"Living in the French Quarter is a thrill for us," the actor says of his adopted city

By Phil Boucher
May 14, 2007 08:55 AM

Brad Pitt may be in Prague with Angelina Jolie, where she’s filming Wanted, but he left his heart in New Orleans.

“For me, first as a tourist, it’s the most unique city that we have in the States,” Pitt, 43, told the New Orleans Times-Picayune in a phone interview from the Czech Republic.

“It has an energy like no other place. You guys shouldn’t change a thing. I’ve got to get me some of it. I absolutely love it there. We moved our family there. We’ve got a place there and we’re intermittently going back and forth. We’re in Prague now because of work. We’ll be back there soon.”

Pitt filmed 1994’s Interview With the Vampire in the Big Easy, and purchased a home in the French Quarter while shooting The Curious Case of Benjamin Button earlier this year.

He’s also committed to rebuilding the areas of the city hit hardest by Hurricane Katrina, and on Thursday ground was broken on an affordable, eco-friendly housing development in the Lower 9th Ward designed by winners of a Sustainable Design Competition he co-sponsored with Global Green USA.

But for Pitt and Jolie, the best thing about New Orleans is the anonymity it affords them. “Let me tell you, we’re in this house in Prague right now and there’s about 12 cars of paparazzi outside and some tourists with video cameras,” the actor told the Times-Picayune. “I can’t describe why we’re allowed to live a more normal life [in New Orleans].”

The thing he misses the most, he said, is bicycling through the city’s streets at night. “Living in the French Quarter is a thrill for us,” he said. “We have some semblance of real family life. People have been very, very gracious with us. If we’re on the front deck, people go by and say, ‘Hi.’ Then they go on their way, very friendly.”