James, who won the 2015 Man Booker Prize for his novel A Brief History of Seven Killings, sat down with the actor for T Magazine’s upcoming Men’s Fashion issue. Pitt – whose new film, the World War II-set drama Allied, arrives in theaters Nov. 23 – also performed a dramatic reading from James’ novel, in the clip below.
Speaking with the author on Brexit, Pitt said, “Man, I never thought that would happen. Same way I can’t bring myself to think that Trump will be in charge. In the simplest terms, what
brings us together is good, and what separates us is bad.”
Quoting a relevant line from his Oscar-winning film about the global financial crisis of 2008, The Big Short, Pitt said, “When things are going wrong and we can’t find the reason for it, we just start creating enemies.”
While he finds Trump’s rise to power unbelievable, Pitt said he tries to empathize with his supporters. “Coming from Oklahoma, southern Missouri, which leans more toward a Trump voice, I try to understand it,” he admitted. “It seems that the people who suffer the most end up betting for the party that would hurt them. And so I try to understand where they’re coming from.”
Part of the attraction to the Republican presidential nominee, Pitt reasoned, is based more on instinct than logic. “You gotta understand,” he explains, “that it’s also in our DNA. Most Americans don’t have time to watch CNN and Fox and Al Jazeera. They’re trying to make the rent, get the kids fed, they’re tired when they get home and they want to forget about everything. And so suddenly when this voice comes in – and it doesn’t have to be a voice of substance – saying he’s fed up with all of this, that’s the part that hooks into the DNA.”
Yet he believes there is hope for a better future as long as people continue to feel connected. “What I’m most hopeful about is that we’re a global neighborhood now, and we start to understand each other more and more – and yet, you see this reactionary push for isolation and separation again.
“A Trump supporter is fighting against just about everything,” he said. ”What does he even mean, take our country back? Would someone please explain that to me?” Pitt asked rhetorically. “Where’d it go?”