Brad Pitt, Marion Cotillard Discuss Challenges Shooting ‘Allied’

Dave McNary

Movie history was on full display at Wednesday’s world premiere of Paramount’s World War II thriller “Allied” at the Regency Village Theatre in Westwood.

In a post-screening Q&A, Brad Pitt told the audience that he’s been drawn to the period — via “Inglourious Basterds,” “Fury” and now “Allied” — due to compelling stories, adding, “I don’t have a fetish for World War II.”

Director Robert Zemeckis admitted that he was inspired by “Lawrence of Arabia” in the movie’s opening sequences. “When we were shooting on the sand dunes, I was copying David Lean.”

Zemeckis admitted that much of his shooting drew upon his extensive experience in visual effects, such as the use of a single plane for Pitt’s flying scenes. Pitt evoked major laughs when he quipped, “I fly pretty well, don’t I?”

Asked about the challenge of making his Canadian character speak French with a Parisian accent, Pitt again delivered a laugh line by declaring sarcastically, “My French was smokin!”

Pitt said he first heard about “Allied” from screenwriter Steven Knight while working on “World War Z.”

Marion Cotillard admitted that she faced difficulties in filming the gunplay scenes in the film and recalled that Zemeckis took her aside after the first take and said, “I can tell that you hate guns. So pretend that you love guns.”

Cotillard also said that she’s normally reluctant to endure costume fittings, but found herself dazzled by dressing for the early 1940s, adding, “It was like a little girl’s dream to try on all those beautiful outfits.”

Deadline Hollywood’s Pete Hammond moderated the Q&A.  “Allied” opens in theaters on Nov. 23.

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