That's really tragic, too, because Pitt is a fantastic CHARACTER actor. Give him an eccentric, secondary idiot to play, and he'll get completely lost in that role. I won't say that his performance as a dumb-ass trainer in Burn After Reading is my favorite Pitt role ever, but it's definitely the most memorable. Even now I can see his ridiculous hair and that hilarious way he held his water bottle. He was a 40-something-year-old man acting like an 18-year-old, and I desperately want to know his story. How did he start working there? What do his parents think of him? Did his job interview solely consist of him asking Richard Jenkins how to work the water fountains?
Chad Feldheimer, you beautiful mystery.
Now, think back to Pitt's role in Inglourious Basterds. What was his best scene in the entire movie? If you said anything other than "BAWNJORNO!" you can fuck right off because I don't have time to deal with liars. Don't get me wrong, Aldo Raine is still badass and all, but that is literally the least interesting thing about him. It's when he's in the shadow of the movie's true main character (Christoph Waltz) and acts dumber than an anti-vax box of hammers that he achieves true acting greatness.
The Weinstein Company, Universal Pictures
God bless this scene.
But Pitt is also capable of some amazing, non-comedic performances. He was genuinely unnerving as a mental patient in Twelve Monkeys, and really badass as a bare-knuckle boxer in Snatch, but only because he doesn't have to smile and be all inspirational and pure for the audience there. Ironically, Pitt shines brightest whenever he's not the star.
Someone once said that Pitt is essentially a character actor trapped in a leading man's body, and I could not agree more with that. All we can hope is that, maybe, his career will fail entirely, and, desperate for food and a place to live, he'll take any small supporting role that he can, thus putting himself in line for the kind of characters that he's best at playing.
Cezary Jan Strusiewicz is a Cracked columnist, interviewer, and editor. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org or follow him on Twitter.
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