Brad Pitt Training With Renowned Sculptor: "I'm Learning a Lot and I Love It"

Brad Pitt attends the press conference for the Japanese premiere of Ad Astra - Getty -H 2019
Christopher Jue/Getty Images

A couple of years ago, Rambling Reporter incorrectly reported that Brad Pitt skipped the Academy Awards on the night when his Plan B-produced Moonlight took home the top prize in favor of sculpting at Houseago's headquarters. But Pitt recently revealed to The New York Times that actually, on that particular evening Feb. 26, 2017, he had zero eyes on the small screen when Warren Beatty and Faye Dunaway screwed up the best picture Oscar hand-over because he was focused on a plate of spaghetti at the home of filmmaker friend James Gray for one the latter’s legendary Sunday night dinners.

What’s true is that Pitt was, at the time, beginning his exploration of the art of sculpture with Houseago’s help — and he’s still doing it. “I’ve been in training, you know,” Pitt told Rambling Reporter at the L.A. premiere of his and Gray’s space epic Ad Astra on Sept. 18.

He’s spent hours learning the craft, even traveling with Houseago to the Venice Biennale and checking out exhibits from Paris to L.A. “I'm learning a lot and I love it. It’s a really solo, all on your own venture.”

As for whether the world will ever see the works he’s creating, Pitt was characteristically coy. “If I were to find something that I felt was original to my own vernacular in that way and it had something to add, then yeah. But If I felt it was too derivative of the greats, then no.” 

Something he doesn't feel is too derivative is Ad Astra, which is now in theaters. "The hardest part of this film was really putting it together. Not only was it a Rubik's cube of a structure, but James and I set out to do something really raw, open, in-the-moment. We wanted to do something sincere. The danger in that — I would even call it a minefield — is that it can easily become too trite or too flat depending on how you shape the thing. it was constant negotiation to stay on point. It was more delicate than any other film I’ve ever worked on."

A version of this story first appeared in the Oct. 1 issue of The Hollywood Reporter magazine. To receive the magazine, click here to subscribe.