Pitt had two major film roles in 2004, starring as Achilles in Troy, and reprising his role, Rusty Ryan, in the sequel Ocean's Twelve. He spent six months sword training before the filming of Troy, based on the Iliad. An on-set injury to his Achilles tendon delayed production on the picture for several weeks. Stephen Hunter of The Washington Post stated that Pitt excelled at such a demanding role. Troy was the first film produced by Plan B Entertainment, a film production company he had founded two years earlier with Jennifer Aniston and Brad Grey, CEO of Paramount Pictures. Ocean's Twelve earned $362 million worldwide, and Pitt and Clooney's dynamic was described by CNN's Paul Clinton as "the best male chemistry since Paul Newman and Robert Redford." In 2005, Pitt starred as John Smith in the Doug Liman-directed action comedy Mr. & Mrs. Smith, in which a bored married couple discover that each is an assassin sent to kill the other. The feature received reasonable reviews but was generally lauded for the chemistry between Pitt and Angelina Jolie, who played his character's wife Jane Smith. The Star Tribune noted that "while the story feels haphazard, the movie gets by on gregarious charm, galloping energy and the stars' thermonuclear screen chemistry". Mr. & Mrs. Smith earned $478 million worldwide, making it one of the biggest hits of 2005.
Pitt was born in Shawnee, Oklahoma, to William Alvin Pitt, the proprietor of a trucking company, and Jane Etta (née Hillhouse), a school counselor. The family soon moved to Springfield, Missouri, where he lived together with his younger siblings, Douglas Mitchell (born 1966) and Julie Neal (born 1969). Born into a conservative Christian household, he was raised as Southern Baptist and later "oscillate[d] between agnosticism and atheism." He later came back around to just belief in that "we're all connected". Pitt has described Springfield as "Mark Twain country, Jesse James country," having grown up with "a lot of hills, a lot of lakes."More Info
Pitt first gained recognition as a cowboy hitchhiker in the road movie Thelma & Louise (1991). His first leading roles in big-budget productions came with the drama films A River Runs Through It (1992) and Legends of the Fall (1994), and the horror film Interview with the Vampire (1994). He gave critically acclaimed performances in the crime thriller Seven (1995) and the science fiction film 12 Monkeys (1995), the latter earning him a Golden Globe Award for Best Supporting Actor and an Academy Award nomination.More Info
While struggling to establish himself in Los Angeles, Pitt took lessons from acting coach Roy London. Pitt's acting career began in 1987, with uncredited parts in the films No Way Out (1987), No Man's Land (1987) and Less Than Zero (1987). In May 1987, his television debut came with a two-episode role on the NBC soap opera Another World. In November of the same year, Pitt had a guest appearance on the CBS sitcom Trial and Error and the ABC sitcom Growing Pains. He appeared in four episodes of the CBS primetime series Dallas between December 1987 and February 1988 as Randy, the boyfriend of Charlie Wade (played by Shalane McCall). Later in 1988, Pitt made a guest appearance on the Fox police drama 21 Jump Street. In the same year, the Yugoslavian–U.S. co-production The Dark Side of the Sun (1988) gave Pitt his first leading film role, as a young American taken by his family to the Adriatic to find a remedy for a skin condition. The film was shelved at the outbreak of the Croatian War of Independence, and was not released until 1997. Pitt made two motion picture appearances in 1989: the first in a supporting role in the comedy Happy Together; the second a featured role in the horror film Cutting Class, the first of Pitt's films to reach theaters. He made guest appearances on television series Head of the Class, Freddy's Nightmares, Thirtysomething, and (for a second time) Growing Pains.More Info
Pitt starred in Fight Club (1999) and the heist film Ocean's Eleven (2001), as well as its sequels, Ocean's Twelve (2004) and Ocean's Thirteen (2007). His greatest commercial successes have been Ocean's Eleven (2001), Troy (2004), Mr. & Mrs. Smith (2005), World War Z (2013), and Once Upon a Time in Hollywood (2019), for which he won a second Golden Globe Award and the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor. Pitt's other Academy Award nominated performances were in The Curious Case of Benjamin Button (2008) and Moneyball (2011). He produced The Departed (2006) and 12 Years a Slave (2013), both of which won the Academy Award for Best Picture, and also The Tree of Life (2011), Moneyball (2011), and The Big Short (2015), all of which were nominated for Best Picture.More Info
In 1995, Pitt starred alongside Morgan Freeman and Gwyneth Paltrow in the crime thriller Seven, playing a detective on the trail of a serial killer. Pitt called it a great movie and declared the part would expand his acting horizons. He expressed his intent to move on from "this 'pretty boy' thing [...] and play someone with flaws." His performance was critically well received, with Variety saying that it was screen acting at its best, further remarking on Pitt's ability to turn in a "determined, energetic, creditable job" as the detective. Seven earned $327 million at the international box office. Following the success of Seven, Pitt took a supporting role as Jeffrey Goines in Terry Gilliam's 1995 science-fiction film 12 Monkeys. The movie received predominantly positive reviews, with Pitt praised in particular. Janet Maslin of The New York Times called Twelve Monkeys "fierce and disturbing" and remarked on Pitt's "startlingly frenzied performance", concluding that he "electrifies Jeffrey with a weird magnetism that becomes important later in the film." He won a Golden Globe Award for Best Supporting Actor for the film and received his first Academy Award nomination for Best Supporting Actor.More Info
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