Brad Pitt Called His Film With Harrison Ford ‘The Most Irresponsible Bit of Filmmaking I’ve Ever Seen’
Yet earlier in his career, Pitt wasn’t thrilled with one movie he worked on with superstar Harrison Ford.
‘Seven’ star teams up with Indiana Jones
Starring as Irish Republican Army member Rory Devaney in 1997’s The Devil’s Own, Pitt’s character travels to the U.S. to obtain anti-aircraft missiles to later shoot down British helicopters in Northern Ireland. Ford portrays Irish-American cop Tom O’Meara, who lets Rory stay with him and his family in New York City as a favor to a friend.
Soon Tom discovers that Rory is involved in an illegal transport of guns to Dublin, where he must stop the criminal action yet both parties are conflicted due to their growing connection.
Directed by Alan J. Pakula, the film was met with lukewarm reviews attributed to the plot’s slow pace. “It never really cuts to the chase until way too late,” the Hollywood Reporter stated in a review. “Admittedly, the writing is bright, pointing up the respective moral dilemmas as personified by these two very different people, but nothing essentially happens for long patches of the film.”
Brad Pitt publicly vents his grievances
Soon before the release of the film, Pitt expressed his frustration at some issues he had during the shoot.
“We had no script. Well, we had a great script but it got tossed for various reasons,” he told Newsweek in February 1997. “To have to make something up as you go along… what pressure!”
Pitt didn’t mince words regarding his exasperation. “It was ridiculous. It was the most irresponsible bit of filmmaking – if you can even call it that – that I’ve ever seen,” the Oscar winner revealed. “I couldn’t believe it. I don’t know why anyone would want to continue making that movie. We had nothing. The movie was the complete victim of this drowning studio head … who said, “‘I don’t care. We’re making it. I don’t care what you have. Shoot something.”’
Apparently, Pitt tried to back out of the film but quitting would have been too costly. “I wanted out and the studio head said, ‘All right, we’ll let you out. But it’ll be $63 million for starters,'” the actor shared. “They sell movies to foreign territories on box-office names and they can sue on what they could have made if you’d stayed in the movie.”
Brad Pitt clarifies his statements
Turns out Pitt’s comments got him in a bit of hot water since his statements reflected negatively on the film.
“I didn’t even think about it,” Pitt told Rolling Stone in April 1997. “This was old news. Then I get home [Los Angeles]… Boom! The calls start at 7 in the morning. ‘Go on Entertainment Tonight,’ they begged. ‘Say you didn’t mean it.’ I was like, ‘I can’t do that. [He shakes his head] I said it. I said it.’”
Rolling Stone reported that Pitt wrote a letter to Newsweek, clarifying that his remarks referred to issues prior to filming rather than the actual finished product. The ending for The Devil’s Own was eventually redone.
As for rumors of tensions on set between Pitt and Ford, the Ad Astra star immediately squashed those rumblings.
“He’s absolutely cool,” Pitt said of his co-star. “Look, it was tough. It was the hardest film I’ve ever been on. But as for reports about out-of-control egos and people hiding out in trailers, that just wasn’t the case. It was everyone trying to make the best movie they could under the circumstances.”
Taking his role very much to heart, Pitt explained that he wanted his portrayal in the film to be authentic. “I’m playing a Catholic kid from Ireland,” he said. “I’m speaking for this situation that’s gone on for years. I felt a huge responsibility for that.”
The movie brought in over $140 million at the box office after its March 1997 release.