Brad Pitt is set to return to theaters this November in Allied, an inspired-by-real-events romance from director Robert Zemeckis about an American (Pitt) and French (Marion Cotillard) spy who fall in love and marry during World War II, only to then find their relationship potentially threatened by the demands of their work. It’s a film that looks like the type of sweeping period drama that finds favor with both audiences and critics. And it’s a far cry from another project the star has his eye on: a biblical tale that, as he tells T: The New York Times Style Magazine, would be nothing like a certain Mel Gibson blockbuster involving Jesus Christ.
Speaking with Man Booker Prize-winning author Marlon James, Pitt discusses a film he’d like to make about Pontius Pilate, who’d be portrayed as a government official forced to cope with a middle-of-nowhere assignment alongside unpleasant compatriots. Pitt says that “It certainly won’t be for the ‘Passion’ crowd,” and when James brings up his own dislike of Mel Gibson’s The Passion of the Christ, the actor laughingly responds about that 2004 hit, “I felt like I was just watching an L. Ron Hubbard propaganda film” — though he does praise Gibson’s later Apocalypto as “a great film.”
Pitt also recounts a funny anecdote from the set of David Ayer’s WWII tank drama Fury in which, thanks to a young co-star and a timepiece, he was all-too-painfully reminded of his own (52-years-old) age:
“When I was making a World War II movie called Fury, we did this boot camp for a week, and Logan Lerman, who was the youngest actor of the bunch — I think he was 21 — was given grunt detail. We gave him a watch and he had to keep track of how long it took us to eat and get in and out of our gear. One day he came to me and said the watch has stopped, and I said, ‘You’ve just got to wind it.’ He came back literally 15 minutes later and said, ‘Wait, how do you wind it?’ ”
And as for every American’s constant topic-of-conversation, Donald Trump? Pitt expresses a mixture of shock and dismay at the real-estate tycoon’s political ascendancy: “I can’t bring myself to think that Trump will be in charge. In the simplest terms, what brings us together is good, and what separates us is bad.” Still, as a man who originally hailed from a part of the country that skews Republican, Pitt says he’s found himself trying to come to grips with the presidential candidate’s appeal. “Coming from Oklahoma, southern Missouri, which leans more toward a Trump voice, I try to understand it… It seems that the people who suffer the most end up betting for the party that would hurt them. And so I try to understand where they’re coming from.”
Click over to read Pitt’s entire T interview. Allied, arrives in theaters on Nov. 23.
‘Allied’: Watch the teaser trailer: