How Brad Pitt Shed His Pretty Boy Image
Brad Pitt didn’t just want to be known for his good looks.
In a revealing clip from this Sunday, Apr. 18’s all-new E! True Hollywood Story, experts weigh in on Pitt’s mindset following his breakout role in hit film Thelma & Louise.
“Suddenly he became somebody who was constantly on the cover of magazines and everybody wanted to know about his social life and who he was dating,” psychologist and Cult of Celebrity author Cooper Lawrence explains.
At the time, Pitt was hot and heavy with fellow rising star Juliette Lewis—despite tabloid speculation that his onscreen chemistry with co-star Geena Davis continued after Thelma & Louise wrapped. Yet the Academy Award-winning flick set Pitt on a different trajectory, one that he allegedly feared would limit his career.
“He had just finished A River Runs Through It and he felt between that and Thelma & Louise, he was concerned about being typecast as a pretty boy,” Kalifornia director Dominic Sena teases. “He just said he was looking for something completely different and I thought, ‘Boy have I got a role for you’.”
Director Sena offered Pitt the role of fictional murderer Early Grayce in serial killer drama Kalifornia, despite Pitt being known only as the charismatic ladies man in past roles. “I met with Brad and I just loved his take on the character,” Sena recalls. “I knew he was the guy.”
Pitt’s girlfriend Lewis was also cast in the 1993 film; she played Grayce’s love interest (and victim) Adele Corners. “Considering they were in the middle of a relationship, I thought it could either be wonderful or it could be terrible,” Sena admits. “But I’ve got to tell you, it was a joy. All of this sort of interactive stuff between them felt real. They were just into one another and it was pretty all encompassing.”
Pitt even was fully into character, which impressed Sena. “Brad Pitt arrived in the morning, went into the trailer, and he came out as Early Grayce and that was that,” he concludes.
Pitt and Lewis broke up following the premiere of Kalifornia after three years together. Yet the exes remain friendly to this day.
Check out the clip above for an insider’s take on Pitt shedding his “pretty boy” image!
E!’s True Hollywood Story Brad Pitt special premieres Sunday, Apr. 18 at 10 p.m., only on E!