Why Brad Pitt is still ‘underrated,’ according to ‘Ad Astra’s’ director

Gregory Wakeman
Contributor
Brad Pitt at the 76 Venice International Film Festival 2019. Ad Astra photocall. Venice (Italy), August 29th, 2019 (Photo by Marco Piraccini/Archivio Marco Piraccini/Mondadori Portfolio via Getty Images)

Brad Pitt is having an incredible 2019.

Not only was his performance in Once Upon A Time In Hollywood roundly lauded, to such an extent that he is already the front-runner for the Best Supporting Actor Academy Award, but the first reviews for Ad Astra have heaped even more praise on the acting icon.

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All of which has provoked the question of, is Brad Pitt under-rated? The answer is a resounding yes, according to Ad Astra’s writer and director James Gray.

“He is an unbelievably subtle actor in a way that I didn’t even anticipate,” Gray told the Los Angeles Times. “And he’s extremely intelligent, very shrewd, understands human behavior very well. In some sense, I can’t believe I’m going to say this, but Pitt is kind of an underrated actor. On a technical level, underrated. And it’s a pleasure to work with someone like that.”

The 76th Venice Film Festival - Screening of the film "Ad Astra" in competition - Red Carpet Arrivals - Venice, Italy, August 29, 2019 - Director James Gray and Actors Brad Pitt, Ruth Negga and Liv Tyler pose. REUTERS/Yara Nardi

“The expression is he can fill it up, which means you give him some tidbits and he does the work. He thinks about it, you roll the camera, all of a sudden you can see the inner workings, the turmoil. It’s, I think, an incredible performance. It’s not showy at all. I have no idea what the world will think, but it is for my money great work.”

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Gray gave the above answer after revealing that he had actually reached out to David Fincher, who has directed Pitt in Se7en, Fight Club and The Curious Case Of Benjamin Button, for advice on working with the star. Gray didn’t reveal exactly what Fincher told him, but the above remarks give us some idea of their conversation.

We’ll get to see what Brad Pitt does in Ad Astra when it is released on September 20.