Brad Pitt, nominated in Oscars 2020 in the Best Supporting Actor category for his portrayal of Cliff Booth in Once Upon a Time in Hollywood, talks about the film and his experience of working with Quentin Tarantino and Leonardo DiCaprio.
The film Once Upon A Time in Hollywood is one of the top contenders for Best Film, Best Screenplay and Best Director categories at the 92nd Academy Awards, all set to be held at the Dolby Theatre, Hollywood & Highland Center in Hollywood. Pitt, who plays the role of a stunt double in the film, has earned recognition and awards this season for his portrayal of Cliff Booth. He has already bagged the Best Supporting Actor award at several prestigious award ceremonies.
The 56-year-old actor has now been nominated in Oscars 2020 in the Best Supporting Actor category. Pitt had earlier been nominated in Oscars for films like 12 Monkeys (1996), The Curious Case of Benjamin Button (2009) and Moneyball (2012). His film 12 Years a Slave received an Academy Award in the Best Picture category in the year 2013.
As the big day nears, the correspondent talked to Pitt about the film and his experience of working with Leonardo DiCaprio.
Q. Tell us a bit about your character Cliff Booth in Once Upon A Time In Hollywood?
A. This character come from this era, when an actor and a stunt man had a greater partnership and had more say in what was going to be in the film. And at this point, we are on the tail end, I say “we” because I’m on his coattails. I have a job if Rick Dalton has a job and if Rick Dalton doesn’t have a job then I probably don’t and he’s kindly hired me to work on odd jobs and you know, I’m doing whatever he needs.
Q. Was there any trepidation?
A. Hell no man. You know that you don’t have to carry, you know, the whole thing because you got these great people who are the best of the best and are going to help carry that load and it’s actually a relief and so much was automatic for us.
This story itself that Quentin [Tarantino] has created, it just was an immediate comfort. Cliff is this guy who’s really in the moment, so much so that he doesn’t think about where literally his next meal is going to come from and it’s almost like he’s this pre-hippie or beatnik. Well, it’s this Zen Buddhist era that Quentin wrote into Cliff. It’s no hassle in the castle man. He’s like, “we’ll figure it out as we go along”. I really appreciate that about him. I appreciate the people who have the quality to embrace the way you they exist. Cliff is the kind of person who would roll with anything which might happen during the day.
Q. You and Leonardo starred in this movie together. How was your chemistry working together?
A. Lover. He calls me lover. It’s a bit confusing, but I roll with it. You’ll find, with most of the guys, I would say we’re all pretty much rooting for each other, we all have respect for each other, we all have a good laugh with each other.
Q. Having had the experience twice, what’s it like, being on a Quentin Tarantino set?
A. He has such verve for the filmmaking process… He has such high reverence for filming and for films that he makes a party out of it. He loves a story. If we’re in the middle of a good story, the take is going to wait. We’ll get to the take and it’s going to be good, and we work very hard for it.
Q. So who was the actor that Quentin turned on to for inspiration for your character?
A. We had talked a lot about stuntman-actor relationship while we were filming. Back then stuntmen had authorship over their stunts themselves and there have been some classic stuntman-actor parings in the past like Steve McQueen-Bud Ekins and Burt Reynolds-Hel Needham.
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