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Brad Pitt, the enduring and eternal icon of Hollywood, is one of those names that will forever be linked to the very medium of cinema. His endless talent and exuberant charisma have afforded the movie legend the status of being one of the most sought-after stars of his generation, and he’s consistently delivered the acting goods time and time again.
From his brooding, almost forlorn effort in Seven to the mind-bending nature of 12 Monkeys, even early on, it was clear that Pitt was a star in the making. After cementing his position in the pantheon of the contemporary Hollywood elite, he gave one of his best-ever performances in Quentin Tarantino’s Once Upon a Time in Hollywood as the stuntman Cliff Booth.
However, while so many of Pitt’s performances have indeed drawn widespread and deserved acclaim, there have been a few that the actor himself is not entirely impressed with. Pitt once spoke of one in particular that he felt he could have done a better job on, although granted, it was a performance that arrived early in his career.
In 1992, Pitt starred in Robert Redford’s A River Runs Through It alongside Craig Sheffer, Tom Skerrit, Brenda Blethyn and Emily Lloyd. Based on Normal Maclean’s 1976 semi-autobiographical novel of the same name, the film tells of two sons of a Presbyterian minister who grew up in the Rocky Mountains between World War I and the early days of the Great Depression.
During an interview with EW, Pitt explained that he had grown up watching Robert Redford movies, so he viewed the job as a “big deal”. He said: “It was a beautiful story and one I understood because of how I grew up.” Some figures at the time pointed out the physical similarities between Pitt and Redford, which was a strange thing for Pitt to get his head around.
“It’s hugely complimentary because I think he’s one of the greats – and actually underrated as an actor – but you want to find your own thing,” he said. “You want to stake your own claim. You don’t want to be called a copycat.” The movie was well-received by critics, grossed over $66million and was awarded the Academy Award for ‘Best Cinematography’.
However, despite the success, Pitt couldn’t help but be critical of his own performance in A River Runs Through It, noting, “Robert Redford made a quality movie. But I don’t think I was skilled enough. I think I could have done better. Maybe it was the pressure of the part and playing someone who was a real person and not wanting to let Redford down.”
Check out the trailer for A River Runs Through It below.