Brad Pitt has revealed the “paradoxical” approach that was taken to filming his latest blockbuster.
The Hollywood actor, who rose to fame starring in 12 Monkeys and later Mr And Mrs Smith, portrays the role of comical assassin Ladybug in new film Bullet Train.
Speaking to the PA news agency at the UK screening of the film, Pitt, 58, explained the process of using humour while playing the role of a skilled but nonetheless burnt-out operative who is determined to do his job peacefully after one too many gigs has gone off the rails.
The Academy Award winner said: “Every film has its own tone and the director sets that tone and you commit to that tone.
“It’s something that’s actually never really talked about.
“And Dave Leitch, our director, has that tone. We met years ago, he was my stunt double, but now he’s my boss!
“And he just infused his comedy with the old ultra-violence and that was hilarious.
“I know it’s paradoxical!”
Pitt went on to explain that his decision to be part of the movie came from the script’s ability to make him “laugh out loud” while struggling through the Covid-19 pandemic.
He told PA: “I read this one in the doldrums of the lockdown, pre-vaccine, you know people were starting to go a little stir crazy. Me especially.
“And I read this one and it just made me laugh out loud and I figured, yeah this is what we need, we really need some of this.”
Leitch, who starred as Pitt’s stunt double in films such as Fight Club, Mr And Mrs Smith and Troy, revealed he had Pitt in mind for the role of Ladybug as soon as he began preparing for the film.
“I mean, I don’t know if I would do the movie if it wasn’t Brad,” he said.
“That sort of sealed the deal with everything we were thinking of and it’s just amazing that everything came full circle and he saw in it what we saw in it.”
Bullet Train’s producer and Leitch’s wife Kelly McCormick continued: “Yeah we were sort of shocked when he [Pitt] responded…
“He’s so busy and he’s so special and then he read it in a weekend and responded on the Monday and he was like ‘I’m going to do this thing!’ and we thought this is so exciting.”
The film also stars Aaron Taylor-Johnson, who found fame in the 2008 film Angus, Thongs And Perfect Snogging before going on to star as the titular character in Kick Ass.
Taylor-Johnson, 32, who portrays the character of killer Tangerine alongside on-screen “twin” Lemon, played by Brian Tyree Henry, spoke of the great friendship he formed with Tyree Henry, 40, during filming.
“I love this guy,” he said.
“Firstly, I was a huge admirer of his acting career and all the roles he played before.
“So when he stepped into the role of Lemon, I knew I was in great hands.
“Then when I met him, it was just like an instantaneous love affair. I just think he’s the best man in the world and that was built on trust.
“So then we were able to just throw the script away and make up some shit!”