OPRAH WINFREY: Whoa! OK. All right. I know you’re ready. He’s here, and I’m not going to make you wait one more second. Please welcome Brad Pitt! Sit down. Just let it be. Let it be.
PITT: They’ve got a couple of guys out there. That’s good.
WINFREY: Oh, yeah.
PITT: Is that how loud they get on Oprah’s Favorite Things?
WINFREY: Like that. Yes ’cause you are a favorite person. Yes, you are. I have to say that I’ve never seen a reaction like that in all of these years you know, where you can feel it coming up out of the floor. Has it–this has been happening to you, though, since the second grade, right?
PITT: No, no, no, no.
WINFREY: No, not quite.
PITT: No, not hardly. They used to let me sit out in the hall in second grade.
WINFREY: Well, Brad’s new epic movie, which you all saw–Right?
PITT: Did you guys see it? Good, good, good, you like. Good. OK.
WINFREY: OK. You’re terrific. It’s worth a standing ovation. Troy is one of the most anticipated films of the year, and is one of the most expensive films ever made. And when you see it, you’ll understand–yeah, but you’re going to make all the money back. Honor, war, passion–these are the themes of Troy. Brad Pitt plays Achilles, the greatest warrior of all time.
(Excerpt from Troy, courtesy Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc.)
WINFREY: Orlando Bloom is Paris, the prince of Troy whose forbidden love for the great beauty, Helen, ignites a war of epic proportions. The mighty Prince Hector, played by Eric Bana, leads the fierce battle.
(Excerpt from Troy)
WINFREY: Fires burn as love and war rage on. (Excerpt from Troy)
WINFREY: It’s great. The movie is great. The movie is sensational.
PITT: Good. Thank you. I’m really happy with it. I have a really strong feeling…
WINFREY: Have you seen it?
PITT: I’ve seen it once. I saw a rough cut, and it’s very complex and it’s a lot of movie.
WINFREY: A lot of movie.
WINFREY: Well, this is what’s amazing–your body.
PITT: Oh, stop.
WINFREY: No. Oh. Oh. Oh. OK. So how…
WINFREY: No, we can’t stop, Brad. How did you train for that? I mean, that looked like a lot of preparation.
PITT: Well, it was. I had a lot of time off. I hadn’t worked for a couple of years. So I had, like, six months going into this thing. And it’s all right.
PITT: It sucked. It really–it’s a lot of hard work.
WINFREY: …’cause you quit smoking?
PITT: Yeah, I did. Yeah. Don’t. Don’t. I started again, so…
WINFREY: You started–oh. But you quit during the training?
PITT: But, no, it took a lot of work. It was a half a day of training for, like, six months going in and…
WINFREY: What kind of training?
PITT: Weights and sword and, I mean, the body is pretty amazing. It will acclimate. It will do what you tell it needs to do.
PITT: And I worked with a guy who knew a lot and he said, ‘If you want to get to where you want to get to for this thing, you have to put yourself in a place of discomfort every day. And so you just push through that.
WINFREY: So you were pushing to see how far you could–what you could get your body to do.
PITT: Yeah, I figured, ‘Hell, you know, I’m about to turn 40 and, you know, impending midlife crisis. So, let’s go see…’
WINFREY: So you did it. I heard that when you were staying in Malta that you’re in this 300-year-old house and that you refused to have air conditioning.
PITT: Well, I–OK. This is where we get a little weird. We get a little off the track, but it does help, because you want to–in a film like this with such–I mean, it’s one of the great stories of all time and you want to get it right. And you’ve got to put yourself in that kind of tone or mood of the times. And this guy was a very isolated character. So I adopted a kind of monastic life and I lived up in a stone house and it was a bit lonely at times, but it works.
WINFREY: Monastic meaning Jennifer was not coming to…
PITT: No, she came out.
WINFREY: Ok. She did come out.
PITT: It wasn’t that monastic.
PITT: No, I got conjugal visits, yeah.
WINFREY: OK. Yeah. Very good. But I’d heard that there were times where Jen was looking at you like you were kind of out of your mind. Is that true?
PITT: Oh, well, that’s normal, I guess. Yeah.
WINFREY: Because you sort of tried to put yourself in the zone.
PITT: You got to. You have to with something like….
WINFREY: Yeah. And so didn’t you turn 40 already? You turned 40 in December.
PITT: Yeah, I turned 40 in December.
WINFREY: OK. Well, how does that feel?
PITT: It’s actually, it’s really nice. I kind of–I thought it would–you know, I’ve heard the stories, but I feel like it’s a real badge of honor and you’ve got no more excuses and you’re your own man and it’s… you’re responsible for everything you do. You can’t blame it on anyone else. None of that.
WINFREY: Do you feel like playtime is over?
PITT: No, I feel like playtime’s kind of begun.
WINFREY: Yeah. Really?
WINFREY: You know I adore your wife. I adore her. I have such respect for Jen. And I read this Vanity Fair article–I think it’s coming out really soon. They did a great job. And in that article, you said about her that her emphasis is the home. You said, “Friends and family, we all crowd around her like moths to the flame.”
PITT: Yeah, she’s very–she’s one of the warmest people I meet and we all do.
PITT: And she’s–no, this is genuine. It’s truly genuine. There’s not an ill-intentioned bone in this woman’s body. She’s really extraordinary that way and she has taught me a lot that way.
PITT: Yeah. She brings people together.
WINFREY: Well, I just saw her the other day at the Bel-Air Hotel, we’re talking about, you know, Friends is ending and all that.
WINFREY: OK. So let’s roll just a little bit of that.
(Excerpt from videotape)
WINFREY: You know your husband’s going to be on. I have to interview him next week.
Ms. JENNIFER ANISTON: I know. I’m so jealous I can’t be in Chicago and be there.
WINFREY: Have you seen the movie?
Ms. ANISTON: I have. It’s fantastic. It’s exquisite. It’s epic. It’s huge and he’s the bad ass.
(End of excerpt)
WINFREY: Brad Pitt’s new epic film is what we’re talking about, Troy. Brad trained for a year to get into perfect shape to play the greatest warrior of all times.
PITT: Six months.
WINFREY: OK. Six months, OK? Brad trained…
PITT: Two years.
WINFREY: …trained for a while. For a while, he trained. OK. And we’re going to see Brad’s favorite scene. Let’s go. Roll it.
(Excerpt from Troy)
PITT: Yeah, it really was.
WINFREY: Now, I mean, one of the greats of our time.
PITT: One of the greats of our time. That was Peter O’Toole.
PITT: So that scene was certainly a highlight in my–I don’t know–14 years or however long I’ve been… and to–having done…
WINFREY: Well, first of all, it would be a highlight in the script, and then when the actual moment comes…
PITT: And it’s Peter O’Toole.
WINFREY: …and it’s Peter O’Toole …and you pull it off that way it’s extraordinary. And I heard that Peter O’Toole said that you were a real scoundrel.
PITT: I don’t know. This…
WINFREY: It’s something. He says, “He’s a scoundrel. He led me, his elderly colleague, astray more than once.”
PITT: Ooh, that is–that is not true. All–I went to meet him at 4:00 in the afternoon. I had to leave at 4:00 AM, 12 hours later, because Peter was still going very–he was going strong. And I–the kid had to get some sleep.
WINFREY: OK. This was a grueling schedule.
PITT: It was, and it was 100-degree weather, you know, 14-hour days on the sand. You couldn’t find shade anywhere. And every now and then you’d see a grip–a big 240-pound grip holding a light and you’d just see him go (wobbles) and just do a header. Yeah, we had heat stroke and everyone went down.
WINFREY: Because those shields and all those–that costuming can’t be comfortable.
PITT: Actually, it wasn’t bad.
WINFREY: Really? It looks heavy and uncomfortable.
PITT: Yeah. But that skirt’s got… a little breeze.
WINFREY: OK. So the love scenes. The love scenes.
PITT: Oh, yeah.
WINFREY: I have to say… that looked like a really tight behind.
PITT: All right. All right.
WINFREY: Yeah. And so how do you get that to happen ’cause I want to work on mine this summer?
PITT: I don’t know. I was trying…
WINFREY: I want to know–this is what I was thinking. You could write a book right now called “Brad’s Hard Butt,” and you could sell a million copies. We would all be out. Just tell us what you did and we’d say, ‘We want to do whatever that is.’
PITT: No, no, no. There is some truth to that.
WINFREY: What is the truth?
PITT: I was working out very hard. I was try–I was wearing a skirt. I was trying to get–I was trying to put muscle on my legs, and for some reason, my ass just kept getting bigger and bigger and bigger while my legs just kind of went… I don’t know what I was doing.
WINFREY: Oh, we…
PITT: All right. That’s enough about…
WINFREY: OK. But getting into shape. As I said, Brad has some very sexy love scenes in Troy. In order to show you this one on TV, we have to take out a couple of the shots, but our audience is seeing the uncut version. So…
(Excerpt from Troy)
WINFREY: I know that’s embarrassing. Is that embarrassing?
PITT: Well, no, there’s a–it’s just distracting, ’cause there’s a really good movie there. It’s…
WINFREY: Well, you know, lots of people go for different reasons. No, it is. I mean, we all agree. You got a standing ovation here. It’s an extraordin–she just said, ‘It’s a good movie and that made it better.’
PITT: OK. Apparently… you know, these Greeks, they were naked all the time.
WINFREY: And the Greeks partied a lot, too.
PITT: And they–yeah. Yeah, they liked to party.
WINFREY: Yeah, you come out of the tent, you’re drinking wine early in the morning.
PITT: Yeah, you’re… catching the breeze.
WINFREY: Even in the early scenes when the women first came out dancing and I think–yeah, yeah, yeah. The Greek kings says, ‘You know, we must, you know, go to war and keep our women… and then maybe keep the women in our beds.’
WINFREY: And I thought ‘You know, my goodness, to be a woman at that time, and that’s your only role is just to… dance around a little bit for some little–you know, that thing and, you know…’
PITT: You would have had a field day. You would have kicked some ass.
WINFREY: Would I?
PITT: Yeah. Yeah.
WINFREY: Rarely a week goes by, you know, where you and Jennifer are not in the tabloids. And when you’re on, I go, ‘Oh, this is good. That means I don’t have to be on there. That’s good.’ Yeah, when you see other people on, it’s…
PITT: Please, bring Ben and J. Lo back.
WINFREY: And you’ve lived it forever. What really ticks you off about it, the whole tabloid thing?
PITT: I guess the sensationalism… the speculation, the constant speculation as fact, the rumor as fact. Really it drives me a bit–it used to drive me more crazy. Now I just… we turn our backs on it.
WINFREY: [It] gets a theme? Like, my theme has been weight and marriage. And so whatever your theme is, whatever they decide…
PITT: That’s right. That’s right.
WINFREY: And they wear that out…
PITT: Well, Jen got weight for a while and then we’re coupledom, yeah.
WINFREY: You’re the poster couple for marriage and all of that.
PITT: Come on, Ben.
WINFREY: What’s going to happen when you have babies ’cause, you know, when I was talking to Jen recently, she said that when Friends was over, she was going to go home and work on that baby thing?
PITT: We just can’t dodge that question, can we?
WINFREY: No, you can’t.
PITT: We cannot dodge that question.
WINFREY: You can’t get away from it. No, you can’t. But…
PITT: OK. We’re still in negotiations. We’re still in rehearsals. It’s going very well and I am–I am excited about the future. I’m really looking forward to it. I finally feel like I’ve got my stuff together where I’m ready for that. I’d be good at it.
WINFREY: And I read–I don’t know if it’s true but I read that you would like–you would love having all girls.
PITT: I like girls. You know, I don’t mean …(unintelligible). Yeah. You know, I just–yeah.
WINFREY: That’s so nice.
PITT: Little hers. Yeah. It’s my dream.
WINFREY: What is so interesting is that you have had these, you know, dashing good looks all of your life, and even when you were a little kid, a little boy, you were a dashing, good-looking little boy. Did you realize early on that the dashing good looks worked in your favor?
PITT: Well, you–a serious question, yes?
WINFREY: Yes. Very serious.
PITT: You certainly–no, it’s true. You certainly see–I was quite aware of certain advantages and disadvantages. And I saw things–I saw doors opening easier.
WINFREY: What would be the disadvantage? Really seriously.
PITT: Well, it’s hubris…is the disadvantage and not being tested properly. And I did see–I was quite–I was painfully aware of some doors opening where they didn’t for others. And I would ask my mother. My mom would come to our rooms, you know, when we were little and talk us to sleep. We’d talk for–you know, spend time, talk for a half-hour. And I remember asking her about this at a very young age, like, ‘Why isn’t the world fair? Why is it not fair?’ And she said to me that it’s not, but this means that you have more responsibility. And it’s something that’s always rung in my head and anyways, that’s…
WINFREY: That you have more responsibility?
PITT: There’s the–there’s the true answer.
WINFREY: Yeah, because doors can open for you, and people do respond to you differently.
PITT: What you do with it. And she was leading the way to help others as well. I was so moved. I–you guys saw Oprah’s episode where she went to Africa? Yeah, just–really. That was good. I just saw that.
WINFREY: That was great. Yeah. But, you know, I think that’s the constant challenge–no matter who you are, is to figure out how you can be used in the world for something that’s bigger than your own little life.
PITT: I agree. Where you fit. Where you can apply yourself. But that really inspired me and it sent me down some paths along those lines that I’m really I’m excited to get into.
WINFREY: That’s so–I–that’s good.
PITT: It was wonderful what you did. You brightened their lives forever, no matter how brief, you brightened their lives.
WINFREY: Yeah. And I’m building a school over there, too.
PITT: That’s great. That’s good. Really good.
WINFREY: Thanks, Brad. So Brad recently moved into–Brad and Jen moved into a huge new home that they gutted and renovated and I hear that you are–like, if you weren’t doing this job, that you’d probably be an architect, is that true?
PITT: Yeah, I just can’t keep my hands off of it. I’m really into it and I love architecture. It’s just this huge art piece that you can be inside and have all these–I believe it lifts your soul and it affects your mind-set, you know, how much light comes in, how you see out, the freedom and blah, blah, blah, blah, blah. But, yeah, I’m really into it, but this house that we got–it’s big.
WINFREY: How big?
PITT: It’s so big I come home and I lose Jen. I can’t find her. I’ll come home and I’ll go, ‘Jen! Jen!’ I’ll hear this, ‘I’m back here.’ And there’s two stairwells. So I’ll go up one, I’ll try to find her. Meanwhile, she’s trying to find me. So we’ll end up, like, for five minutes, like, chase–‘Where?’ ‘I’m back here’ chasing her, and then we’ll meet up somewhere in the middle.
WINFREY: But isn’t it the best thing, putting a house together? Isn’t it the best?
PITT: Yeah. Yeah. It’s aggravating, too.
WINFREY: Yeah. You get it. And so what’s your favorite room in the house now?
PITT: Oh, I like the kitchen. Yeah, that’s where we spend a lot of time.
WINFREY: And so when you say you’re involved architecturally, are you working with the architects? Are you deciding…
PITT: Yeah, I actually have a little group now of–who are actually licensed architects. I’m not. I’m a play architect.
WINFREY: Do you think you’d ever get licensed?
WINFREY: Don’t need to?
PITT: No. It’s, like, 10 to 12 years to do that.
WINFREY: OK. Forget about it.
PITT: You can–yeah.
WINFREY: Do you guys–do you and Jen have the same taste in decorating?
WINFREY: No. So how do you work that out?
PITT: We slug it out.
WINFREY: Marriage is an interesting process, ongoing, isn’t it?
PITT: It’s phenomenal.
WINFREY: And I loved hearing you say–at least I read this in the Vanity Fair article where you were saying that maybe it’s not–maybe the nature of two people is not meant to be with each other forever.
PITT: Well, I don’t know. I’m not sure what I was talking about there actually… but there’s just so much pressure on that from day one. And to me or to Jen and I, it’s always been about getting everything on the table and growing together.
WINFREY: What you said was ‘We don’t cage each other with this pressure of happily ever after. You figure it out as you go along. Jen and I always made a pact. We’ll see where this is going. I’m not sure it really is our nature to be with someone for the rest of our lives, because you just made this pact. You keep going as long as you keep growing. When that dies, we do, but it constantly surprises me. It’s good fun. We still have that friendship. We still’ … is this sounding like you?
PITT: I guess so.
PITT: Blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah.
WINFREY: ‘We’re good at getting bleep on the table, OK? And then she tells other people, and I get mad.’ Does that sound like something you said?
PITT: ‘Then she tells other people I get mad.’ Oh, yeah. Yeah, that’s me. Yeah. That’s me ’cause she’ll tell, like little personal arguments that we had in the press or on shows and I’ll go ‘Why–why are you–don’t take me out.’
PITT: ‘Take yourself out.’ But no, she’s a riot. She’s no-holds-barred. She’s no secrets and fantastic that way.
WINFREY: Yeah. And she’s a girl’s girl. When I talked to her for O magazine and she was saying sometimes she and her girlfriends get together and they just kind of howl at the moon.
PITT: I leave when this stuff goes on. But they do have a–yeah.
WINFREY: A howling good time?
PITT: Yeah, they–I don’t know what goes on. I take off.
WINFREY: What is the best part about being who you are right now, 40, having finished this great epic film, sitting here now in Chicago, filming Ocean’s Twelve, having a movie coming out with Angelina Jolie? What is…
PITT: I would say first with getting to release the film, you know, let it out to the public after so much work, being 40, just as I say I’m happy to be here, which is somewhat new. So you…
WINFREY: It’s new that you’re happy to be here?
PITT: It–to some degree, yeah.
WINFREY: You want to, like, elaborate on that a little bit?
PITT: No, not really. Then–I’m a questioner. I always question everything to death. And much more, I guess, at peace about–no, I don’t want to elaborate.
WINFREY: OK. Boy, that would have been a good conversation.
PITT: Yeah. Yeah. We’re moving on. And a great friendship…an extraordinary friendship with my wife and, yeah, now I’m with the lads–starting one with the lads.
WINFREY: Now I don’t tell you all to go see movies if I really don’t believe it in it. See–if I’m interviewing somebody and I’m really not sure about the movie but I like them, ‘Oh, very nice,’ you know? Have you noticed that in the past? I was, ‘Oh, that’s very nice. Did you enjoy making the film?’ No, but this movie, Troy is…
PITT: That was Meet Joe Black by the way. I was here.
WINFREY: No. Well, there is a difference between you really like the person, and the movie is–because it’s a lot to tell people to get up, leave your home, go spend the money…
WINFREY: …find somebody to keep the children ’cause I would not take my children to see this film. I would not. Unless they are–no, I wouldn’t. You shouldn’t take young children. Brad isn’t the only heart-stopper, though, in the grand saga. The man who plays his mighty archenemy is something to behold also. When Aussie Eric Bana began his career as a comedian, he never imagined he was destined to be a Hollywood leading man. He played opposite Troy co-star Orlando Bloom in Black Hawk Down.
(Excerpt from Black Hawk Down)
WINFREY: Now he’s about to wow audiences as the dashing Prince Hector of Troy. Please welcome Eric Bana!
ERIC BANA: Thank you.
WINFREY: What was it like for you, this experience?
BANA: Oh, it was–to put it in a nutshell, which sort of doesn’t do the film justice, but it was like, you know, when you’re a young kid and you dream about being an actor in motion pictures, this movie was like the definition of the ultimate experience, you know?
WINFREY: Yeah. This was really shocking to me. Brad and Eric did all of their own fighting.
WINFREY: In their colossal battle scene, no stuntmen were used. It took 30 people three months to design this big fight between Brad and Eric, and they rehearsed four hours a day for eight weeks to get it just right. OK. Well, that…
PITT: Not quite four hours but in terms of…
WINFREY: OK. Not quite four.
BANA: It makes it sound fantastic, though. Just let it go.
WINFREY: No, well, what was the real deal?
BANA: Well, it was extensive. You know, I started training back home in Australia about six months before we started shooting just like Brad and horse riding training and sword fighting.
WINFREY: Were you trying to get your buns tight, too?
WINFREY: OK. OK. Never mind.
BANA: Well, we had to do what we had to do.
WINFREY: So is it true that you and Eric had–paid each other for injuries that happened in the fight scene?
PITT: We had rehearsed this fight for a long time, and then we got–we shut down for a bit and then had to go back in December and finish this fight. And, you know, there’s always the fear of–I mean, these things are–they’re fake, but they still hurt. So you’ve got to make sure you get out of the way. You’ve got to make sure we’re accurate, our sync, our timing’s together. So we devised kind of an incentive not to take each other’s heads off, that we would have to pay ea–whoever hit the other guy would have to pay him $50 for slight hits and $100 for heavy hits.
WINFREY: Who paid?
PITT: $750 to Eric. Wait. Wait. Wait. And I had to pay myself $200.
WINFREY: Because–well, first of all, do you spend a lot of time–we were talking about the physical training, but learning to use swords and shields and all of that, I would think it would take some adjustment. Yeah.
PITT: Yeah. We have. Yeah. Really, I mean, if we started months before just getting the feel of it and getting your balance, and then into the film, which took six months and the very last thing we shot was this fight, which is one of my favorites.
BANA: Now we were so ready, Oprah. We were just, like, ‘If we take each other’s head off, who cares. Let’s just go for it.’
WINFREY: And so when you’re doing this, are you thinking about–’cause it’s a dance, really. It’s a dance.
WINFREY: Well, the other handsome lead warrior in Troy is Orlando Bloom. From The Lord of the Rings to Pirates of the Caribbean, Orlando’s building quite the blockbuster resume. Right now he’s shooting his next movie in Morocco. Orlando.
ORLANDO BLOOM: Hello, Oprah. I’m really sorry I can’t be with you guys today. I’m on the set of Kingdom of Heaven in Morocco, Ridley Scott’s new film.
WINFREY: From halfway across the world, Orlando shared some behind-the-scenes memories from the making of Troy.
BLOOM: The costumes, they were very short and very tight mostly. Funny enough, they were quite uncomfortable. They looked fantastic. Both Eric and I had these brass-looking plastic chest plates. I’m not sure what it was like for Eric, but for me, there was a lot of chafing actually, very uncomfortable, particularly when I was getting my ass handed to me by Brendan Gleeson. Can I say that on lunchtime TV? I hope so.
WINFREY: Lunchtime TV? Never heard that one before, and what about working with the other boys of Troy?
BLOOM: I’ve always been a huge fan of Brad’s. So to work with him was a real privilege. I do remember one surreal incident. We left this cast dinner on the streets in Malta and we walked out the door and a couple of flashbulbs went off. And then it was as if the whole of Malta ascended on Brad, and he was just so gracious and polite and full of humor. You know, it was just, like, ‘Wow, I hope it never gets that intense for me,’ and I’ve–and if it ever did, I’d have the same integrity I suppose. It was a real privilege to be sharing the screen with him. And I’ve worked with Eric before, and this time, I got to have Eric as my brother and I feel like he is a brother. He certainly ripped at me like an older brother. I’m sorry I couldn’t be with you. I hope I can be there next time and take care. Bye-bye.
WINFREY: Orlando Bloom, thank you. Well, let me just say, because the film is–we’re talking about so many different aspects. We talked about Brad, the love scenes and then–it’s multilayered. It’s complex. You know, it’s about honor and it’s about passion and it’s about love. It’s about a lot of different–that’s what’s it’s really a great film, don’t you…
PITT: What it’s really about, it’s not, like, so many posters that come out and they always say, ‘It’s about honor. It’s about love.’
WINFREY: Yeah, yeah, yeah, but it really is.
PITT: No, it really–it really gets into these issues. It’s really strong.
WINFREY: Were you nervous when you were–when Jen was here, she said you were nervous when you did the Friends…
PITT: Yeah, I was more nervous doing that show than like anything else I’ve done. Yeah.
PITT: I don’t–’cause I’m such a fan of the show. I love this show, and suddenly I’m in it and I can’t tell you. I don’t know why, but I did.
WINFREY: Were you nervous because it was Jen?
PITT: No, actually that was actually great fun with Jen. But I did chunk my first line. I had to go back and start over.
WINFREY: Yeah. All right. Questions for Brad?
Unidentified Woman: What’s the best and worse thing about working with your spouse?
PITT: There wasn’t anything bad about it. It was fantastic. It was great fun.
Unidentified Woman: Nothing? What about conflicts working…
PITT: No, seriously, it’s great fun. She really–she was more nervous for me than I was and kind of held my little hand through it and then we just and a laugh. It was great. Great.
WINFREY: Here’s something about Brad Pitt you may not know. Brad can sing, and we dug up an early film of Brad called…
PITT: Wait a second. Wait a second. For the record, Brad cannot sing.
WINFREY: OK. Well, they dug up this early film called Johnny Suede, OK?