Brad Pitt’s best bit parts | Virgin Media
Brad Pitt’s best bit parts

Brad Pitt’s best bit parts

24/05/2016Movies

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“Hey, isn’t that Brad Pitt?” One of great surprises of The Big Short is when one of the world’s biggest all-round megastars pops up hidden under a Wookiee’s worth of grey and beige. But his royal Bradness has made a canny career out of smaller roles – from epic cameos to classy co-starrers – and with The Big Short heading onto Virgin Movies this week, we celebrate the weenier wonders of the Pitt CV. 

JD in Thelma & Louise (1991)

As the snake-hipped JD, it wasn’t just Geena Davis’ Thelma who was left panting by the rogueish charmer. But given the seismic reaction he provoked in a whole generation of female audience members, it's easy to forget that Pitt only appears in Thelma & Louise for about 15 minutes. It was enough though. 

Ben Rickert in The Big Short (2015)

The Big Short

Can I just stop you there? I do NOT look like Chewbacca

For a movie about one of the banking industry’s biggest gambles, The Big Short’s deck was already stacked in producer Brad Pitt’s favour but he certainly helped shuffle the pack. The poster has Ryan Gosling, Steve Carell and Christian Bale doing all the heavy lifting, so why not tip the line-up over the superstar-finishing line with a co-starring role the young hot-heads’ seriously jaded advisor, acting under a hairy shock of greyness? Here he shows the real-life moneymen how to make a financial killing but, you know, without bankrupting the entire planet at the same time. 

Will in Friends: “The one with the rumour” (2001)

…Or the one where Jennifer Aniston's then-husband guest-stars on her TV show as a character that bitterly hates her (snigger). He joins the guys for Thanksgiving dinner as Ross’ old high school pal who still bears a twitchy grudge against Green for dissing him during his fugly days (double-snigger) – it’s revealed that he and Ross were not only founder members of the ‘I Hate Rachel’ club, but also spawned the urban myth that their bête noire boasted ‘the best of both worlds’. This turkey-light Thanksgiving special is absolutely stuffed with in-jokes for which the audience is noisily grateful. 

Uniformed extra in No Way Out (1987)

No Way Out is one of the great-underrated spy thrillers of the 1980s. But who's that doing some textbook neck craning extra-acting over star Kevin Costner’s shoulder? Why it's a terribly young Bradley Pitt. Oh, what's going on over there, Brad? Take a look, yeah?

Floyd in True Romance (1993)

True Romance

Duuuuude!

Pitt personally requested the small role of the useless-stoner roommate – all too convincingly – in the Tarantino-scripted cult-classic True Romance. Forever embedded in Dick’s sofa, Floyd desperately tries to un-fog his head when the mafia decide to harsh his buzz. Brad, Quentin and the demon weed have a bit of history: Pitt once claimed to have woken up after a rather heady night together having agreed to star in Inglourious Basterds. Now that’s one cool hangover. 

Metro Man in Megamind (2010)

To his fans, Pitt already is a chiseled superhero, but the actor could never stomach doing something that obvious on screen… unless it’s in an animated feature. But even in Megamind, Pitt gives the champion of Metro City a slightly distant bro-tude about him, the result of decades of unwavering citizen adoration and endless routine victories over his diabolical supernemesis… that is until the day Megamind finally, ‘fatally’ gets one over on him. 

Brad Pitt in Being John Malkovich (1999)

Brad Pitt in Being John Malkovich (1999)

Awkward

Pitt lends his most famous of faces for a punchline at the end of the gloriously knowing news montage that charts puppet-master John Malkovich's meteoric takeover of Hollywood. With Sean Penn having already quit acting to take up the marionettes too, a news crew rudely breaks off from interviewing one subject to grab a quick word with Malkovich's manager/wife Maxine, before the camera drifts back to its initial, dumped, less-important subject. Brad Pitt does not look happy.

Dating Game contestant in Confessions of a Dangerous Mind (2002)

And here's what you could have won... Our Dating Game bachelorette would probably be pretty disappointed to know that, rather than the chubby schlubby guy she's picked to go on a date with, sitting rejected on the other side of the stage deciding wall panel are Brad Pitt and Mat Damon. The pair did Oceans' pal George Clooney a favour by turning in a quick comedy cameo in his low budget directorial debut. Their baffled, indignant faces – and 70s hair-’mares – are a mega meta treat. 

Will the Krill in Happy Feet Two (2011)

Brad Pitt’s done a lot to shed that gorgeous pouty image – going bloody and gritty for Fight Club, Snatch and Kalifornia – but playing a delusional crustacean is stepping it up. Rejecting his place at the very bottom of the underwater food chain, Will is determined to prove he’s ‘one in a krillion’ and go exploring with his pal Bill (Matt Damon) – the cute B-story to the fun-flippered hot-shoeing on the surface. Your girlfriend still fancies him though. Weird. 

Samuel Bass in 12 Years A Slave (2013)

After nearly two hours of the relentlessly brutal, racist story of Solomon Northup, kidnapped and sold as a slave, Pitt – whose Plan B production house also produced – pops up for a couple of scenes as a kindly seeming labourer Bass: can Solomon trust Bass enough to give him the information that will save his life? In a twist that’s as appallingly crass as it is ironic, the Italian marketeers initially hoiked the astonishingly famous white dude out of the bottom of the credits and slapped him on the poster as the movie’s star over Chiwetel Ejiofor. Epic progress fail.

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