Brad Pitt Did The Table Read For Legends Of The Fall And Nearly Quit. It Would Become A Major Win For His Career

Movies



The road from “professional actor” to “movie star” is different for everybody. There isn’t always a single role that marks the transition from one to the other, but with Brad Pitt‘s career, one cannot discount the importance that Legends of the Fall had for him. It was one of his earliest breakout roles, but it almost didn’t happen because the director says that Pitt nearly quit the movie.

Director Ed Zwick, whose credits include Glory and The Last Samurai has written a new memoir, Hits, Flops, and Other Illusions, and in an excerpt published by Vanity Fair, Zwick recounted that directing Brad Pitt on Legends of the Fall was a difficult process, for both of them, from start to finish. It started with the table read of the script, where Zwick says a producer had to step in to keep the actor from quitting. He explained…

I could see Brad’s growing discomfort as it went on. Hours afterward, his agent called the studio to say Brad wanted to quit. It fell to [producer] Marshall [Herskovitz] to talk Brad off the ledge. It was never mentioned again, but it was the first augury of the deeper springs of emotion roiling inside Brad. He seems easygoing at first, but he can be volatile when riled, as I was to be reminded more than once as shooting began and we took each other’s measure.



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