Brad battles zombies for sons’ enjoyment

Brad Pitt in World War Z. PA Photo/Paramount Pictures UK.
Brad Pitt in World War Z. PA Photo/Paramount Pictures UK.
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Family means everything to Brad Pitt. Once famed for being the most attractive man on the planet, these days he’s the A-list poster boy for family values.

The devoted dad of six is happy to admit that he’s prioritising his beloved brood ahead of everything else.

In fact, it was his fiancee, Angelina Jolie, who recently stole the limelight at the UK premiere for Pitt’s latest film World War Z.

The event was 38-year-old Jolie’s first red carpet appearance since revealing last month that she’d undergone a preventative double mastectomy.

Her decision to ‘go public’ led to a huge outpouring of respect and admiration for the actress – with Pitt leading the praise.

“She’s doing great,” the actor and producer says today. “It’s business as usual and on to the next stage for us.”

Pitt’s transformation from ladies’ man to family man is well and truly complete.

Once engaged to Gwyneth Paltrow, he married former Friends actress Jennifer Aniston in 2000, before they split in 2005.

It was rumoured that his relationship with Jolie, whom he met on the set of Mr And Mrs Smith, caused the break-up, and while allegations of adultery were denied from both camps, Pitt and Jolie later admitted they ‘fell in love’ while working on the film.

The couple are parents to three biological children – Shiloh, seven, and four-year-old twins Knox and Vivienne – and three adopted kids: Maddox, 11, Pax, nine, and eight-year-old Zahara.

Pitt had his kids in mind when he signed up for zombie thriller World War Z, he says, particularly the two older boys.

As well as starring in it, he produced it through his production company, Plan B Entertainment.

“These zombies are scary as hell,” he says. “And the movie, I believe, works on numerous levels. But primarily, it’s complete summer fun and something I wanted to do for my sons to enjoy.

“Some parents have not agreed with me after seeing it, because it’s the most intense film that you’re going to see all summer! But my kids are savvy and I figure it’s called parental guidance... but yeah, they loved it,” he adds.

In World War Z, directed by Marc Forster (Quantum Of Solace) and based on Max Brooks’s post-apocalyptic horror novel, Pitt plays former United Nations investigator Gerry Lane, tasked with having to save his family while trying to find, and stop, the source of the epidemic that’s turning people into zombies.

“Five years ago, I knew nothing about zombies. Now, I consider myself an expert,” Pitt jokes.

“Max’s book treats the zombie genre as a global pandemic, spreading much like we’ve witnessed viruses like SARS travel.

“What happens when everything we concern our days with is rendered useless? What happens when power structures and societal norms are obliterated? How will we survive?”

The actor says playing someone normal, not a superhero, appealed. “Gerry can’t fly, he can’t beat up bad guys. He has no super powers. He’s a dad, with a burning need to keep his family safe. To do that, he can only rely on his intellect, his instincts and his experience,” Pitt explains.

Pitt, who became a Hollywood heart-throb after appearing in Thelma And Louise in 1991, now has upcoming roles in Steve McQueen’s 12 Years A Slave and Ridley Scott’s The Counselor.