Once Upon a Time... with Brad

Photos by Ryan Mcginley

An Academy Award winner, a Golden Globe winner and a name synonymous with talent, this month’s cover star, Brad Pitt continues to go from strength to strength, returning to our screens in the latest Quentin Tarantino movie, Once Upon a Time… in Hollywood, alongside fellow A-listers, Leonardo DiCaprio, Margot Robbie and Emile Hirsch. 

Born December 18th, 1963 in Shawnee, Oklahoma, William Bradley Pitt is the eldest of three children. His father, Bill Pitt, owned a trucking company and his mother, Jane Pitt, was a family counsellor. The family later settled in Springfield, Missouri where Brad showed an interest in activities such as swimming, acting, golf, tennis and debate. In 1982 he enrolled at The University of Missouri to study advertising and journalism, however he dropped out in his last semester to head to Los Angeles, just two credits shy of his college degree. In the hope of appeasing his parents, Brad claimed he was going to enrol in the Art Centre College of Design in Pasadena but instead he drove a limousine, chauffeuring strippers to parties and doing deliveries to pay the bills as he attempted to break into the acting world. After joining an acting class, he accompanied a friend to an audition with an agent and ended up being signed over his classmate, within seven months he had started receiving regular acting work and it all begun.  

Like most Pitt started out with television roles including Dallas, Another World, Growing Pains and Glory Days. The latter introduced him to Juliette Lewis, who he started dated and eventually moved in with. His big screen debut came in 1989 with the horror film, Cutting Class but it was his role as a sugar tongued hitchhiker who gets picked up by the two title characters in 1991’s Thelma and Louise that grabbed him universal attention and put him on the map as a sex symbol, despite the small size of the role. The Favor, Johnny Suede and Cool World followed before 1992’s A River Runs Through It, based on Norman McLean’s autobiography. Director, Redford later revealed he had chosen Pitt not because of the strength of his audition, but because he ‘had an inner conflict that was very interesting to me.’ 

The following year Pitt teamed up once again with his girlfriend, Juliette Lewis, for Kalifornia where he played the role of Early Grayce, a man who goes on a cross-country killing spree with his girlfriend. The couple broke up shortly after the filming creating a publicity disaster and the movie failed in the box office. Comedy, Floyd, True Romance and Anne Rice’s Interview with a Vampire alongside Tom Cruise followed. It was his role in the gory thriller, Seven that introduced him to his relatively unknown co-star, Gwyneth Paltrow. The couple claimed it was love at first sight and became one of Hollywood’s hottest couples before calling it quits in 1997 for unknown reasons. 

Twelve Monkeys in 1995 won Pitt his first Golden Globe for best supporting actor and was nominated at the Academy Awards in the same category. He followed this with dark thriller, Sleepers in 1996, Devil’s Own alongside Harrison Ford and Seven Years in Tibet, a 70-million-dollar project that was met with mixed reviews. In 1998 Brad Pitt was set up by his agent with America’s sweetheart and Friends actress, Jennifer Aniston. They made their first public debut as a couple in 1999 at the Emmy Awards and went on to tie the knot in a lavish Malibu wedding in 2000. 

In 1999 Brad re-teamed with Seven director Fincher to make Fight Club before starring in British film, Snatch in 2000 with Benicio Del Toro and directed by Guy Richie. His successes continued with The Mexican alongside Julia Roberts before joining an all-star cast including George Clooney and Matt Damon in Steven Soderbergh’s remake of Ocean’s Eleven. He re-joined the cast for Ocean’s Twelve and Warner Bros. blockbuster Troy in 2004

His blockbuster success soared when he starred opposite Angelina Jolie in Mr. and Mrs Smith. The movie earnt more than 478 million dollars worldwide, much to do with the exploding sparks between Brad and Angelina. Brad and Jen officially split that year releasing a joint statement stating, “We would like to announce that after seven years together we have decided to formally separate. For those who follow these sorts of things, we would like to explain that our separation is not the result of any of the speculation reported by the tabloid media. The decision is the result of must thoughtful consideration. We happily remain committed and caring friends with great love and admiration for one another.’ In addition to the statement, Brad and Angelina both denied the relationship rumours yet later admitted the filming was where they ‘fell in love.’

In April 2005 Brad and Angelina were spotted vacationing together in Kenya before being featured in a W magazine spread in July entitled, Domestic Bliss. The images depicted them as a happy couple which outraged #TeamJen fans globally. In January 2006, just three months after Brad and Jen’s divorce was finalised, Brangelina, as they had been named by the public, announced they were expecting their first baby, and Pitt legally adopted Angelina’s two adopted children, Maddox and Zahara. 

In 2006 the critically acclaimed Babel earned the actor another Golden Globe nomination which followed with Burn After Reading’s further two nominations and grossing more than 60 million at the box office. The nominations continued with The Curious Case of Benjamin Button winning three Academy Awards and an Oscar nod for Pitt. 

As a couple Brad and Angelina continued to extend their brood with the adoption of Pax from Vietnam in 2007 and followed this with the announcement they were expecting twins the following year. Knox Leon and Vivienne Marcheline were born in Nice, France in July 2007 and made their debut on the cover of People magazine a month later. They reportedly paid 14 million dollars for the images, making them the most expensive celebrity photographs ever taken and all proceeds were donated to the Jolie-Pitt Foundation. 

In 2013 Pitt won acclaim for his performance in World War Z and his work on 12 Years a Slave; the film won the Academy Award for Best Picture, the BAFTA for Best Film and the Golden Globe for Best Motion Picture – Drama. 

Finally, after seven years together, Brad and Angelina announced their engagement in 2012 before marrying in a private ceremony in Château Miravel, France in 2014. Although the marriage was short lived with Jolie filling for divorce just two years later citing irreconcilable differences. 

Despite his second marriage coming to an end, Brad has always had his career to rely on and this year he reconnected with Leonardo DiCaprio in Quentin Tarantino’s latest film, Once Upon a Time… in Hollywood. The film is currently showing at Cines Teatro Goya in Puerto Banus. To date the film has received positive reviews and been described as, Tarantino’s love letter to 60’s L.A.’ No doubt this is just another step in Brad Pitt’s Hollywood success story with many more triumphs to follow.  

Constanza Martinez