The actor, who stars as Gen. Glenn McMahon in the Netflix film based on the real-life book The Operators, opens up in a new interview about why he was drawn to making the war satire.
“One of the reasons I wanted to make this film is you see young soldiers permanently damaged, mentally and physically,” he says in the exclusive clip above. “Maybe I’m projecting as a father and what I felt, but if we really want to support our troops, we need a true assessment of what we’re expanding. We’re talking about people.”
Pitt, who has six kids with ex-wife Angelina Jolie, says the use of comedy in the film is effective in exploring topics that might be harder to address.
“Comedy gives us the ability to laugh at ourselves and bring up some very serious questions,” he says, admitting that he “went big” when it came to playing his larger-than-life character, based on the real United States Army General Stanley McChrystal, who was fired as a consequence of the events in the book. “We’re using it as a template of this premise that, ‘We’re American, everyone wants what we want. Military might is going to solve all our problems.’ What we’ve seen is that premise is wrong, it’s just made more of a mess.”
Pitt adds that he hopes the movie, produced under his company Plan B Entertainment, will inspire people to learn more about the reality of war.
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“We’re in a polarized state and we need opinions, we need people to speak out,” he says. “It’s one of our hopes with this film — maybe we have something to learn here.”
War Machine is streaming on Netflix now.