Heart-throb with a heart ; Brad Pitt has to save his screen family from flesh-eating zombies in his latest film, World War Z. SHEREEN LOW finds out why, in real life, the actor would risk everything for his nearest and dearest
obliterated? How will we survive? The actor says playing someone normal, not a superhero, appealed. Gerry can't fly, he can't beat up bad guys. He has no super powers. He's a dad, with a burning need to keep his family safe. To do that, he can only rely on his intellect, his instincts and his experience, Pitt explains.
He has kind words for his on-screen wife Karen, played by Mireille Enos, who's starred in the US version of The Killing.
Mireille is a brilliant partner on set, he says. She can embody the lovingness of the mother and flip to the ferociousness of the lioness protecting her young in an instant. As in any great relationship, she carried half the weight - a true ally.
As for Forster, who also directed Monster's Ball, Finding Neverland and The Kite Runner, Pitt says: He can't be pigeonholed as a director; his experience and interest in many genres and types of film is a rarity. His most memorable moments on film are intimate and human.
It was this quality, juxtaposed against our massive global apocalyptic crisis, that we believed would lead to an unusually authentic and grounded action thriller.
Forster returns the praise, calling Pitt the best partner and a sublime actor.
We'd never done anything like this and, in that sense, it was a challenge - to work through this genre that was unfamiliar to the both of us, and try and create something fresh and new.
Pitt, who became a Hollywood heart-throb after appearing in Thelma And Louise in 1991, and later in films like Meet Joe Black and Fight Club, has received four Oscar nominations in his time, including two for 2011 drama Moneyball.
His upcoming roles in Steve McQueen's 12 Years A Slave and Ridley Scott's The Counselor, are sure to bring him further acclaim.
But awards don't factor in his game plan. I don't play the Oscars game. I had a Golden Globe [for 12 Monkeys] about a decade ago, but they are never the focus, he says.
I believe it's how you personally feel. You want to feel that you've given it your best at the end of the day. We all want to be really good. ? World War Z opens in cinemas on Friday.
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