I remember when Brad Pitt broke.

It was probably around 1994. I was in Grade 9 and Thelma and Louise had taken its rightful place as my favourite movie. Holly Millea, who is the very best entertainment writer working today, used to appear on The Dini Petty Show to tell Dini what was going on in the entertainment world, unwittingly helping to lead the way for people like Lainey in this country.

On this particular show she was telling Dini who would be hot in the coming year, and mentioned Pitt. “Brad PITT?” said Dini, incredulous at the admittedly unappealing name. “Are you sure?”

Holly was, and the next year Legends of the Fall hit, and her prediction became truth.

Fast-forward to now, and Pitt’s relationship with Angelina Jolie, and how he’s suddenly Mr. Humanitarian and saying stupid shit like “Angie and I will consider marriage when everybody is legally able to get married,” as if he’s constantly considering the world at all times (hey Brad, remember that billion-page photo spread you did for W back when you and “Angie” were pretending not to be together? Your ex must’ve thought it was so…artful).

Never mind that Jolie hasn’t made a decent film since she won her Oscar for Girl, Interrupted, and Pitt’s still coasting on 12 Monkeys and the ever-rotating generation of college guys who consider Fight Club like, profound and shit, dude.

Now he’s in a serious film, Babel, and he’s already produced a genetically perfect heir with Jolie, and he’s speaking out against the government for its treatment of New Orleans (way to jump on the bandwagon a year late) and people are killing themselves -- KILLING -- to get a boring picture of him being boring saying boring things his publicist probably drafted.

From The Last Kiss:

Zach Braff and Jacinda Barrett


Even though I know better, I show up at 3:15 for a 3:30pm press conference. The door is already closed.

“Fuck!” I say to the spiky-haired volunteer guarding the door. “Where are people finding 40 minutes to wait?”

“There’s another one upstairs at 4:25,” she says sympathetically.

The secondary conference is in a large, cool room -- why this isn’t the main room is beyond me -- with juice and coffee at the back and, best of all, a no-photographers rule. There’s no pretentious git moderating, no paparazzi butts in my face, no angry journalists fighting for a tiny number of seats.

There’s also an “absolutely no photography” rule, which fucking sucks for me because I am in the second row with an empty chair in front of me and three of the most beautiful people I’ve ever seen in my direct line of vision not 10 feet away: Patricia Clarkson, Mark Ruffalo and Kate Winslet.

The rest of the All the King’s Men cast follows: advisor James Carville (wearing a shirt that says This is What a Feminist Looks Like and present, I assume, to liven up the proceedings), writer-director Steven Zaillian, Sean Penn -- who smokes two cigarettes during the conference and I can’t wait to be a celebrity so I can do whatever the fuck I want -- a surly James Gandolfini and legendary producer Mike Medavoy.

It’s a pretty standard-issue effort -- character development, what about the other movie (nobody’s seen it), shooting in New Orleans (Clarkson is a native), politics then versus politics today. It all comes grinding to a halt when somebody asks the table what their favourite musician band or CD is, bringing things to a grindingly awkward halt.

“I still have tapes,” Clarkson says. She pauses and thinks, and the silence is agonizing. Eventually she picks Buckwheat Zydeco. Ruffalo halfheartedly picks Sticky Fingers.


Reporter: Kate?Winslet: Oh, are we all supposed to answer? Fuck!

The question dies at that.

“I was going to say ‘On a lighter note,’” says the next reporter in line, “but it can’t get any lighter than this.”

Mr. Absolutely No Photography asks everyone to remain seated while the talent exits. They have to walk through the room -- no back door. It’s a hard-knock life.

No one listens -- we’ve got lines to stand in! -- all the actors get out unmolested except Ruffalo, who shakes hands and signs autographs (we’re not supposed to ask) on his way out.

Outside the room I see an actor I recognize but can’t think of his name. “I was up until 8 this morning,” he tells the girl who’s stopped him.

I finally figure out it’s Emile Hirsch and then hit the escalator, three people behind Ruffalo, who gets caught in a cluster of fans and tries to accommodate them while the nearby by publicist platoon shrieks at him and each other. Everyone else has made it into the festival standard SUV, surrounded by fans firing cameras at tinted windows.

Non-TIFF related but dope as shit: Patience Hodgson of The Grates, the kickass Aussie band who opened for Rogue Wave at Lee’s on Saturday.

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