Whenever the name BRAD PITT is mentioned, I would always think “The most beautiful man on the planet”.
That perfect face, those bright blue eyes, that grin…. plus who could forget his bared bod in the classic movie, Fight Club?
Two decades have passed since that movie was released and yet, in my head, Brad’s name is still what I most associate with the words gorgeous and manly.
But he is more than that now…to me anyway.
I had a chance to meet him recently while he was promoting his latest sci-fi movie Ad Astra in Tokyo, Japan.
The first time I saw him was at the movie’s press conference held at the National Museum of Emerging Science and Innovation. He was on a small stage while I sat at the front row watching and listening as he spoke about the movie he produced himself with his Plan B production company.
He looked like he always looked, imperfectly beautiful. With his signature flat cap hiding his golden mane, it looked like Brad was deliberately downplaying his looks, to no avail.
He was polite, answering all the questions thoughtfully and light humor. He asked questions just as much as he answered them. He made the presscon comfortable for all of us. He also shared the stage with two actual Japanese astronauts with whom he had great rapport despite the language barrier.
Right after, I posted about the event on social media and was surprisingly inundated with one particular question: How does Brad smell?
An odd question to be sure and too funny to be ignored. In all my years of interviewing people, that question had never ever crossed my mind. I equated it to the idea that perhaps people are looking for a flaw in him.
The next day we, members of the Asian Press, were bussed to the Aman Tokyo where our One on One interviews were to be held. And though I already had a prepared set of questions, I still couldn’t get the “smell” question out of my head.
In interviewing Big Hollywood stars, one has to be sensitive to their moods and also aware of the parameters set by the stars and their people. Surprisingly, Brad had no written rules that we had to follow and sign, which is so unusual for a star of his caliber and of someone constantly going through tabloid hell. But still, I didn’t want to offend the star and get kicked out of the room and have nothing to show for the trip so I decided to forget about it.
Then it was my turn.
And Brad Pitt was what I wished all interviewees to be: gracious, engaging, kind, funny and game.
(In fairness, I have had the same wonderful experience with other Big stars especially with Paul Rudd, Chris Hemsworth and Hugh Jackman).
Since our interview was only set for 4 minutes, we really didn’t have time to have a full conversation. Instead, it was all questions and answers, jumping from one topic to the next, as you’ll see on my vlog.
After the interview as I was standing up, I blurted out about the odd “smell” question. He seemed amused by it and instead of just laughing it off (which I expected him to do to be honest), he actually asked “How do I smell?” and leaned towards me. And so I (for lack of a better word) sniffed the neck of most gorgeous man on the planet.
After that episode, I was on cloud nine for days.
If you were one those who texted, posted, commented, Dm’d and asked how Brad smells, here is my answer.
Manly clean with no perfume. Just….clean. Like newly showered and very….clean. Really, there is no better word to describe how he smelled. Okay, maybe Divine would be another description. But yes, undoubtedly Clean.
Seriously, I loved that I had that close encounter with him. That he was game enough, and unguarded enough, to let that moment happen. However what sticks with me the most is that for such a Huge star, one of the biggest in the world, he is also one of the humblest and nicest. He had no qualms about taking photos with his many fans and the press, he was always ready with his disarming smile, he made it easy to feel comfortable with him and he always took time to speak about and share the spotlight and glory with other people, especially his director, his co stars and the two guest astronauts. To him, it shouldn’t be just about him but more about everyone else.
I do still associate the word beautiful with the name Brad Pitt. but next to that are other equally important words: Humble and Gracious.