Nothing defines Brad Pitt more than his capability of capturing the masses with his character and his drop-dead gorgeous looks! From his boyish allure in 1987’s 21 Jump Street to the leather-clad Greek warrior in Troy you instantly gravitated toward his charm. With each character he played, Brad Pitt carved a niche for himself and is one of the most famous stars in Hollywood.
He catapulted to fame after his suave portrayal of wandering JD in Thelma & Louise in 1991 and there was no turning back. With each character he played, his fan base grew and his story has hence captivated us. However, the question of how much of Brad Pitt apart from his insatiable charm, handsome looks and relationships his fans really know is something of a dilemma. This article shines light on the journey of William Bradley Pitt to Brad Pitt and the most popular Hollywood star.
Humble Bright Beginnings of Brad Pitt
Most everyone knows about Brad Pitt being born to a devoutly Southern Baptist family in Shawnee, Oklahoma, and the transition to Springfield, Missouri. But did you know that Brad excelled in swimming, acting, golf, tennis and debating all through his scholastic years? His parents, William Alvin, a truck company owner, and Jane Etta, a family counselor, moved to Missouri where Brad went on to attend the University of Missouri.
Brad’s athletic skills and his versatile interests only made him gravitate toward greater heights. One of his greatest interests as a young adult was to find stories that were inspirational. This egged him into choosing a journalism major with a specialization in marketing. Brad’s passion for the story is still seen in the number of characters he brought to life. He dropped out of college two weeks before graduating, at the age of 22. He is a man who fiercely believed in following his passion and it has paid off!
Early Days of Stardom
As with any actor’s journey, one begins with small steps, and the stepping stones to success for Brad were remarkable. He portrayed small roles in movies like No Man’s Land, Less than Zero and No Way Out to name a few. His striking good looks, cool swagger and acting skills soon garnered attention and interest in the industry.
Brad’s acting also showed on the small screen, where he appeared in noteworthy soap operas like Another World and the 1990s series 21 Jump Street. Of course, the incredible scene with Brad and Johnny Depp still garners a lot of air time. The suicidal episode titled ‘Best Year of Your Life’ sees Brad playing a very chatty teenager. His next jump was into mainstream cinema as a bona fide actor!
Brad’s Way Up to Stardom
His first credit as a leading actor was a role in the movie The Dark Side of the Sun, about a man who is on a journey to find a cure for a lethal skin disease. Director Božidar Nikolić choose Brad Pitt from a pool of 400 actors vying for the role. Even though this movie was not completed, it is a testament to Brad’s incredible acting skills and journey in choosing incredible stories.
His consistency and choices in enacting small yet meaningful roles in movies like Happy Together and the haunting TV series Freddy’s Nightmare and Growing Pains elevated his presence as an actor. His rise after Thelma & Louise had many hits and misses but one thing kept steadily growing – his fan base. The actor effortlessly made a mark as the man to be sought after.
Brad Pitt’s Hits and Misses to Hitting Success
Like most actors, it wasn’t all smooth sailing for Brad. Some of his movies were met with a lukewarm reception from critics, including his role in Robert Redford’s A River Runs Through It. But the consistency of hits like Interview with the Vampire with its all-star case and 1994’s Legends of the Fall instantly saw his career leap into success.
The actor continued to churn out successful hits such as Seven, in which he played a detective on the chase of a serial killer. With a whooping $327 million box office success, this movie became something of a hallmark in Brad’s career graph. The versatile actors took on the sci-fi movie 12 Monkeys with ease. His portrayal of Austrian climber Heinrich Harrer in a movie titled Seven Years in Tibet left an indelible mark on the audience.
Movies That Made Him Famous
Movies like Sleepers, Meet Joe Black, and The Devil’s Own kept Brad’s career alive and thriving. 1999’s Fight Club received mixed reviews but Brad’s depiction of soap salesman Tyler Durden received rave reviews from critics. The Mexican, a romantic comedy with Julia Roberts, and the thriller Spy Game were huge box office successes.
Who can forget Rusty Ryan from Ocean’s Eleven and Ocean’s Twelve? The character who ate a lot but made food look so good. His incredible Greek god-like stature as Achilles in the movie Troy pushed many into the Brad Pitt corner – for sure! His cool assassin appeal in Mr. and Mrs. Smith along with the fiery chemistry between him and Angelina Jolie sealed the deal.
Other big winners and odes to his success were movies like Babel that bagged numerous nominations at the Academy and Golden Globes. The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford in 2007 followed by the success of his incredible performance in The Curious Case of Benjamin Button made the Hollywood A-lister soar the heights of stardom and fame. Movies like World War Z, Inglorious Bastards and 12 Years a Slave were crowning jewels. And that is just the crux of Brad’s talents.
Production House and Voiceover
One can never forget the Hollywood heartthrob’s thirst for the story, which led him to his journey in starting his production house, Plan B Entertainment. As if his achievements as an actor were not stellar enough, one must know that as a producer he has had an incredible haul with movies like The Departed bagging the Oscar for Best Picture. Troy was the first film to be created under the Plan B Entertainment banner.
The production house is known to produce some incredible content through stories that captivate the audience. 12 Years a Slave and Moonlight also won Best Picture at the Academy Awards. The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford was another production by Brad Pitt’s ‘Plan B Entertainment and was critically acclaimed. The one aspect of acting is to bring a character to life through his voice. Needless to say, Brad Pitt has no difficulty in rendering his voice to bring animated characters to life. From Sinbad: Legend of the Seven Seas and King of the Hill to Metro Man and Megamind, Brad Pitt will have a legacy to beat.
The Ebb and Flow of Brad Pitt’s Love Life
Brad has had an illustrious love life and, as one of the dismays of being a superstar, he has had to endure a very public unfolding of the same. We all know that relationships in Hollywood usually have a larger-than-life depiction, hough sometimes the story of love remains between the two. Brad Pitt’s first celebrity romance was with British-American singer in 1984. He then went on to dating Cutting Class actress Jill Schoelen in 1989 and was with her for eight months.
One of his most renowned relationships was with actor Gwyneth Prow; the two parted ways in 1997. One of the most talked about relationships was with actor Jennifer Aniston, whom he married in 2000 before filing for divorce in 2005. The actor struck up a whirlwind romance with Angelina Jolie and they were together twelve years before ending things in a bitter custody battle. He was linked to Arrested Development alum Alia Shawkat and German model Nicole Poturalski.
Brad’s Interesting Fascination with Architecture
Brad Pitt continues to amaze his fans with his choices and one of the reasons his fans adore him is because of his interesting appreciation of architecture. He finds himself drawn to furniture and views furniture design as architecture on a minor scale. His interest in architecture has spurred him to commission designs for houses in New Orleans.
Brad Pitt’s interest in the area has even made him an author of the book titled Blacker House, along with Randell Makinson and Thomas Heinz. In hindsight, this passion for creating and design is also shown in depicting a story and this is essentially what Brad stands for. He is interning at the Los Angeles studio of Frank Gehry, one of the world’s leading architects, to pursue his passion. He has also teamed up with furniture designer Frank Pollaro to create a luxury furniture collection.
Brad the Author and Narrator of Books
Brad Pitt is not just a Hollywood megastar but a creative and multifaceted human being. In addition to co-authoring Greene and Greene’s Blacker House, he has created content for the famous movie The Curious Case of Benjamin Buttons, which he also starred in.
We have already unraveled the fact that Brad Pitt can make characters come alive with his voice. It is interesting to know that he also is a narrator of many books, including Cormac McCarthy’s All the Pretty Horses, The Crossing (The Border Trilogy #2), and Cities of the Plain. He is also the narrator for the book titled 8 by Dustin Lance Black.
The Vintner and Winery Owner
Clearly the man has taste, courage, ambition, drive and the will to seek an opportunity to tell a story through his passions. In 2008 Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie started a winery called Château Miraval, located in the south of France. Angelina Jolie eventually sold her share to Tenute del Mondo, a subsidiary of the Stoli Group.
The winery first introduced a Champagne called Fleur de Miraval ER2, the second edition of a vino produced by the Rosé Winery. The winery’s first introduction was the Fleur de Miraval ER1, and Brad remarked that he was amazed at its success. Anyone else think that this attests to Brad having the Midas touch?
Brad Pitt’s Philanthropic Side
It’s not uncommon to see people of such a high celebrity status give back. But having said that, it is important to see how much one does. Brad Pitt has supported over 30 causes, including adoption, orphans, AIDS&HIV, weapons reduction, autism, poverty and so much more.
Brad Pitt has contributed to and supported about 42 charities including Care to Learn, World Food Program, Doctors Without Borders and many more. He founded the Make It Right Foundation in 2007 to support and rebuild homes for the people affected by Hurricane Katrina in New Orleans. He invested $29 million of his own money to rebuild 109 homes. He is actively involved in environmental protection and has donated $5 million to build 150 green houses.
Going the Mile for Fight Club
Fight Club is one of Brad Pitt’s more famous movies, and his portrayal of Tyler Durden was nothing short of the critical acclaim that he received portraying the role. Brad Pitt’s commitment to bringing the character alive had him make the strange decision of going to the dentist and having his teeth chipped off.
The actor sunk his teeth into the character quite literally and it paid off! He had to then return to the dentist to have his teeth fixed. His dedication and conviction to the story and creating a journey is once again reinforced by his actions.
Special Appearance in Friends
The sitcom Friends created quite a legacy in the television industry and having an A-lister like Brad Pitt appear in one of its episodes was icing on the cake. The episode’s rating skyrocketed because fans loved the fact that Jennifer and Brad were together in real life.
Brad Pitt was even nominated for an Emmy Award for Outstanding Guest Actor in a Comedy Series for his cameo in the eighth season of Friends. His ability to commit to even small roles and make them big is another reason why people are on the Brad wagon.
A Licensed Pilot
Brad Pitt pushes boundaries in what he has achieved and continues to achieve. Brad was inspired by ex-wife Angelina Jolie to learn how to fly and has since become a licensed pilot. He has a soft spot for vintage planes and even owns a World War II-era Supermarine Spitfire.
He has mastered common aircraft and has a single-engine pilot license. Yes, Angelina Jolie did buy him a helicopter, which they landed at the Umaid Bhawan in India without prior permission. Whoops!
Playing Chicken and Chauffeur to Strippers
It’s interesting when the story of one of the Sexiest Men Alive began his journey of earning a wage by dressing up as a chicken. Clearly, the El Pollo Loco fast-food chain must have had the hunkiest chicken in town. It does make his remarkable success seem sweeter.
Being a driver to strippers may seem like an exhilarating opportunity to a few. Brad Pitt’s recollection of the memory was more poignant. But he was inspired by one of the ladies who was in an acting class taught by Roy London.
Rather Piquant Tastebuds
Brad Pitt may have a winery and an acquired taste for being creative, but one cannot explain his love for Twizzlers. No one can fault Brad Pitt for liking Strawberry Twizzlers, but it sure got us thinking. His favorite snacks happen to be pizza and Toaster Strudel.
His go-to cereal is Frosted Flakes. His favorite Indian restaurant is The Mogul in Bagshot, England. He also frequents Formosa Café in Hollywood. He and Jolie were often seen at Angeli on Decatur with the family when in New Orleans.
The Sexiest Man Alive Twice Over
Brad Pitt’s dreamy looks, stunning blue eyes and dimpled smile have always melted hearts and set the screen ablaze. With every new movie came a wave of dreamers waiting to catch a glimpse of him. It was no wonder that he was named ‘Sexiest Man Alive’ by People magazine in 1995.
It is hard to think of Brad Pitt not complying and checking off all the boxes to make it to the list. He has proven himself over, adorned many ad campaigns, been seen in many magazines, and has appeared in numerous interviews. In 2000 Brad Pitt was named ‘Sexiest Man Alive’ again. It’s not hard to imagine why…
The Ad Campaigns
Brad is versatile even in his late 50s. Did you see the Brioni ad campaigns in 2020? Brad is the brand ambassador for the Italian label and starred in the Fall/Winter 2020 ads. He also has modeled for his winery’s Miraval Rosé ad campaign.
Not too long ago he made waves and split the masses because he was chosen as the first male face for Chanel No. 5. He adds a dash of glamour and copious amounts of charm to everything he endorses – wouldn’t you agree?
The Cinematic Experience Brad Enjoyed as a Child
It is a pivotal moment for a person to remember and get hooked to a story through a movie. Saturday Night Fever gripped Brad’s attention, leaving an indelible mark on him. He simply could not get over the fact that people spoke like the characters in the movie. Brad felt himself being sunk in the movie and has been in awe of it since.
His other favorites include One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest and Dr. Strangelove. It is interesting how one’s passion can stem from something as simple as a story, an accent and a character. His parents took him to drive-in movies on summer nights and he discovered his profound love for storytelling.
Biker for Life
“Man, when I’m riding with the helmet on, I’m invisible. And people just deal with me as the guy on the bike… it gives you a chance to read ’em.” Brad owns a bevy of amazing motorcycles. You shouldn’t be surprised to see him on a Royal Enfield Bullet 500. He may be riding an Ecosse Titanium Series XX – not something the average person can afford.
His collection has over 20 amazing motorcycles, including the Gasoline Alley/Indian Larry, Rooke/WCC 140 CFL, and many more. The bike enthusiast has a penchant for cafe racers and custom V-twin bikes. The Indian Larry was built from scratch in a Brooklyn shop.
Buddies in Hollywood
The camaraderie among A-listers always garners interest among the masses. Brad Pitt has a wonderful relationship with many known names in the industry. Who can forget the number of times George Clooney has taken a jab at Brad and vice versa – they never fail to leave you with a smile. Brad has developed a deep bond with other Hollywood stars like Leonardo DiCaprio, whom he even acknowledged when he accepted his Golden Globe in 2020.
Brad has an amazing connection with Julia Roberts and has shared screen space with her on many occasions. Did you know that apart from Ryan Gosling, Liv Tyler and Margot Robbie have also struck a chord with the Hollywood hunk?
The Pitt–Jolie Crew
Brad Pitt had two siblings growing up, and Angelina Jolie had a brother. When Brad started dating Jolie she had already adopted Maddox, whom Brad adopted in 2005 shortly after beginning to date Jolie. Zahara was adopted by both of them in 2005. Shiloh was their first biological daughter and was born in 2006.
Pax was adopted from Vietnam in 2007 and the then-couple welcomed their biological twins, Knox and Vivienne, in 2009. Brad has been in the public eye during his difficult custody battle with Angelina Jolie.
True to his motto, Brad Pitt has waded through his amazing journey with style, panache and a smooth sexiness. Brad’s motto is “keep moving,” and one can see that as he embodies the many hats he wears, the new things he learns, and the courage to grow.
In his words, “By nature, I keep moving, man. My theory is, be the shark. You’ve just got to keep moving. You can’t stop.”
Other Pearls of Wisdom
“I always liked those moments of epiphany, when you have the next destination.” Brad Pitt has proven over the years that the epiphanies he has had have led him to remarkable discoveries of his own capabilities.
“My life has been about big changes.” Brad has always kept it real and has accepted the changes in his life. His story thus far has been one that constantly pushes boundaries. We can’t wait to find out what other adventures this star has lined up. We will for sure be following up soon.
For our next article, we are looking into the TV show named “Growing Pains”. These behind-the-scenes stories from Growing Pains reveal that the cast wasn’t always as happy as their characters on screen.