Troy is a historical epic film that is a vague retelling of Homer’s The Iliad, revolving around the conflict between Troy and Greece when Prince Paris convinces Spartan Queen Helen to run away to Troy with him, sparking a siege and the eventual destruction of eponymous city. The film stars Brad Pitt, Orlando Bloom, Eric Bana, Diane Kruger, Peter O’Toole, and Rose Byrne. While Troy was commercially successful, the film failed to meet the expectations of critics everywhere. Even O’Toole spoke negatively about the film and even walked out of a screening 15 minutes in.
While many Pitt fans may see Troy as one of his best, Pitt wasn’t exactly a fan of the film. Many years after the film’s release, Pitt has come forward, per USA Today, saying that he only acted in the film out of contractual obligation because the project he really wanted to be a part of was canceled. As such, Troy is a project that Pitt looks back on, not with fond memories of what a great time he had, but as a valuable experience that taught him about the film industry and the choices it forced him to make for his career. Here’s deeper look into why Brad Pitt wasn’t a fan of Troy.
Pitt Felt His Performance Was Mediocre
If there’s one thing that Pitt always brings to the table, it’s an astounding performance. While critics like Roger Ebert praised Pitt’s performance in Troy, a commercial film where the depth of his character did not need to be portrayed, Pitt felt very differently about his performance. In an interview with The New York Times, Pitt admitted that he felt his performance as Achilles in Troy was underwhelming and far from his best. While he was unsure why his performance wasn’t up to snuff, Pitt soon came to realize that part of the reason his performance didn’t meet his expectations was the fact that the film wasn’t something he was particularly excited to be a part of.
He Was Advised to Star in More Commercially Viable Products
Before starring in Troy, Pitt starred in cult classic films like Fight Club, and made a variety of cameos like the one in True Romance. Before 2004, Pitt’s film choices were carefully thought-out, taking into meticulous consideration the types of roles he took on and making sure he could properly portray each character well. However, around the time that Pitt chose to star in Troy, he was advised to take his career towards more commercial blockbuster films rather than pursue his own artistic acting desires. While Pitt took this advice at the time, this led the actor to re-evaluate his career and the way that Hollywood chose to portray him.
How He Was Portrayed On-Screen
Before Troy, Pitt hadn’t been aware of the way Hollywood viewed him, but upon seeing the way that his character Achilles was always the center of attention, it made him aware of the focus the film had on him. Pitt admitted that he was always in frame somewhere, even if the scene wasn’t about Achilles, making him the star of the show. This may have drawn the attention of women audiences, but it diverts attention from the plot of the film. Despite the fact that Troy revolves around the conflict between Troy and Greece after Helen leaves Sparta to be with Paris in Troy, Achilles, who helped the Greeks in Troy’s defeat, is the constant center of attention. This led Pitt to the realization that he was going to focus on films with greater quality of story rather than its prospect of commercialization.
Lessons Learned From Troy
Troy may not be the best project that Pitt has ever taken on, however, it certainly had an effect on his career. For a time, Pitt did star in more commercial films like Ocean’s 11, and Mr & Mrs Smith. In his later career, however, he has since returned to his more artistic roots, starring in auteur-forward films. Making a comeback in more visionary films like The Tree of Life and Fury, giving his all in every role he takes on, showing full commitment to portraying each character to the best of his ability without caring about the marketability of the film itself. Pitt has certainly learned a lot from Troy, including that commercialization is often not worth the sacrifice that it may have on the creative side of things.