Who’s the most bankable male actor in Hollywood right now? You wouldn’t be wrong if you said Tom Holland — or even Timothee Chalamet. These young guys have massive fanbases.
But people are wrong to ignore the appeal of older actors. While they’re no longer teen heartthrobs, guys like John Travolta and Matt Damon can still sell movies.
Likewise, Brad Pitt has had a stellar run at the movies this year. He’s proving once again why filmmakers keep approaching him to this day.
Working with Quentin Tarantino
Brad Pitt was in not only one but two big-time movies this year. The first film was Quentin Tarantino’s Once Upon a Time in Hollywood. With a budget of around $90 million, it went on to earn $363 million at the box office.
But what made Tarantino’s ninth feature film sell so well? For one, Tarantino is one of the best directors out there. Tarantino knows how to build tension — even in movies that run for over two hours.
Plus, the director relied on two skilled actors: Leonardo DiCaprio and Brad Pitt. Before the movie, DiCaprio was already experiencing a resurgence in acting fame.
He starred in 2013’s The Wolf of Wall Street. Then in 2015, he earned an Oscar for his performance in The Revenant.
But what about Brad Pitt? In 2013, he was in World War Z, which became the highest-grossing zombie film of all time. That same year, Pitt was in 12 Years a Slave, which won Best Picture at the Oscars.
So when these two Hollywood heavyweights worked together, the movie was bound for success. These were two charismatic adult men who were still at the top of their game. Pitt was hilarious, appealing, and even terrifying at times.
James Gray’s Sci-Fi Wonder
Brad Pitt’s second movie of the year was none other than Ad Astra. James Gray directed the sci-fi space movie — and it was mesmerizing.
Ad Astra was reminiscent of other sci-fi movies such as Arrival, Blade Runner 2049, and 2001: A Space Odyssey. This was a smart and heartfelt film.
We can all praise Gray’s directing, Hoyte van Hoytema’s camerawork, and Max Richter’s score. But it would be wrong to discount the value of Pitt as the lead actor.
He sold the film to the audience. The fact that he was the focus of the posters meant that he carried the movie. As expected, Pitt was at the top of his game here.
Pitt didn’t need a ton of dialogue to make you feel emotional. His eye movements and facial expressions alone were enough. These informed us whether his character was sad, frustrated, disappointed, or hopeful.
Restraint and Nuanced Acting
So why does Pitt keep on succeeding in Hollywood? It’s because the 55-year-old actor knows all about control. He doesn’t have to exaggerate his performances to get the job done.
This is the appeal of Pitt. He is a seasoned actor who knows how to be the character. His physical looks remain the same, but he becomes a different person once the camera starts rolling.
Brad Pitt doesn’t need to look good to seal the deal in films — it’s just a bonus. This man has been declared the most attractive man in the world several times.
But deep within him is the soul of a genuine performer. He is someone who knows how to portray the multiple facets of humanity in front of the camera.