Brad Pitt scotched talk of imminent retirement as he travelled to Paris for the premiere of his Jackie Chan-inspired action caper Bullet Train. The 58-year-old had worried fans that his acting days may be numbered after a GQ interview last month in which he said he was in the “last semester” of his career. But Pitt told AFP: “I’m not getting out by any means.’ “It seems that might have been taken as a statement of retirement. That’s not what I was saying,” he said.
“I’m over that hump of middle age and so I’m looking at that last leg… How do I want to spend that time? At my age, you’ve made enough mistakes… now there’s a comfort in applying that kind of wisdom.”
Bullet Train, which is being released around the world over the next two weeks, sees Pitt trying something new in an action comedy from the director of John Wick, David Leitch.
Pitt plays a reluctant hit-man fighting off rivals on a Japanese train. “It’s much more fun than the regular punch-up. It’s infused with humour and character,” he said.
“I can’t say enough about Jackie Chan and what he’s done, and to be in that arena, even close to that, is something I hadn’t done before.”
Pitt will next be seen in Babylon about Hollywood’s golden age, directed by Damien Chazelle (La La Land).
That will partner him again with Margot Robbie – the pair starred in Quentin Tarantino’s Once upon a Time in Hollywood, which won Pitt an Oscar in 2020.
But Pitt said he takes particular enjoyment from production duties with his company Plan B.
The company has three best picture Oscar winners to its name – The Departed, Twelve Years a Slave and Moonlight – and will soon release the hotly tipped Blonde about Marilyn Monroe.
“I really like what we’ve been able to do on the producing end. You get to be part of stories, foster new talent,” he said.
Unlike other major movie stars such as Tom Cruise, Pitt is not as wedded to the nostalgia of movie theatres.
“I like the dichotomy, the streamer as well as the theatre experience, because films were getting so expensive to do and to market that it was either big tent-pole movies or very small intimate movies and there was no room for anything in-between. Streamers have opened it up for more voices,” he said.
Nonetheless, Pitt said he had recently loved going to watch Elvis in a cinema. “I’m a big fan of Austin Butler, I think he’s going to do great work,” said Pitt of the film’s star.
“It was so much fun to be there again. There’s a place for both.”
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