Brad Pitt’s On-Set Injury on ‘Troy’ Is an Eerie Homage to His Character Achilles

Brad Pitt is one of the biggest stars of the movie industry and has appeared in some major blockbuster films over the years. From Mr. and Mrs. Smith to Interview with the Vampire, Pitt has made a splash playing a wide variety of characters.

One of his biggest movies was the 2004 war epic Troy, where he played the mythic hero Achilles. Although the part was perfect for Pitt, and the role earned him a slew of positive audience responses, it also caused Pitt to sustain a serious injury that put a pause on the film’s production for some time.

An injury that proved he shared a bizarre connection to the larger than life character that he played in Troy

‘Troy’ was a blockbuster film

Brad Pitt
Brad Pitt | Getty Images

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Released in 2004, Troy told the story of Homer’s Iliad, the mythic saga that recounts the story of the Trojan War and all of the legendary heroes involved. With a huge cast of stars, including Eric Bana, Orlando Bloom, Diane Kruger, and Peter O’Toole, Troy was a film of epic proportions, that spanned years and followed a wide-ranging cast of characters.

Chock-full of violence, romance, and impressive battle reenactments, Troy was one of the year’s most popular films. Out of all the stars in the cast, one, in particular, shone especially bright — and that was Pitt, then at the pinnacle of his on-screen popularity.

Pitt’s portrayal of Achilles was not only one of the film’s linchpins, but it helped propel him to the status of a bona fide action hero. 

Brad Pitt played Achilles in ‘Troy’

Pitt began his film career in the early nineties, with a featured part in the girl-power film Thelma & Louise. While Pitt’s character was charming and magnetic, it was his incredible good looks that caused fans to sit up and take an interest — at least in the early days of his career.

It wasn’t until starring turns in movies such as Legends of the Fall and 12 Monkeys that viewers really began to get a sense of the depth of Pitt’s talent.

By the time he starred in Troy in 2004, Pitt was fresh from a string of hit movies such as Ocean’s Eleven and The Mexican. With the addition of such a blockbuster film to his resume, Pitt became known as an action hero as well as a dramatic star.

Pitt put in the work necessary to make his character of Achilles as believable as possible. Even though Pitt later revealed that he wasn’t terribly happy with the finished film, at the time, Troy was definitely a notch in Pitt’s belt. 

What bizarre injury did Brad Pitt sustain on the set of ‘Troy’?

Pitt worked out hard to get in shape for the character of Achilles. As he admitted in an interview prior to the film’s release, he worked out hard for six months to get into fighting form and made sure to eat four protein-rich meals each day as part of his training.

He also kept carbs to a bare minimum and did a lot of strength-training exercises. However, all of his working out couldn’t keep him from sustaining a bizarre injury during filming. 

As Pitt revealed, “in a bout of stupid irony, I tweaked my Achilles’ tendon.” The injury ended up halting filming for several weeks while Pitt recovered enough to resume production. Although the film didn’t receive the greatest reviews when it was released, there was no doubt that Pitt certainly looked the part of Achilles — injured foot and all.