Brad Pitt has been in Hollywood for nearly three decades at this point, proving himself to be an incredibly versatile actor, as well as a good-looking leading man. Working with some of the best directors Hollywood has had to offer, and a list as long as your arm for a-list co-stars, Brad Pitt has always had to bring his a-game to his films, especially the ones where he’s not front and center.
Here, we take a look at those few films where he’s not the leading man and instead is a small part of a greater ensemble cast, and yet still manages to showcase his skills on screen.
“Illegal boxing promoter Turkish (Jason Statham) convinces gangster Brick Top (Alan Ford) to offer bets on bare-knuckle boxer Mickey (Brad Pitt) at his bookie business. When Mickey does not throw his first fight as agreed, an infuriated Brick Top demands another match. Meanwhile, gangster Frankie Four Fingers (Benicio Del Toro) comes to place a bet for a friend with Brick Top’s bookies, as multiple criminals converge on a stolen diamond that Frankie has come to London to sell.”
Arguably the best of Guy Ritchie’s films, Snatch is a British gangster film surrounding several different groups and following several different stories at the same time. Starring the likes of Jason Statham, Stephen Graham, and of course Brad Pitt, it’s a spiritual sequel to Ritchie’s previous film Lock, Stock, and Two Smoking Barrels, and far better in every regard.
Pitt plays the caravan-living, bare-knuckle fighting character of Mickey, who Jason Statham’s Turkish requests to fight for him after Mickey nearly kills his previous fighter, Handsome George. With a stubborn, independent streak, Mickey ends up causing trouble with his refusals to through behind-closed-doors, off-the-books boxing matches, resulting in a life and death situation with some of London’s fiercest and most dangerous gangsters. Brad Pitt’s supposed accent is equal parts hilarious and hard to follow.
“Dapper Danny Ocean (George Clooney) is a man of action. Less than 24 hours into his parole from a New Jersey penitentiary, the wry, charismatic thief is already rolling out his next plan. Following three rules: Don’t hurt anybody, don’t steal from anyone who doesn’t deserve it, and play the game like you’ve got nothing to lose. Danny orchestrates the most sophisticated, elaborate casino heist in history.”
In a remake of the 1960s film of the same name, Brad Pitt stars alongside an A-List cast including George Clooney, Matt Damon, Julia Roberts, and Don Cheadle. Recently leaving prison, George Clooney enlists the help of Pitt’s Rusty in recruiting a team of top thieves to pull off what is considered the impossible heist, and in the meantime getting one over on his ex’s new lover, Andy Garcia.
Pitt’s dry and almost uncaring portrayal of his character, hellbent on helping with the heist whilst attempting to be the voice of reason when needed is one of Pitt’s funnier performances, especially with his near-constant snacking throughout.
A genuinely good heist film, it’ll keep you guessing the entire time you’re watching, and with some intuitive and impressive set pieces for its time, it unsurprisingly was a hit with fans, spawning two sequels, each with diminishing returns.
Interview With The Vampire: The Vampire Chronicles
“Born as an 18th-century lord, Louis is now a bicentennial vampire, telling his story to an eager biographer. Suicidal after the death of his family, he meets Lestat, a vampire who persuades him to choose immortality over death and become his companion. Eventually, gentle Louis resolves to leave his violent maker, but Lestat guilts him into staying by turning a young girl — whose addition to the “family” breeds even more conflict.”
One of the most misquoted film titles in history, Interview With The Vampire stars Tom Cruise, Antonio Banderas, a young Kirsten Dunst, and an also young Brad Pitt. In one of the films credited with his break into Hollywood as a leading man, he features here as Louis, a vampire with a gentle side, far removed from the violent and destructive Lestat played by Cruise.
Searching for meaning in his own life before finding Lestat and with no reason to go on living, he allows Lestat to turn him into an immortal vampire to be his companion. Two centuries pass and he’s had enough, but before he can leave, the manipulative Lestat forces him to stay by turning Kirsten Dunst, therefore ensuring Pitt will toe the line, in so many words. Tension, arguments, and fights ensue, and Louis finally asserts himself between the two.
The Big Short
“In 2008, Wall Street guru Michael Burry realizes that a number of subprime home loans are in danger of defaulting. Burry bets against the housing market by throwing more than $1 billion of his investors’ money into credit default swaps. His actions attract the attention of banker Jared Vennett (Ryan Gosling), hedge-fund specialist Mark Baum (Steve Carell) and other greedy opportunists. Together, these men make a fortune by taking full advantage of the impending economic collapse in America.”
Based on the unfortunate true story involving the crashing of the housing market over a decade ago, The Big Short is a fantastic film directed and written by Adam McKay. Starring alongside Brad Pitt is Christian Bale, Steve Carell, Ryan Gosling, and more, as the film delves into how the housing market got into the position it did, with a pyramid-like scheme of house mortgages continually sold on between brokers.
Bale’s Michael Burry realizes this, and bets against (shorts) the housing market, which at the time was considered unthinkable, banking on the collapse of the market, therefore intending to make millions. This is exactly what happens. Showing so much more than this, the film is one to watch when you want to both laugh and think about the wider world.
“Ladybug is an unlucky assassin who’s determined to do his job peacefully after one too many gigs have gone off the rails. Fate, however, may have other plans as his latest mission puts him on a collision course with lethal adversaries from around the globe — all with connected yet conflicting objectives — on the world’s fastest train.”
The most recent entry and arguably the inspiration for this list, Bullet Train stars Brad Pitt as what he thinks is a lone assassin with a simple job on a train. The supposedly simple job takes a turn when he realizes there’s a group of assassins after the very same thing he is, and his job certainly gets more complicated.
Aaron Taylor-Johnson and Brian Tyree Henry are exceptional as ‘the twins’, and with Michael Shannon, Sandra Bullock, and the always amazing Hiroyuki Sanada, the cast is anything but basic. Featuring an okay story with some fantastic action, especially given the confines of the train, it’s not the best Brad Pitt film, but it’s a damn good one.
“Wisecracking mercenary Deadpool meets Russell, an angry teenage mutant who lives at an orphanage. When Russell becomes the target of Cable — a genetically enhanced soldier from the future — Deadpool realizes that he’ll need some help saving the boy from such a superior enemy. He soon joins forces with Bedlam, Shatterstar, Domino and other powerful mutants to protect young Russell from Cable and his advanced weaponry.”
The second David Leitch feature film on the list after Bullet Train, admittedly this one is pushing the limits of the list, with Brad Pitt’s cameo lasting all of about two seconds, as he dies in his first appearance on screen as The Vanisher.
Throughout the film as Deadpool, played by Ryan Reynolds, recruits his own team ‘X-Force’, Pitt’s character is talked at, alluded to, or mentioned but never seen, other than the occasional floating parachute or nod of the head from Deadpool.
This changes when the team jumps from the plane, attempting to parachute down and release Russell from his prison transport before it all goes wrong. Most of the team end up dead in hilarious and gruesome ways, including Pitt’s The Vanisher, as he flies straight towards some power lines, grabbing them with his bare hands, and we’re treated to a shocked (pun intended) expression from Pitt as he dies.
In a film starring Ryan Reynolds, Josh Brolin, and Zazie Beetz, this two-second cameo ends up being one of the most talked about parts of the film, alongside baby-legs Deadpool and Cable finally making his big screen debut.
“It is the first year of Germany’s occupation of France. Allied officer Lt. Aldo Raine (Brad Pitt) assembles a team of Jewish soldiers to commit violent acts of retribution against the Nazis, including the taking of their scalps. He and his men join forces with Bridget von Hammersmark, a German actress and undercover agent, to bring down the leaders of the Third Reich. Their fates converge with theater owner Shosanna Dreyfus, who seeks to avenge the Nazis’ execution of her family.”
In his first of two (so far) appearances in a Quentin Tarantino film, Brad Pitt plays Lt. Aldo Raine, a Nazi-hating, nazi-hunting US soldier who has his under-the-radar, off-the-books team whose sole job is to disrupt and kill the Nazi forces in the most imaginative and graphic ways possible, with the intent on scaring and lowering the morale of the Nazis.
It works, and throughout the film, there are mentions of the Inglourious Basterds, even before we’re introduced to the crew. With a cast including Christoph Waltz, Michael Fassbender, Melanie Lauren,t and more, a film set in German-occupied France during World War 2 is always going to be full of graphic, gory depictions of violence when directed by Tarantino. Showcasing swastika carvings, limbs all over the place and an unrecognizable Hitler in that scene, Brad Pitt’s performance is one part of a huge, fantastic picture. Bonjourno.
Brad Pitt has been a mainstay of cinema for so long that there are always going to be films that are not included here, so what was missed and what would you have added?