Pitt's star shines again

Brad Pitt is in the running for Best Supporting Actor for his role in Quentin Tarantino's Once Upon A Time... In Hollywood.
Brad Pitt is in the running for Best Supporting Actor for his role in Quentin Tarantino's Once Upon A Time... In Hollywood. PHOTO: ASSOCIATED PRESS

LOS ANGELES •Brad Pitt scored an Oscar nomination on Monday for his performance as a charming stuntman in Once Upon A Time... In Hollywood, cementing his return to the forefront of show business.

Pitt, 56, has never won an acting Oscar despite 30 years in the movie industry and three previous nominations. But he is considered the favourite to win the Best Supporting Actor Academy Award next month, according to awards pundits, after wowing critics in director Quentin Tarantino's love letter to Hollywood last summer.

Pitt's performance as the laid-back stunt double and fix-it man Cliff Booth to Leonardo DiCaprio's fading 1960s TV Western star has already won him a Golden Globe prize and a Screen Actors Guild nomination.

It was lauded as a career best turn by The Hollywood Reporter, while Britain's The Sunday Times said last year that the "well-matured Pitt steals the show".

An extended shirtless scene sent fans and celebrity media swooning, ending a long period when Pitt was portrayed as the bad guy in the breakup of his marriages to actress Angelina Jolie and first wife Jennifer Aniston, one of America's most popular celebrities.

Pitt, not seen on the big screen since 2016 war drama flops Allied and War Machine, followed up Once Upon A Time... In Hollywood with a second well-received performance in space drama Ad Astra last year, where he played an introspective astronaut.

I Think It's Finally Acceptable To Be Completely And Totally Obsessed With Brad Pitt, ran a headline on women's website Cosmopolitan.com after Pitt returned to the red carpet last year.

He had adopted a low profile since 2016, as he and Jolie spent more than two years in a bitter custody dispute over their six children that involved accusations against the actor of child abuse, heavy drinking and drug use.

In a 2017 interview, he admitted a heavy marijuana habit and said his drinking had got out of control, but said that since the split with Jolie, he had quit alcohol and was undergoing therapy.

He was cleared by investigators in Los Angeles of abuse allegations.


A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on January 15, 2020, with the headline 'Pitt's star shines again'. Subscribe