Art & Entertainment

Brad Pitt On Playing A Philosophical Assassin In 'Bullet Train': He's A Chump

Hollywood star Brad Pitt says he found the "most fun" role of his career in Ladybug, a chump of an assassin, in the upcoming action film "Bullet Train".

Brad Pitt in 'Bullet Train'

Hollywood star Brad Pitt says he found the "most fun" role of his career in Ladybug, a chump of an assassin, in the upcoming action film "Bullet Train".

The Oscar-winning actor headlines the Sony project directed by "Deadpool 2" filmmaker David Leitch, who previously served as Pitt's stunt double in many movies such as "Fight Club" and "Troy".

Pitt said "Bullet Train" came to him at the peak of the coronavirus pandemic and felt like a breath of fresh air.

"When this script came along, it was like five- six months into the pandemic. There was this air of depression, we were all getting a little crazy and this film was a really funny piece. 

"Also concurrently, it was with an old friend of mine David Leitch. We had an actor-stuntman relationship. He was my stunt double for 'Fight Club', 'Mexican', 'Troy' and 'Mr and Mrs Smith'. So it was really to come back around full circle. But this time Leitch my man was the boss," Pitt said during a virtual global press conference of the film.

He was joined by director Leitch, co-stars Joey King, Aaron Taylor-Johnson, Brian Tyree Henry and producer Kelly McCormick.

In "Bullet Train", Pitt stars as the seasoned assassin Ladybug, who wants to give up the life but is pulled back in by his handler Maria Beetle in order to collect a briefcase on a bullet train heading from Tokyo to Kyoto. Once on board, he and the other competing assassins discover that their objectives are all connected.

Pitt said the makers imagined his character as someone who returns to work after a mental breakdown.

"First of all, he's a chump, and the chump is the most fun role to play hands down. The DNA for him was all in Zak's (Olkewicz) writing, but we kind of thought it like maybe he was coming from a mental breakdown, certainly an absence from work.

"And maybe he had a couple of months of therapy under his belt. Therefore he thought he had all the answers and life was just gonna be peachy keen and roses. And we can solve the conflict peacefully. But this doesn't go right," the 58-year-old actor said.

When King remarked that Ladybug felt like a "22-year-old going through self discovery", Pitt said, "The sad thing is that's pretty much where I am in life."

What he liked about the movie was that it focused on every character equally, Pitt said.

"Everyone's got their own agenda and they all clash. And everyone here is such a high degree of talent that we had a lot of good laughs. I surely had a lot of good laughs," he added.

"Bullet Train", which is based on the Japanese novel 'Maria Beetle' by author Kotaro Isaka, features Taylor-Johnson and Tyree Henry as Tangerine and Lemon, a pair of British assassins, and they said they had a great time working together.

"My partner-in-crime was Brian Tyree Henry. And without him, I couldn't have built this character. We instantly hit it off because I love this man. I've enjoyed watching Brian an actor, I was already a huge fan of his work," Taylor-Johnson said.
Tyree Henry said he found a perfect companion in Taylor-Johnson as he could act like an "absolutely f***g stupid" person with him.

"I think we captured that in the best possible way. It was instantaneous. As soon as I met Aaron, it was like, 'oh, I have a buddy to just sit here and be crazy and silly with.' But at the same time, it was rooted in actual care and trust."

Leitch, also known for directing hit action movies like "Atomic Blonde" and "Hobbs & Shaw", said his time on "Deadpool 2" prepared him for the challenge of "Bullet Train".

The Ryan Reynolds-starrer was a "masterclass" in working with "someone who's great at improvisation", a skill that he utilised in "Bullet Train". 

The filmmaker also said that he loves "comedy, action and I love hard boil genre", and all these elements are present in his latest film.

"These types of movies, they're commercial and you can have messages in them that you couldn't have in dramas other ways. So we 'Bullet Train' has this theme of fate, brotherhood and redemption. 

"And you can have it a little bit like philosophy and a cool message in a movie that is a commercial comedy," Leitch added.
Also starring Andrew Koji, Bad Bunny, Hiroyuki Sanada, Michael Shannon and Sandra Bullock, "Bullet Train" will be released in India by Sony Pictures Entertainment India on August 5 in English, Hindi, Tamil and Telugu.

[With Inputs From PTI]