What Brad Pitt Is Saying About ‘Tree of Life’

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The Terrence Malick drama picked up the Palme d'Or Sunday at the Cannes Film Festival.

Brad Pitt’s latest drama - The Tree of Life, directed by the reclusive Terrence Malick – picked up the Palme d'Or Sunday at the Cannes Film Festival. So what does Pitt make of the project (which opens in the U.S. May 27)? Below, four things he's said:

He doesn't care about the mixed reactions.
“That doesn’t bother me,” he told 24 Frames. “Really. I much prefer that some people love and others don’t get it, as long as it starts a discussion. That’s a bigger win.” When working with Malick, he added, "there’s a weight it carries. And this thing has been in incubation for so long. Hype is always dangerous because you could never answer all the expectations."

The movie reminded him of his "stifling" childhood.
Pitt plays a highly stern father in the film, which explores creation and one family's place in it. He joked with reporters about how the role hit home: "I beat my kids regularly. It seems to do the trick. And I deprive them of meals." Kidding aside, Pitt said the project made him recall his own Christian upbringing, which he said he found "very stifling."

He doesn't blame Malick for being M.I.A.
Malick didn't publicize the picture at Cannes, instead choosing to remain behind-the-scenes. At one point during the fest, Pitt told photographers, "I don't know why it's accepted that people who make things in our business are then expected to sell them, and I don't think that computes with him. He wants to focus on the making of it, not the real estate, selling the real estate. It is an odd thing for an artist to start something and then be salesman."

He says Malick has changed the way he looks at making movies.
Thanks to Life's dense script, Malick kept each day of shooting loose and encouraged actors to improvise. Said Pitt, "He was more interested in capturing what was happening on the day. He's like a guy standing there with a butterfly net and waiting for that moment of truth to go by."