Brad Pitt Promotes 'The House I Live In' at Los Angeles Screening
“I’m Brad Pitt and I’m a drug addict,” is the way The House I Live In’s executive producer jokingly introduced his new documentary at the Sundance Sunset Cinema on October 12. Pitt had flown in from Europe to give Eugene Jarecki's film on U.S. drug policy a boost as it starts its North American roll out.
“My drug days have long since passed,” added Pitt, “But I could probably land in any American city and within 24 hours find whatever you want. But we still support this charade called the drug war. We spent a trillion dollars over 40 years and a lot of people have lost their lives over it.”
As the documentary unspooled, Pitt and Jarecki went upstairs into the theater’s lounge where they sat on big comfy leather chairs and did a few press interviews. There was a bodyguard or two standing by, but the scene was remarkably relaxed. The first thing you notice is that Jarecki talks really, really fast and Pitt mostly listens but doesn’t do a bad job interjecting points when he wants to.
“Look at alcohol,” says Jarecki. “After Prohibition – we re-grouped and said it was a bad idea what we’re doing. Now we have a system where alcohol is illegal for children; the government profits off it; grown-ups can use it responsibly, which means if I go out in my car and kill some one it’s manslaughter. But if I’ve been drinking, it’s an aggravating prosecutorial factor. So why is it that drugs -- which are less damaging to public health than alcohol -- why is it we treat them more severely?”
Jarecki says all that in pretty much one breath while Pitt takes a sip from a Stella Artois and has a bit of popcorn. Asked if he’s getting into documentaries “for the big bucks” Pitt first says, “Yeah, I’m cashing in” then adds that “the subject has bugged me for a long time. It’s a backward strategy. It makes no sense and we keep going on the path like we’re winning when it perpetuates more drugs being used.”
On the subject of World War Z, Paramount's $170 million-plus zombie war movie he stars in that has had last-minute script rewrites and a new release date of June 2013, Pitt said, “We’re going in for additional shooting and it’s going to work. In fact it’s already working.”
And asked if he was happy about the election, Pitt said, “I’m happy and we haven’t even had the election yet.”