Brad Pitt is on a roll, even for Brad Pitt. Arguably the world’s No. 1 male movie star, he is at the top of his game, enjoying widespread critical acclaim for his 2011 output Moneyball and The Tree Of Life — which he both starred in and produced through his Plan B production company. Both scored Best Picture Oscar nominations but were troubled projects that likely would not have seen the light of a camera if not for Pitt’s determination and ability to make them happen. He has already won New York Film Critics Circle and National Society of Film Critics awards for best actor in Moneyball, and now he’s up for an Oscar for that role as Oakland A’s GM Billy Beane. He has smartly created a lasting career by working with some of the best directors around — he calls himself a “director whore” — and has become a first-class producer in the process. He sat for a wide-ranging conversation with Deadline Awards Columnist Pete Hammond that took place a few days after he learned of his multiple Oscar nominations.
AWARDSLINE: What was it about Moneyball that you knew, you just had to make this movie?
PITT: These guys (the Oakland A’s) are trying to survive in an unfair game, going up against conventional wisdom, starting from scratch and asking the questions “Why do we do what we do? Does it still make sense to us? Because we thought it made sense 100 years ago.” It’s a story of value, our own self-worth and this individual’s (Billy Beane) search for his own value in the process. It was such a relevant story for our time. I really hooked into it. Unconventional, difficult and unique and yet at the same time it had these undertones of what I loved in ’70s films. I put two years into this project and it went away and then put another year into it and it went away and I just couldn’t stand to see that happen on this one again. And Amy (Pascal, co-chairmen of Sony Pictures Entertainment) stuck with this: She is our patron saint at the end of the day. ’Cause she doubled down at a big risk.