Aaron Taylor-Johnson, who currently stars in Bullet Train with Brad Pitt, made headlines this week when he revealed that Brad has a “sh-t list” of people he won’t work with. Aaron told reporters at a press conference at the Locarno Film Festival that:
“[Brad] is in a new chapter of his life, I think. He just wants to bring light and joy into the world and be around people who are there to have a good time. You work with many actors and after a while you start making notes: ‘I am definitely not working with this person ever again.’ Brad has this list too: the ‘good’ list and the sh-t list.”
Is Aaron on Brad’s sh-t list now that he’s revealed that Brad has a sh-t list? Who else is on his sh-t list?
Most people in Hollywood at Brad’s level – and that’s a pretty high level – probably have a sh-t list. He’s almost always #1 on the call-sheet. He’s a successful producer. He’s an Oscar winner. I mean, nobody needs to be reminded of Brad’s celebrity credentials; after all, he’s been famous, super f-cking famous, for over 30 years now. So he’s been around enough to know who he vibes with and who doesn’t vibe with him.
For an actor who’s nowhere near Brad’s level, being on his sh-t list might be a major career roadblock. If Brad Pitt won’t work with you, that might get around. And for Brad, with that kind of power imbalance, to make it known that he won’t work with you, well, I’m not sure that’s entirely fair – because people can change and some of the most popular celebrities now didn’t always start off that way. Ryan Reynolds is a good example. Didn’t have a great reputation early on in his career but spending time with Hugh Jackman, who has always been a doll, changed his attitude and perspective. These days Ryan Reynolds is known to be one of the best people to work with. But if he’d been on someone like Brad’s sh-t list early on, he may not have had the chance to figure his sh-t out.
So, if we’re giving him the benefit of the doubt, maybe Brad’s sh-t list is democratic in that he’s not burn-booking those who are lower than he is on the fame scale but applying the sh-t list to his contemporaries, the actors with a comparable amount of power and influence. There aren’t that many of them though. Like I said earlier, stars like Brad are at the top of the Hollywood food chain and it’s a small room. Angelina Jolie obviously. But who else?
Like… Tom Cruise?
Three weeks ago, when Brad was on the Bullet Train press tour through Europe in his athleisure sets, I mentioned in this post how hard he seemed to be trying with this promotion. Indulge me while I quote myself:
“Big energy from chill BP these days […] he’s pushing for a big Bullet Train win at the box office. Which makes me wonder just how much of a challenge Tom Cruise threw down with Top Gun: Maverick in the Action Movie Star chat room.”
They worked together years ago on Interview With The Vampire and it was clear that they weren’t about to become BFFs. It was a major difference in personality as Brad once told Premiere magazine at the time that:
“[Tom bugged me.] There came a point during filming when I started really resenting him. He’s North Pole, I’m South. He’s always coming at you with a handshake, whereas I may bump into you. There was this underlying competition that got in the way of any real conversation."
Brad did acknowledge Tom’s effort though, adding that:
“…he's a good actor and he advances in the film. He did it. I mean, you have to respect that."
This was 25 years ago. Maybe things have changed. Maybe the dicks have stopped swinging? I mean, I’m not sure dicks in Hollywood ever stop swinging but it’s interesting to look back on given the comparison they’ve given us this summer at the box office.
Beyond Tom though, if we’re talking about Brad Pitt’s sh-t list and who he chooses to work with…
How discerning is he, really, about the reasons someone would end up on his sh-t list? Because, well, remember the time Harvey Weinstein sexually harassed Gwyneth Paltrow when she was dating Brad? She says Brad confronted Harvey about it but Harvey also sexually assaulted Angelina Jolie and, ironically, Harvey was on HER sh-t list after that… but it was a real disappointment for her when Brad chose, while they were married, to work with Harvey not once but TWICE. In an interview last year about the situation, Angelina said, “We fought about it. Of course it hurt.”
So I guess Harvey WASN’T on Brad’s sh-t list even though he attacked two of his lovers?! How long could Brad Pitt’s sh-t list possibly be if even Harvey f-cking Weinstein couldn’t make it on there?!
Attached - Brad and Aaron at the LA premiere of Bullet Train last week.