'Killing Them Softly' is 'about modern living', says film's star Brad Pitt
Tuesday 22 May 2012
Brad Pitt's role as a brutal mob enforcer is not just a gangster story but a commentary on modern living, he said today.
Killing Them Softly stars Pitt as Jackie Cogan who is hired to hunt down and punish a gang of petty thieves who turned over a lucrative poker game.
At a packed press conference in Cannes today Pitt, who also produced the film, said he was looking for stories that "say something about our time and who we are."
He also quashed rumours that he and partner Angelina Jolie had set a date for their wedding, and added she would not be joining him at the festival this evening.
Describing the idea behind Killing Them Softly, which also stars Ray Liotta as Markie who owns and runs gambling clubs, Pitt said newspaper headlines about the global financial situation and what was happening to people was a source of inspiration.
He said: "This commentary - in the way it's done in this film, in the way that you believe you're watching a gangster film - I felt it was really a gangster film and it wasn't until the very end that things coalesced for me as far as maybe the direction the film was pointing to overall; that the film actually was saying something about the greater world."
He said his character killed people in the best way possible, hence the title of the film, as was dictated by his occupation.
"He wanted to get the job done and put people through the least pain," Pitt said.
"There's actually a humanity there for the person who's got to go.
"This is just an unfortunate part of our business but it's got to be cut-throat and that's the way it is.
"I equate that to business, business can be very, very cut throat and we all accept the terms."
Pitt, who appeared at the press conference wearing a grey suit and white t-shirt and sporting a goatee beard and moustache, said partner Jolie would not be joining him in Cannes because she was too busy.
Commenting on if they had set a date for their wedding, he said:
"We actually really, truly have no date."
Killing Them Softly sees Pitt as Jackie who, under the eye of a mysterious driver, tries to track down and punish those responsible for the heist.
Along the way his assignment is complicated by an ageing drunken hitman, bumbling local gangsters and a ladies' man who ran the ill-fated game.
Based on the book Cogan's Trade by George V Higgins, Killing Them Softly also stars James Gandolfini, Scoot McNairy, and Ben Mendelsohn.
Asked if Pitt found it hard to play a violent character because he had children, he said he did not and would find it more "unsettling" to play a character such as a racist.
Violence, he said, was a part of the world nowadays and it was important to reflect that on screen.
Director Andrew Dominik added: "It was part of the story.
"I like violence in movies. I think that movies are a drama and the most dramatic expression of drama is violence."
He went on: "Jackie is, as much as possible, trying to make murder as painless an experience for the murderee by spinning a fantasy of safety around them before he kills them.
"He's very concerned with the violence not being cruel or unusual for the victim."
The cast will join up again tonight and walk the famed Cannes red carpet this evening ahead of the premiere of Killing Them Softly.
There’s revolution in the air, but one lady’s not for turningTV
Robin Thicke admits he didn't write 'Blurred Lines'music
Arts & Ents blogs
- 1 Rihanna 'nude photos' claims emerge on 4Chan as hacking scandal continues
- 2 Frank Lampard equalises for Manchester City against Chelsea: how Twitter reacted
- 3 Stamford Hill council removes 'unacceptable' posters telling women which side of the road to walk down
- 4 Kim Kardashian 'nude photos' leaked on 4chan weeks after Jennifer Lawrence scandal
- 5 Hitler’s former food taster reveals the horrors of the Wolf’s Lair
Downton Abbey series 5, episode 1, review: Revolution still seems far off
The Beatles biographer reveals exclusive original manuscripts of some of the best pop songs ever written
Friends 20th anniversary: The highs and lows of the cast's careers since TV series ended in 2004
Downton Abbey series 5, episode 1, ITV, review: There’s revolution in the air, but one lady’s not for turning
Friends 20th anniversary: Six things we wouldn't have without influential comedy series
Scottish independence referendum: A nation divided against itself
Scottish referendum results: Cross-party consensus collapses amid Tory-Labour spat on the 'English question'
Scotland could still declare independence – even without referendum, says Alex Salmond
Scottish independence: David Cameron is becoming the 'George Bush of Britain'
Hilary Mantel 'should be investigated by police' over Margaret Thatcher assassination story, says Lord Bell
Plebgate MP Andrew Mitchell called officer a 'little s**t', claim court documents 'exposing ex-Chief Whip's 'record of abusing police'