The Craziest Brad Pitt Movie Roles

    September 21, 2011 at 6:00 am

    brad pitt moneyballBrad Pitt has become the very definition of an A-list-celebrity-superstar-actor-god. If Brad Pitt is in your movie, it’s going to do well at the box office. Maybe that’s the why the ads for his new film Moneyball feature his name in a font that’s larger, bolder, and higher than the film’s title. But that’s clean-cut, perfectly sane Brad Pitt playing Oakland A’s general manager Billy Beane. What about serial killer Brad Pitt? Or completely imaginary Brad Pitt? The craziest movie roles are the ones where Brad Pitt really gets to shine. Here’s my salute to the craziest Brad Pitt movie roles.

    Early Grayce 

    in Kalifornia

    This is one of Brad Pitt’s earliest movie roles. After the clean-shaven, emotionally stable characters in Thelma & Louise and A River Runs Through It, Pitt wanted to lose his marbles and grow his beard. In Kalifornia, Brad Pitt plays Early Grayce, a serial killer tagging along on a road trip with a writer and his girlfriend who are researching serial killers. Things get awkward really fast. There’s murder, kidnapping, rape, and even a nuclear testing site. Even though the movie isn’t very good at all, perhaps Pitt saw it as a palette cleanser, or an opportunity to practice his insane faces for future roles.


    in True Romance

    In True Romance, Brad Pitt plays a stoner who lives on Michael Rapaport’s couch. There isn’t much to the role, but it’s still highly memorable. I have no doubt that Pitt took a ton of bong rips for research purposes. In fact, he’s so good at the stoner act he might have actually been high during filming. He became Floyd. Hell, he even turned a clover honey bear jar into paraphernalia. Now that’s ingenuity in a time of desperation.

    Detective David Mills

    in Se7en

    Detective David Mills doesn’t start out crazy, but John Doe gives him a damn good reason to turn. If you don’t know “what’s in the box?!” by now, then you haven’t been outside or on the internet in 15 years. I’m going to spoil it now, but it’s a spoiler that you deserve. Mills finds his wife’s head in the box at the end of the film. HIS WIFE’S HEAD. And yes, I know it’s Gwyneth Paltrow’s head so there’s still a twinge of satisfaction, but regardless it’s effed up. Just like Mills does, I’d probably also quickly fluctuate between utter grief and utter stoicism before capping my wife’s killer in the skull. John didn’t have to pull that little prank in front of all of Mills’ coworkers. It was embarrassing.

    Jeffrey Goines

    in 12 Monkeys

    In 12 Monkeys, Brad Pitt plays Jeffrey Goines, a mental patient with fanatical views on animal rights and anti-consumerism that James Cole (Bruce Willis) meets in an insane asylum. After much time traveling back and forth, it’s discovered that Goines is also the founder of the Army of the Twelve Monkeys, the group responsible for the deadly virus outbreak that Cole was sent to stop. Pitt takes on the role with a delightful twitchiness that got him nominated for the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor and won him a Golden Globe. It pays off to act like a nutjob. Especially if you do it really, really, really well.

    Tyler Durden

    in Fight Club

    Tyler Durden is probably Pitt’s most beloved role. Fight Club made crap at the box office and was panned by critics, but has since become a major cult classic. There’s even a popular entertainment site called What Would Tyler Durden Do? dedicated to the character’s erratic, uncensored behavior. The film isn’t just for the guys, either. Ladies get plenty of shredded, shirtless Pitt as he pounds faces in a dingy basement. Let’s also not forget about that sweet faux fur coat and sunglasses combo he sports at the end of the film. It takes a seriously imaginary crazy person to pull off that look.

    Micky O’Neil

    in Snatch

    In Snatch, Brad Pitt is back for more fighting, but this time you can’t understand a damn word he says. Micky O’Neil talks with a gypsy accent that’s only decipherable by other gypsies. We’re certain of a few things though: he likes dogs, loves conning Brits, and has a right jab that’ll knock you out cold. He’s also not afraid to take a few punches until he gets to land his. Much like Tyler Durden, the physical pain is of no consequence. However, when you get the snot beaten out of you, a smile isn’t a sane person’s reaction.

    Lt. Aldo Raine

    in Inglourious Basterds

    I almost feel bad calling Aldo crazy because he kills Nazis, and that makes him okay in my book. His tactics are brutal, but if I remember my history correctly, so were the Nazi’s. So go ahead and be as crazy as you want, Lt. Nazi Hunter. Carve swastikas in the foreheads of every last one of ’em. If a good kind of insanity exists, you are afflicted with it. But for Pete’s sake, work on your Italian accent. That thing is abhorrent.

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