Don’t be fooled by Ladybug, Brad Pitt’s character in “Bullet Train.” Pitt’s codenamed assassin is table-slammed, stabbed, pushed through a glass door, and yanked out of a bullet train in Japan only in the teaser for the action comedy.
Pitt sees no difficulty with this. The Oscar winner was 58 years old, yet he still had his stunt double turned director, David Leitch, keeping an eye on him.
During a Zoom chat with Leitch, 46, Pitt recalled their early days working together, saying, “If it’s going to hurt, hire Leitch.” “In terms of working together, I’ve never had a stunt double like Dave. In short, things have changed. Then he comes full circle by becoming a director. It’s a very remarkable tale. Typically, occurrences of this nature are rare.”
Just like in Hollywood. On the eve of the release of “Bullet Train” in theaters this Friday, Pitt and Leitch reflect on their often gruesome but always fascinating stunt work in films like “Fight Club,” “Mr. and Mrs. Smith,” and “Troy.”
Red carpet arrivals include Bad Bunny, Brad Pitt, Simu Liu, and more for the premiere of “Bullet Train.”
Pitt claims that the pair met on the set of David Fincher’s 1999 film “Fight Club,” and that their subsequent successful relationship was a result of pure chance. Leitch, who was brought in as a fight choreographer, was standing close Pitt when the double decision was made, and the two were paired together as a result. It suited the drama complete with brawls.
They “simply stuck us together,” as Pitt recalls. That’s the way things worked out.
Leitch was ideal for “Texas Switch” scenes, such as when Brad Pitt’s character, Tyler Durden, from “Fight Club,” appears in the background demonstrating unbelievable martial arts skills while wearing a trench coat.
Pitt comments, “Ah, so that’s Dave lurking in the shadows.” “And then I can enter the action in the forefront. It was simply so darn efficient.”
Having been so impressed with his stunt double, Pitt invited Leitch to join the cast and crew of “The Mexican” (2001). When rookie director Leitch was shooting his first scene in the desert driving one of the film’s three El Caminos, a serious accident occurred.
For Leitch, the dirt road stunt was his second time doubling for Brad Pitt. The only thing I had to do was race through the junction in my car.
However, while Pitt and the film team watched, complications arose, purportedly due to a malfunctioning speedometer.
Review of “Bullet Train”: Brad Pitt is endearing, but the A-list action film he directed generally goes off the tracks.
“As you can see, I’m making good time. And at that point, I’ve already gone too fast. And I look over and see the stunt coordinator saying, “Slow down,” and my first thought is, “What?” After a while, I have to slow down “to paraphrase Leitch. “The car’s suspension came loose in the dust, and the only place to put it safely was in the other El Camino.”
Both Pitt and Leitch can have a good chuckle about it now.
But Pitt recalls his thoughts from back then: “You’ve got to get Leitch, he’s the finest.” “There were three of us, and we split up into three vehicles. And with that, in an one fell swoop, we have one. With a single gunshot, he killed two. It was amusing, though. Further, I realized that it was not a good idea to include Leitch on any driving shots.”
In “Troy,” a sword-and-sandal epic directed by Wolfgang Petersen in 2004, no automobiles were required. Pitt’s physical transformation to the ripped Greek hero Achilles was particularly remarkable. Pitt claims, “I worked my (butt) off for that role.”
The climactic on-screen fight between Eric Bana’s Hector and Leitch, who acted as the combat trainer, was made possible because to Leitch’s expertise.
According to Brad Pitt, he suffers from prosopagnosia: Explain, and what do the authorities have to say about, that.
They had “rehearsed that battle like I’ve never seen anyone do before,” as Leitch puts it. “This is a fantastic battle.”
Pitt and Bana were so talented that they would bet money on any missed sword strike, paying out $50 for little misses and $100 for major ones. According to the rumors of the time, Pitt had a $750 loss to Bana. However, the action sequence in question represents the pinnacle of action grandeur.
“What, exactly, did I owe him? Absolutely positive that I made my payment, “, Pitt argues. That’s entertaining, but nowhere near as funny as when the entire stunt team was trying to shoot me with bows and arrows as I was riding the ATV and going back and forth in a serpentine pattern like an arcade game.
The film’s producers were not happy to see the movie’s biggest star using the open car as a target for target practice. Didn’t we get in trouble for that? This is what Pitt argues.
Pitt eventually came to terms with Leitch’s choice to end their filmmaking cooperation after six films so that Leitch could pursue his directing career. Pitt agreed to make a brief appearance as the tragic Vanisher in Leitch’s “Deadpool 2,” and the only time we see him is when the intangible character skydives into electrical wires.
This Academy Award-winning actor and producer turns 56 today, and he’s most famous for his portrayal as The Vanisher in Deadpool 2 — I hope you have a wonderful day celebrating your special day, #BradPitt! Share with us in the comments your favorite Brad Pitt flick. Snapshot from Twitter: URR3T6zj1l — #GreatMoments From the VOX Cinemas Twitter account: As of today (18 December 2019),
Leitch is credited for the idea by saying, “That’s my man here,” which is a reference to Pitt. “It’s a winner in so many ways, not the least of which is that I was able to complete my superhero moment in under 10 minutes. It looks like I can finally avoid making another superhero film.”
Even when the pandemic hit, Pitt and Leitch continued working together because of the success of their “Bullet Train” script. He agreed to be the relucant assassin who faces off against a locomotive full of lethal enemies in the Leitch reunion film (including rapper Bad Bunny and “Deadpool 2” star Zazie Beetz).
In 2019,’s “Once Upon a Time in Hollywood,” Pitt won an Oscar for his supporting role as the longtime stunt man of Leonardo DiCaprio’s movie star, for which he also won an Academy Award. Pitt also performed most of the physical fight moves in “Bullet Train’s” confined set. The more dangerous flips, of course, were performed by professional stuntmen, to whom he gave a hand.
His trademark eccentricity was on full display in this Jackie Chan parody. Leitch added a high-tech toilet to the train and revised the script after Pitt suggested the idea.
Leitch explains how the idea for the smart toilet came about: “Brad was like, ‘We need a smart toilet,’ and I immediately called the art department and told them to get one created.” “The mood he set was, “We’re going to have some fun,” he said. It was a barrage of riffs that he brought in. It was fantastic. Comedy in which the actors use their bodies to make a point.”
The way they set things up was “beautifully done,” as Pitt puts it. The water feature is an added bonus of those high-tech restrooms.
Article originally published in USA TODAY Brad Pitt discusses his daredevilry and the rogue ATV ride in “Troy” that serves as an arrow target in the film. “I got in a lot of trouble for that.”
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