Luke Blackall: Pitt is a refreshing anomaly - he answers the questions

Man About Town
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The Independent Online

"These A-Listers never answer much more than one question," I had confidently told my fellow hacks while waiting for Brad Pitt to arrive at the screening of Killing Them Softly. The thing is, they really don't. Most of the time, big stars give a couple of bland interviews to the TV cameras before all but ignoring the rest of the press.

But Pitt confounded expectations: he answered questions thoughtfully, whether they were about the film, guns, politics or even talking about his family (personal questions are normally the cue for a star to walk away).

Apparently he and Angelina Jolie have set no date set for a wedding ("No plans, other than we're going to do it"), but admitted that he's getting "a lot of pressure from my kids" to get down the aisle. He described a recent tabloid tale that he had bought his fiancée a £250,000 shooting range as a gift as "hilarious", but did add that "she is a really good shot, by the way".

He came across as a refreshing anomaly for a major Hollywood star, understanding his value, and the value of promoting his film, but not seeing himself as superior to those asking the question. That, or he is a good enough actor to convince the cynical press pack. Either way, it's a good mark for him.

Less press savvy, however, was the star of the previous night's party. EL James, the author of the series of bondage novels, 50 Shades of Grey, was making a public appearance at Shoreditch House members' club to launch a new soundtrack based on the books.

I was intrigued by this literary sensation, whose book was said to have dominated (if you'll excuse the phrase) practically every woman's summer reading list. No one I knew who read it said they actually enjoyed it, but there can be far less doubt about the quality of its greatest-hits-of-classical soundtrack. I'm listening to it now as I write, although I'm still unclear as to whether or not it is meant to represent aural sex, or simply music to get spanked to.

The party featured an onstage Q&A, where the author was interviewed by a broadcaster. It was nice enough, but we were told there were to be no questions from the audience and afterwards she was whisked away before any admirers or press could get near her.

As one who is in the infancy of her celebrity, she could do worse than pick up tips from Mr Pitt.