- The Washington Times - Monday, March 5, 2001

Brad Pitt heads a short list of Hollywood hotshots with such irresistible on-screen appeal that they could read from the phone book for 90 minutes and still hold audiences spellbound.
Keeping company with Mr. Pitt on that list is Julia Roberts, his co-star in "The Mexican." The two superstars shine in this action comedy as lovers going through a rough patch.
While Miss Roberts heads to Las Vegas to heal her emotional wounds, Mr. Pitt searches south of the border for a precious antique pistol. Mr. Pitt, 37, also stars in the Guy Ritchie heist flick, "Snatch," playing an Irish-Gypsy boxer.
In a Beverly Hills interview, Mr. Pitt reflects on his new film and his marriage to "Friends" star Jennifer Aniston.
Q: How has marriage changed things for you?
A: Beautifully. What surprised me was this sense of pride. I look over and I see my wife, and I think that we are embarking on this thing together. It's very exciting, and we'll see wherever it takes us.
Q: It seems that the track record for two very successful actors getting married is not great.
A: Every relationship you've been into, up until the one you're in right now, technically is a failure because they've all split up. But maybe they weren't failures; they simply ran their course. I'm not so hung up on "happily ever after," but, in my case, I'm doing naked cartwheels. I'm very excited.
Q: In "The Mexican," your character is exasperated over his girlfriend's perception of the relationship. Could you relate?
A: I don't think that's hard for any of us to draw upon. But I started with this idea about my character, Jerry, being hung up on wanting fairness: "If I'll be fair to you, will you please be fair to me?" But, when he doesn't receive fairness, he gets very defensive and goes crazy. The movie starts out where neither one of them can see the other's perspective. She has issues, he has issues.
Q: This role is so unique. What attracted you to it?
A: It was just the idea of playing the anti-Steve McQueen, a guy who's not cool whatsoever. There's choices out there for me, definitely. I watch a lot of movies. I love movies, and I'm well aware when something is a retread of some story I've seen before. So the idea of forging through other areas is much more exciting.
Q: And how excited were you to do a film with Julia Roberts?
A: In the past, there had been several projects circling around that have paired us up but just didn't come to fruition. Then this thing came out of nowhere. The idea of throwing us into this kind of run-and-gun film appealed to me. And when James Gandolfini stepped in, it was a done deal, I was in.
Q: Did you choose the material for its comedy or for a change in your career direction?
A: It wasn't a calculated career movie. I'm not much for career maintenance. I think that's why you look back at my films, and it's been very hit-and-miss with me. This was more about getting into areas I hadn't been before. On "Snatch," it was the energy of Guy Ritchie's storytelling that I liked this fast-paced, dry humor. And, on this one, it was just getting away from being the cool guy for a little bit.
Q: What is it like working on a smaller-budget production, where everything is downsized?
A: It was difficult. There's a faster pace that comes with that kind of filmmaking, so there's no time to think. There's an energy to it that sets a tone for the film itself, and I like that.
Q: Will you be appearing on "Friends"?
A: This evil rumor has been going around. I think it started in the studio commissary somewhere. There have been no discussions, but I'm open to it.
Q: Back when you began your acting career, did you have any ideas it might go this far?
A: I don't know if I'll ever be completely satisfied. It's art, or it should be art. My goal is just to be a part of films that stick around, and I think I've done a few of those. So I feel very good.

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