Monday, August 06, 2012

The on-screen pairings of Brad Pitt

A lot was made of Brad Pitt’s relationship with Angelina Jolie when they met and fell in love on the set of Mr. and Mrs. Smith, the action film about two married assassins out to kill one another until they join forces to save each other’s lives.  I really liked the film and I think the on-screen pairing of Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie was a big part of the appeal.  They had incredible chemistry and they smoldered on-screen.  Chemistry is important between actors in movies.  Otherwise you’re left feeling like the pieces just don’t fit together and that what you’ve just invested time in watching has been too obvious a charade.  Pitt has shared great chemistry with several other co-stars over the course of his career, some with whom he was romantically involved and others with whom he simply worked well alongside, and their chemistry made the films even better.  Here’s a look at a few of Pitt’s most memorable pairings:


 Brad Pitt and Juliett Lewis – Kalifornia

When Brad Pitt and Juliette Lewis filmed the thriller Kalifornia, they were a couple at the time.  Perhaps it was their comfort and familiarity that led to the unflinchingly real and convincing performances they delivered in the character-driven film.  They were completely believable as Early (Pitt) and Adele (Lewis), a couple who embark on a road trip with another couple to share driving duties and the cost of gas.  In actuality, Early is a serial killer and Adele is his gullible, child-like wife whom he treats like a pet because Adele lacks the intelligence and the self-awareness to realize that she’s married to a violent killer.  Adele seems lost in her own reality and simply delights in everything Early does. 


 Brad Pitt and Geena Davis – Thelma and Louise

Brad Pitt wasn’t the household name he is today when he appeared in Thelma and Louise.  He burst onto the scene in a big way when he played the sweet-talking, hitchhiking swindler who steals Thelma’s (Geena Davis) heart and all of her money.  Though J.D (Pitt) is pulling a con, his seduction of Thelma feels like it’s driven by more than just greed.  He gives her a sexual experience unlike any she’s ever had before and teaches her the art of armed robbery in bed.  Then he robs her and disappears. 


 Brad Pitt and Gywneth Paltrow – Seven

Pitt and Paltrow got engaged after the release of Seven. In the film, they play a young married couple.  Mills (Pitt) is a young, hot-headed cop and his wife, Tracy, (Paltrow) is a warm, caring woman who supplies the dark and twisted tale about a serial killer with humanity.  Though they don’t share a great deal of time together on-screen, their few scenes together, namely the dinner scene with Pitt’s partner played by Morgan Freeman, and the final scene where the serial killer reveals his last and most shocking kill, show a real love between their characters. 


 Brad Pitt and Cate Blanchett – The Curious Case of Benjamin Button

This film marked the second time that Pitt and Blanchett co-starred together in a film.  Their on-screen chemistry in this film was special, in that the feelings they were charged with conveying involved several different relationships over the course of many decades.  Yes they were in love, but before their adult, romantic relationship they shared a type of father-daughter bond when Pitt was an older man and Blanchett was a young girl.  Later they became friends, then lovers, and ended with a relationship akin to that of a mother and her son. 


 Brad Pitt and Helena Bonham Carter – Fight Club

In this film, Pitt and Bonham Carter are both crazy screwballs with a purely physical, animalistic relationship.  They share no romance; they share no respect; theirs is just an arrangement of mutual benefit between a man with a splintered mind and a feisty, chain-smoking woman who’s angry probably because the men she hooks up with find brawling with each other more fun than having sex with her.

What are your favourite Brad Pitt pairings?  Let us know in the comments section.

10 comments:

  1. Brad Pitt & George Clooney in Ocean's 12

    The bromance aspect made it work as they sit back and watch Happy Days while wondering how they hope not to screw things up.

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    1. Ah yes, the bromance. A fine addition to this list for sure. Clooney and Pitt definitely work well together on-screen.

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  2. Awesome article and choices in the list. My favorite pairing wth Pitt is actually with another man - I loved the chemistry he had with Freeman in Se7en, they were just perfect in their roles.

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    1. I actually didn't intentionally exclude male pairings when I sat down to write this post - I kind of just had female pairings on the brain and that's how the piece shaped up. But as evidenced by both comments so far, I should have been thinking all-inclusive since Pitt has shared some wonderful chemistry with male co-stars, and his pairing with Morgan Freeman in 'Seven' was tremendous.

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  3. Pitt's always been able to show good chemistry with his costars, sometimes it's that what makes his films work and I think of something like THE MEXICAN and not very good movie that I still have an appreciation for, and it's weird how he and Julia are apart for so much (too much) of the movie, because when they're together the film gets better. I'd love to see those two together again (or him and Catherine Zeta- Jones).

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    1. He does have a knack for connecting well with his co-stars. I'm glad that you mentioned "The Mexican." Pitt and Roberts did share great chemistry, and I agree with you that the movie suffered because they weren't on-screen together enough. It would be great to see them cast together in a film again.

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  4. I was going to joke that you left out his number one on-screen romance - George Clooney, but someone else beat me to it. Now all I'm left with is Holli Would in Cool World. :-)

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    1. Ah yes, Pitt and Clooney.

      Gosh, I haven't seen 'Cool World' in ages and don't really remember it. I'll have to track down a copy and give it a re-watch.

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    2. You may not want to do that. It's not a very good film. It just happens to be the first film I ever saw Pitt in.

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    3. That's probably why I don't remember it very well. It obviously wasn't memorable!

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