If there’s one thing Brad Pitt is gonna do, it’s be on the cover of GQ and give a “revealing” interview about where his head’s at. Sometimes it’s pegged to a movie, sometimes it’s pegged to his divorce — any excuse to contemplate the nature of existence while wearing a scarf.
Pitt is gracing the cover of GQ once again — this time to promote his new film Bullet Train — and in a move that is both inspired and annoying, acclaimed novelist Ottessa Moshfegh is the one profiling him. (Coincidentally, her latest novel, Lapvona, comes out this week.) These are two freaks meeting each other on the same level (the level is talking about dream journaling and reciting Rumi poems).
Topics covered by Pitt and Moshfegh include: art, his potentially haunted house, how all of his friends have switched to “room temp” water, his pandemic “pursuit of ceramics” as a “tactile kind of sport,” cigarettes, his guilt about his possible face blindness, the feeling of being trapped on this plane of existence.
Topics not covered by Pitt and Moshfegh include: the ongoing legal battle over the vineyard he and Angelina Jolie owned, anything about his children, any critical reading of Pitt’s words whatsoever.
In his own words and in the words of the men who work with him (no women were interviewed for the piece), the Once Upon a Time in Hollywood star comes off as a man who cares a lot about creating great art and being a passionate yet chilled out guy. In Quentin Tarantino’s words, “He’s one of the last remaining big-screen movie stars.”
That is certainly true, and as with any profile of Brad Pitt, is one of the big ideas of the article. Here is this offbeat man blessed/cursed with a perfect face and an undeniable talent, but oh, how he thinks. He thinks all the time. He writes follow-up emails broken up into sections titled “Summation, Clarification, Rumination.” He says things like, “I am a murderer. I’m a lover. I have the capacity for great empathy and I can devolve into pettiness,” while standing beside a fire.
Another writer might remark that that is a crazy thing to say. That being said, a writer less wacky than Moshfegh might not have been able to get that out of him. To her, he is an open book waiting to be devoured. To me, he is a man using a glamorous magazine cover story to bolster his image while avoiding talking about the fact that he is waging a legal and media war against his ex-wife. But hey, you say Pitt-ato, I say Pitt-ato.