Los Angeles - Brad Pitt arrived at a Los Angeles special screening of
"Babel" on Sunday night looking handsome and rested, a far cry from the
distraught husband he plays in the intense drama. Already generating strong
Academy Award buzz, "Babel" follows four far-flung families who are all
connected in tragedy by a single rifle shot.
Pitt plays an American on vacation in Morocco with his wife - Cate Blanchett,
who also attended the gala party, along with director Alejandro Gonzalez
Inarritu, co-stars Michael Pena and Rinko Kikuchi, and a host of famous faces -
in a role that de-glamorizes the handsome actor, turning him into an everyday
"I wanted him to be older. I think that it was a necessary thing to get the
man there who is going through very difficult emotional times. I think that
helped him," Inarritu explained at an earlier press day to promote the film.
To achieve that, the director had his star go grey, and add some wrinkles as
well. But Inarritu insists that it is as much what is going on inside Pitt's
character as out that makes him seem so different in the film.
"I think that the most important thing in an actor is not a physical
transformation, a makeup thing, but an internal thing. He did a good job of not
being the guy from 'Troy.' You can feel that he's weak and that's about the
acting, more than the exterior thing. He likes to challenge himself and he likes
to take risks and I think that speaks a lot about who he is."
Blanchett also has a completely non-glamorous look in "Babel," and gives an
equally impressive performance, but she certainly looked like a movie star at
the screening, as did friends Salma Hayek, Alicia Silverstone, Catherine Keener,
Don Cheadle, Jennifer Esposito, Josh Lucas, Julie Delpy, Vinnie Jones and Zach
Braff, who all attended the Westwood event.
"Babel" is currently in limited release; look for it to expand into a theater
near you as the Oscar buzz keeps swelling, which it seems bound to do.