Regrets? Brad Pitt has a few. So why won't he own them?

08 Oct 2014 00:52
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Photograph: Sportsphoto Ltd/Allstar
An important part of growing up is being able to realise that everything you've ever done is awful. Relationships, jobs, haircuts - every one of them, thanks to the miracle of hindsight, turning out to be nothing more than a catastrophic decision made by a clueless moron. And we're all prone to this. When I was 13, for example, I bought a pair of purple jeans. And when Brad Pitt was 30, he made Interview with the Vampire. It's the same thing.
No, really, it is. In an interview with Psychologies, Pitt has declared his hatred of the film, revealing a level of regret previously only reserved for anyone who found themselves attempting to purchase a normal pair of blue trousers in Burton in 1993 while simultaneously being red-green colourblind. "It was one of the worst experiences of my life," Pitt said of the film. "Six months in the fucking dark, contact lenses, make-up, I'm playing the bitch role."
Similarly, Ben Affleck has found himself unable to look at his IMDb page without wincing in agony. While promoting Gone Girl on NPR, he said "Indeed I have regrets about Daredevil. I have regrets about all the movies that I don't think were executed properly".
Photograph: Allstar/20th Century Fox
George Clooney has never knowingly spoken in public without making at least one glancing reference to his doomed stint as Batman. Colin Farrell didn't like being in Miami Vice, Halle Berry hated being in Catwoman, Will Smith didn't like being in Wild Wild West, James Franco has distanced himself from Your Highness. Speaking about The Happening, Mark Wahlberg has said "Fucking trees, man. The plants. Fuck it. You can't blame me for wanting to try to play a science teacher," which is easily the most self-aware thing ever to have come from the man's mouth.
You can't blame these actors for speaking out about their crap roles. After all, actors are essentially powerless in the film-making process, and even their best work can be undone down the line by inept directing, dodgy editing or duff lighting. And, to be fair, they only tend to own up to their shame after a negative consensus has already formed around it - if The Happening had won Wahlberg an Oscar and led to a spate of other critically acclaimed films about people staring at foliage, there's a good chance that he'd keep his reservations to himself.
If anything unites these feelings of regret, it's the fact that the actors have almost always gone on to do bigger and better things. Brad Pitt's biggest regret about Interview with the Vampire is that he didn't have more say in it, which he's since corrected by becoming a hugely respected producer. Similarly, Ben Affleck now directs Oscar-winning movies, granting him an enviable vantage point from which to take down substandard films that he didn't personally mould with his own hands.
So perhaps these regrets are simply a special kind of A-list humblebrag - less "I can't believe I did that", and more "Hey everyone, get a load of how amazing I've got". And, speaking as someone who now almost always buys trousers that are the colour I think they are, this is something that I'm completely onboard with. Good for them.

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