The Tree of Life star explains how his upbringing influenced his stern new movie role

By Dana Kennedy
May 16, 2011 10:35 AM
Credit: Sipa

Brad Pitt said he was initially hesitant about taking the role of a stern, authoritarian father in his latest movie, The Tree of Life, because he was concerned how it would affect his children.

“I think of everything I do now that my kids are going to see when they grow up and how are they going to feel,” the star, 47, told reporters Monday at the Cannes Film Festival. “But they know me as a dad and I hope they’ll just think of me as a pretty damn good actor.”

Pitt plays a father bringing up his family in 1950s Texas in Terrence Malick’s long-awaited film, which also costars Sean Penn, and arrives in U.S. theaters on May 27. And he hinted that his own childhood was hardly free of issues.

“I got brought up being told things were God’s way, and when things didn’t work out it was called God’s plan,” he said. “I’ve got my issues with it. Don’t get me started. I found it very stifling.”

Pitt is joined at the festival by Angelina Jolie, who is in town to promote Kung Fu Panda 2, and their children. But the couple managed to enjoy a date night despite their busy schedules. On Sunday they dined at Tetou, an elegant but casual Michelin-starred fish restaurant on the beach in Golfe Juan.

Jolie, who wore a three-quarter-length white dress, and Pitt, in a black jacket and open-necked white T-shirt, were mobbed by photographers as their left the restaurant.

So far, it’s been a wildly successful outing at Cannes for the couple.

Over the weekend, it was announced that the Bosnian war movie that Jolie wrote and directed now has a title, In the Land of Blood and Honey, and will be released on Dec. 23 by FilmDistrict.