Brad Pitt Gave ‘Fight Club’ Author Advice About ‘The Real Blessing of Failure’

Chuck Palahniuk’s novel Fight Club only became really famous after it was adapted into the Brad Pitt movie of the same name. During the making of the film, Pitt offered Palahniuk some advice about failure. Interestingly, Palahniuk seemed to connect the advice to his own experience of financial instability.

Brad Pitt with a microphone
Brad Pitt | James Devaney/WireImage

Brad Pitt talked about the importance of ‘isolation’ and ‘daydreaming’ while making ‘Fight Club’

During a 2018 interview with The Guardian, Palahniuk discussed how he might have to sell his house — but there were upsides to his financial situation. “It’s kind of nice,” he revealed. “Writing was initially my way of saving money, because if you’re writing, you’re not spending…. And there’s the awareness that I’m the person who got me to this place, and I’m still that person, so I can still turn it all back around, and come up with something really strong and vibrant and interesting.”

He then relayed an anecdote about Pitt. “This is going to sound so asinine and name-dropping, but when we were making Fight Club, Brad Pitt had made some movies he wasn’t particularly happy with – one was Meet Joe Black – and he said every movie is the antidote to the one you just made; that the real blessing of failure is that it is the only thing that gives you the isolation and time to reinvent yourself,” he said. “If you’re moving from success to success, you don’t have that daydreaming period that will allow you to come up with something new and unique.”

A trailer for Fight Club

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During a 2019 interview with Publisher’s Weekly, Palahniuk said he would use this new phase of his career to start writing for television. He was excited about this prospect. He seemed to be undergoing the sort of reinvention Pitt discussed.

How the world reacted to the Brad Pit films ‘Meet Joe Black’ and ‘Fight Club’

While Palahniuk wasn’t upset by his fiances, Pitt clearly wasn’t happy with Meet Joe Black. This raises an interesting question: Did the public embrace the film? According to Box Office Mojo, Meet Joe Black had a budget of $90 million. It had a $15 million opening and subsequently earned over $142 million total. While it earned its budget back, Meet Joe Back wasn’t much of a hit by Hollywood standards.

A Meet Joe Black trailer

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On the other hand, Box Office Mojo says Fight Club had a budget of $63 million. Following a opening weekend where it earned $11 million, the film ultimately earned $100 million. While it wasn’t a tremendous success at the time, it became a cult classic, getting referenced in pop culture many times, including the film Under the Silver Lake and Limp Bizkit’s “Living It Up.” It’s fitting that Pitt discussed finding success through failure while making a film that failed at the box office but successfully penetrated the culture.

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