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More than two decades ago, Brad Pitt and Edward Norton co-starred in David Fincher’s Fight Club. And while on set, the two actors began an unlikely bromance that has continued to this day.

But things between the two didn’t get off to a good start way back in 1999. When filming their first fight scene in the movie, Pitt took a real hit from Norton.

Fight Club Brad Pitt Edward Norton
‘Fight Club’ stars Edward Norton and Brad Pitt | Kevin Winter/Getty Images for AFI

Brad Pitt and Edward Norton were constantly laughing on the set of ‘Fight Club’

Fans might be surprised to learn that Pitt and Norton became good friends on the set of Fincher’s cult classic. Even though the film was violent and tackled serious issues, Norton says there was constant laughter on set.

While looking back at the making of Fight Club on the film’s 20th anniversary in 2019, Norton told Us Weekly that the experience was all about laughter and creativity. When he sees the set photos, Norton says the one thing he notices in all of the pictures is that they were “laughing all the time.”

“The whole experience was an experience of laughter and creativity. Brad is funny. Helena [Bonham Carter] is really funny. Fincher’s really funny. [Script doctor] Andy Walker’s funny. It was a funny bunch of people doing a dark comedy, so it was a lot of laughs,” Norton said.

The ‘Fight Club’ co-stars had a smokin’ good time at the Venice Film Festival

According to The Things, when Fight Club premiered in 1999 at the Venice Film Festival, Pitt and Norton decided to let loose and celebrate. Pitt told Marc Maron during an interview that he and his co-star smoked a joint at the screening. And, it was such good stuff, the actors were “completely done” after just a few minutes.

During the screening – which featured Italian subtitles – some of the jokes didn’t land with the European audience. The theater was completely silent, except for the sound of Pitt and Norton laughing almost uncontrollably because they were so high.

Were the actors in the back of the theater? Of course not. The film’s stars were up in the balcony with the festival director, who actually got up and left the theater in the middle of the film. However, it wasn’t Pitt and Norton’s laughter that ran the festival director out of the room. Instead, it was Carter’s controversial “school girl” line in the movie.

The film ended up being a major flop at the festival. According to reports at the time, the Italian audience missed the satire. Instead, they found the movie offensive and anti-establishment without any nuance.

Edward Norton hit Brad Pitt for real while filming the cult classic

Filming fight scenes in a movie is never easy. This is especially the case when trying to capture bloody street brawls. For Norton and Pitt, their friendship was an important factor when it came to trusting each other on set while filming those difficult scenes.

During an appearance on The Tonight Show starring Jimmy Fallon, Norton admitted that he punched Pitt for real in the film. The three-time Oscar nominee says that Fincher encouraged him to make contact with Pitt instead of faking it. Pitt’s reaction was also completely authentic and Fincher left it in the final cut.


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“It’s the first punch of the movie, and I hit him in the ear,” Norton revealed. “And he says, he – Fincher came up to me and said, ‘Hit him.’ You know, connect with him somewhere. And I didn’t know what to do. And I hit him in the ear, and he [Pitt] says in the film, he goes, “Ow! Why the ear?”

Brad Pitt and Edward Norton are still good friends. And both have expressed interest in a Fight Club sequel. However, nothing appears to be in the works just yet.