(Even his name is in my spell check)
The thing about being Brad Pitt is that everyone, and I mean everyone, wants to know him. The moment he flashes across a television or movie screen our collective consciousness says “Hey look it is Brad Pitt!” I presume that this happens more than with any other living person (yes, even more than with Barack Obama). Brad Pitt is the person to meet. He is the one person who no matter where he goes is always greeted by a mass of anticipating and adoring hands waiting to touch his. American royalty? Maybe. The most popular guy in school? Without a doubt.
The thing about being Brad Pitt is that this must not be easy. It’s like dogs who love you because you feed them. They always want to be around you because of the possibility of food. It doesn’t matter who you truly are, how you behave, what you say or how you look. Dogs will excuse all of this because they know you got the food. For human beings Brad Pitt is the food. It has nothing to do with who he is at a deeper level. All that matters is that is Brad Pitt. Everyone wants to meet that guy they have seen in all those movies, tabloids, interviews and news clips. That guy. Not the moody guy with a stomach ache who occasionally yells at his kids and harbors a deep need to be left the hell alone.
One problem that Brad Pitt has that almost none of us ordinary folk do is that everyone wants to meet him. Everyone wants to draw him in. Everyone lights up in his presence. Everyone puts their best self forward when meeting him. Everyone is trying to manipulate him into liking them. Everyone is hoping that maybe, just maybe, Brad Pitt will become their personal friend. That he will remember them. This kind of worship must get as tiring as dealing with my dogs who are always standing at the door with a sad face on, waiting, hoping for food.
Most of us experience the opposite. The only people who pursue us with that kind of interest are creditors and enmeshed parents. When we walk down the street we are often an impediment or an object of attraction to someone who is going the other way. When we are noticed by an acquaintance or a colleague they will often stealthily cross the street to avoid crossing our path. Out there we are just another body, a person to be controlled, glanced at, judged and often avoided. Brad Pitt experiences the opposite phenomena. The moment he appears, gravitational pull takes over and bodies and minds are propelled by a force that is often out of their personal control. People come alive, for sometimes the first time in months or years when in his presence.
I’m writing about this while drinking my morning cup of coffee. I am sitting in front of the fire and my house is silent. I have a long day at work in front of me. Several people have already canceled their appointments with me (I imagine people never cancel a meeting with Brad Pitt). The reason this subject is on my mind is because last night I made the mistake of leaving the television on in the background. I heard a news story about Brad Pitt appearing at some film opening and I also heard the excitement level of all the voices on the television elevate by a hundred percent. Even the newscaster’s voice became absent of the usual drone tone. Much to my surprise I got up from what I was doing and went to see if I could get a glimpse of Brad Pitt. I wanted to see what he looked like now and also see the phenomena that occurs when he is in other people’s presence. I suppose there is a part of me that feels like I know the guy since I grew up watching him grow up. I can see the trajectory of my aging process through his films and interviews. As I watched all of the Hollywood elites smiling, standing with an erect posture (no one was slouching) and waiting to hug Brad Pitt or shake his hand- I stood at the television, just like I everyone else I imagine, for a brief moment, experiencing that one thing about being Brad Pitt.