Ode to Brad Pitt (whom we missed dearly)

Carefree like this, we haven’t seen him in a long, too long time. And the public was totally unaccustomed to Brad Pitt’s playful version but in recent weeks, thanks to the promotion of the film Bullet trains (now in Italian cinemas), the 58-year-old Hollywood star has taken back what is rightfully his, a leading place in Hollywood’s Olympus.

The forty-eight months between the wedding and Angelina Jolie’s divorce petition they seemed like twenty years long in the eyes of the fans (and maybe even hers): there has been drama, quarrels and now even legal battles for the custody of the six children. This gray cloud has obscured everything, not just his private life, putting an abysmal distance between the actor and the public. Face drawn, expression dull, serious speeches, indeed very serious: there was no margin for the light-heartedness with which he instead infected everyone on the carpets of half the world during the promotional tour.

Not only did she color the red carpet with all shades of the rainbow, with light and cheerful looks (skirts included), but she also played with the photographers improvising martial arts moves, making silly faces, performing dances and jumps in front of colleagues posing for the usual shots. Not to mention the photobombings and selfies. It’s all documented, but it wasn’t a pro-camera farce.

That spark of life has returned to Brad Pitt. Far from home, acquaintances, friends, children and all the daily routine, he literally took off. Like an eternal Peter Pan he found the desire to laugh and make people smile again, he let himself go, as if he had finally managed to break a spell.

In part it could be thanks to Ladybug (LadyBug), the clumsy killer he plays in the film, probably did him good shooting in Japan for whole weeks, light years away from Hollywood showbusiness. Perhaps it is the result of the balsamic effect that the presence of friends has on the spirit: to direct it we find David Leitch, who has been next to him since he acted as his stunt double for the first time in Fight Club. Theirs looks a bit like the relationship that Quentin Tarantino staged between him and Leonardo DiCaprio in Once upon a time in… Hollywood: they are each other’s shoulder and rock, in a kind of indissoluble bromance.

And that’s how everyone likes it, probably even himself: almost reborn, spontaneous and unpredictable. This side of Brad Pitt had been missing for a while, nearly twenty years probably, since the days of Ocean’s Elevenwith that rowdy team led by another friend, George Clooney.

Then he met Jolie on the set of Mr and Mrs Smithfiled his marriage to America’s sweetheart Jennifer Aniston and kicked off a more adult chapter of existence, at least in the common sense. The new partner’s package already included two children (Maddox and Zahara, previously adopted by the actress) and within a few months he found himself a father three times (with the birth of the first biological child of the two, Shiloh).

In the progressive transformation something of the “old” Brad was lost. Between the problems with alcohol, the fight against his demons and the painful end of the marriage. The darkest chapter would be in an FBI file obtained a few days ago by CNN. It is a complaint from 2006 in which the actor is accused of domestic violence against Angelina Jolie. The episode would have occurred in flight, when the drunk actor would have tried to hit his wife, and then one of his children. The complaint remained there, the truth never came out. Unfortunately.

The Brad Pitt of 2022 appears to be a distant light from that man. Today he appears serene. And the public wishes him just this, that he continues to marvel at telling stories and wanting to share them with everyone.

Other Vanity Fair stories you may be interested in:

Harry and Meghan, the distance from William and Kate

Meghan Markle and Harry sometimes come back

Prince Harry on children and the web

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About David Martin

David Martin is the lead editor for Spark Chronicles. David has been working as a freelance journalist.

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