Brad Pitt: I'm not like that 'Tree of Life' dad at home [Video]
In "Tree of Life," the divisive new film from reclusive director Terrence Malick, Brad Pitt plays an emotionally withholding father who doesn't treat his kids well. He's a tough-love kind of dad -- one who aggressively teaches his boys how to box, and in one scene, even manhandles one of them at the dinner table.
But that's far from how he treats his own six children with Angelina Jolie -- Maddox, 9; Zahara, 6; Pax, 7; Shiloh, 4; and twins Vivienne and Knox, 2 -- he said at the premiere of the new film Tuesday night.
"I certainly don’t raise my kids that same way. I’m painfully aware that my actions leave an indelible mark on them in these formidable years," he said, speaking to reporters on the red carpet at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art. "I make sure I don’t bring my crap back home. I want to keep them free. I want them to explore that innocence for as long as possible."
Pitt said he was even worried about how the fake emotional and physical violence on set would affect the young actors who played his sons.
“We had to be careful. Because they are young boys, and you don’t want to scar them in the process,” he acknowledged. “It was explained to them ahead of time that it was playing. ... And in between we made sure we had a lot of time every day throwing the ball around and riding bikes.”
The actor was accompanied to the event by Jolie, and when the glamorous pair arrived, a swarm of cellphone-wielding onlookers and camera crews encircled them. Indeed, it seemed that most of the reporters on the carpet were interested mostly in Pitt's personal life, asking him about his family rather than his latest film.
When one reporter asked how Pitt planned to celebrate the upcoming birthday of his daughter Shiloh, however, he smiled and began to walk away.
"Oh, no, no, no," he said, unwilling to give away the top-secret plans.
-- Amy Kaufman