birth. The eldest brother, he inherited his father's blue-eyes (his father - manager at a transport company) and his mother's good
manners. Brad was an irresistible child, who sang in the city's choir of the Baptist church. In adolescence, he played tennis, basketball and he
took up some fighting lessons. He has always been a well-educated young man and a very well-dressed one, too. In his final years at school he was even chosen as the best dressed boy from his high-school. Later on he attended the University of Missouri, Columbia. Being talented in drawing and
architecture, as a student, he found out especially what he didn't want to do. "Architecture was tough", he recalls. "You had to study day and night!" So he chose advertising. Soon he realized that this was not for him either. "I wouldn't have liked to spend the rest of my life trying to create ads for Campbell soup", says Brad. At 22, he decides to quit university and leaves for Hollywood only two credits short from graduation. But there was nobody
waiting for him there. The first nights he slept in his car, then in a 3-room apartment that he shared with other seven young searchers of fame.
While waiting for the big role, Brad sold fridges and cigarettes, he was a chauffeur and a screen-writer's assistant, and even a chicken-costumed
restaurant mascot, he had sometimes three jobs at a time in order to pay his acting-lessons.

A hopeless romantic
In 1987, one of his colleagues got an audition and asked Brad to be her partner. It is not known whether the girl got the part, the sure thing is
that Brad made a strong impression on the audience. After some minor roles, Pit finally gets in September his first real part in "Dallas", where he
appeared in 5 episodes as Randy, the lover of Priscilla Presley's daughter, played by Shalane McCall. The script became true and the two got
romantically involved. In fact, Pitt's career seems to have followed a certain pattern, marked by love-stories with the majority of his film
partners: Jill Schoelen ("Cutting Class"), Robin Givens ("Head of the Class"), Juliette Davis ("Too Young to Die"), Geena Davis ("Thelma &
Louise"), Julia Ormond ("Legends of the Fall") and Gwyneth Paltrow ("Seven"). "I believe them to be very some lucky women", says Lobel, one of
Pitt's managers. "There had been many women in Brad's life, but never more than one at a time. That one, the unique one, received all his attention
and affection", says Lobel, who used to lend him money. "He used to cover them with refined, expensive presents, that he could not afford." When the
splitting up would come, Brad always used to say: We realized that it was not working, so each of us continued to go on his way." In 1988, Brad meets
Juliette Lewis, his partner in "Too Young to Die". He was 25, she was 16. They were complementary in such a way that Brad will not find until ten
years later, with Jennifer Aniston. He was a guy from Missouri and she was a girl "from another planet, but from a good planet" as Brad said in 1991.
"We are at the same time lovers, brothers, friends, all of that.", used to say Juliette. But she had a drug-problem and another one with scientology,
which she was very fond of, and Brad found himself forced to break up with her: "We grow up with the idea that love can overcome everything, but it
isn't quite so, is it?" he used to philosophize in the summer of 1993, when he was trying to get used to his break-up with Juliette and when he was
filming "Legends of the Fall". The film was an enormous hit, especially because of Brad's presence. He had already become the star whose name only could assure the success of a production. Then followed 6 months of filming "Interview with a Vampire", in New Orleans and London, only during the night, by dark. "He was completely into that role",  says Neil Jordan, the director. "He dyed his hair dark, as if he had taken the color of those rats he was swallowing in the film in order to survive". In 1995, Brad plays together with Gwyneth Platrow in "Seven". At the same time appeared that famous edition of "People" and somebody from the crew wrote on the back of his chair: "the sexiest man alive". Brad refused to sit on that chair. "We were filming somewhere in Los Angeles ,and thousand of women came to watch us", says Arnold Kopelson, the producer, "we were forced to call the police". Gwyneth was in love after her first meeting with Brad. "They were just like two teenagers in love", says Kopelson. "They made a pact not to be away from each other more than two weeks and they kept their promise". He flew with her to England, where she was filming "Emma", she went with him to
Argentina, where he was shooting "Seven Years in Tibet". In 1996, Paltrow confessed that she wanted to have 4 kids with Brad.

Talent and a lot of hard work
Alongside with sentimental fulfillment, Brad also was looking for the professional one. He fought in order to get the part of the insane
scientist that Bruce Willis meets in "Twelve Monkeys". While preparing for the role, Brad went to sessions of group-therapies for the mentally-ill.
Before starting the actual shooting, he hospitalized for a day in a mental institution from Philadelphia, under the name of his character,
Jeffrey Goines. He wore brown contact lenses that made him look insane. Because of this film, Brad was nominated by the Academy for Best Supporting
Actor, in 1996, and he won the Golden Globe. At the award ceremony, Brad thanked everybody, but especially "the angel, the love of his life". That
angel was at the time Gwyneth Paltrow. Today, the angel is called Jennifer Aniston. The reason for his break-up with Gwyneth, after they were  on the
verge of getting marred, remained unknown. Friends say that Jennifer is asort of "anti-Gwyneth", that is an anti-star: without the fake glamour and
long-studied photos, which are Gwyneth's favorites. Jennifer is very indifferent to her star-status, attitude that perfectly matches Brad's love
for the natural: "We go on trips and drink beer outdoors", says Jennifer. Brad enjoys the most staying at his house, on one of Hollywood's hills,
taking care of his pets (iguanas and chameleons), or watching the fighting championship on television. Fighting is the main idea in his most recent
film, "Fight Club". In order to look as real as possible in the skin of his character, Brad "arranged" his face a little and replaced one of his front
teeth. "He desperately tries to look like hell, but he doesn't really succeed", said the film producer, Laura Ziskin, manager of "Fox 2000". "He
swells his eyes, he breaks his teeth. And he remains gorgeous."

Mihaela Doina Radulescu

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