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Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie Talk About "Mr and Mrs Smith"

Pitt and Jolie on Playing Assassins and Mixing Comedy, Romance, and Action

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Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie in Mr and Mrs Smith

Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie in "Mr and Mrs Smith"

© 20th Century Fox
The Story: John Smith (Brad Pitt) and Jane Smith (Angelina Jolie) are having marital problems and visiting a marriage counselor doesn’t really seem to be doing any good. Their relationship is on the rocks because they just can’t open up with each other. If only they could be more involved in each other’s lives, then they might be able to keep from drifting further apart.

But Mr. and Mrs. Smith are each keeping a big secret that, until an unfortunate turn of events, they simply can't share. They’re both assassins who've been given their most difficult mission to date: kill their spouse or be killed.

Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie on Playing Assassins in “Mr. and Mrs. Smith:” “The assassins thing is secondary to me. The movie to me plays so much more on the level of relationships. That was kind of the backdrop or the metaphor for getting lost in your work. But having said that, [Angelina Jolie’s] a damn good shot,” joked Pitt.

Jolie added, “Obviously the film – like [Brad] was saying - it’s a comment that is all a metaphor for marriage. It’s a wild and crazy one, but I do think it is a good one, and I think what makes us good assassins. But at the end of the day it’s interesting two [assassins] have to learn how to be a team. I think that’s incredibly interesting.”

Brad Pitt Sets the Record Straight: Is it True He Only Wanted Angelina Jolie for the Role?: “I don’t know where that story came from. Originally, at one point, there was another actress and she had to drop out. And then, certainly our main contender was Angelina because it was really important that Mr. and Mrs. had some form of equality. And what I mean by that, when you have fight scenes when you’re literally punching the s**t out of each other, you’ve got to believe they’re equally matched, I would say.”

Mixing Comedy, Drama, Action, Romance – Getting the Tone of the Movie Right: “That was all this bunch here [indicating the director and producers]. This was one big think tank. I guess we’re missing Simon [Kinberg, the writer] and a couple other people. Know that this thing could have so easily devolved into an action film. That was the danger with this thing and we were very conscious of keeping the relationship in the forefront. And what I think Doug [Liman] did best, and certainly to his credit, was any action that did take place, it was secondary - it was the backdrop. It surrounded whatever argument they were having at the time, or whatever personal dynamic they needed to work out at that moment,” said Pitt.

“I think I was asking for the first few months what the tone is. I don’t think anybody had an answer for what exactly the tone was, because it is a little bit of everything, which is really nice, to try to find that balance,” explained Jolie, to which her co-star Pitt proclaimed, “That’s not true! I had an answer, she just didn’t listen. She disagreed with me wholeheartedly.” Getting serious, Pitt said, “No, we took from movies, you know, like movies like ‘Midnight Run,’ which is a true, successful amalgamation of films that have a comedic bent to it, but there’s also action and drama. And it’s really, I believe, a most difficult line to walk.”

Brad Pitt on How it Felt to Fight a Woman Onscreen: “I felt good, I felt very good [joking]. Well, I took some shots though. If you re-wind it I took some really good shots. But again, the thing was not to be taken - knowing that the thing was not to be taken literally, we could go as far as we wanted to go. And to me it’s one of the best comedic pieces of the thing. Again representative of how, you know, we take each other out in some form or another.”

On Hitting, Kicking, Kissing, and Making Love – All in One Scene: Jolie smiled as she responded, “Well, I wasn’t upset about that. I mean, it’s a strange thing we all do for a living. And at the end of the day, it’s a really fun script. It’s about love and marriage and so it has all of those things in it. And it’s got all those elements that make for a great film and so it was fun to do.” Pitt threw in, “And we like extremes, so why not take it to the end?”

Page 2: Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt on a Sequel, Chemistry, and Improv

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