Brad Pitt talks business with Shah Rukh Khan, explains why 'Hollywood can't support risky films like War Machine'

Hollywood actor Brad Pitt was in Mumbai to promote his upcoming film War Machine. The film is a war drama and is produced by on-demand streaming service Netflix

Hollywood actor Brad Pitt, who made a surprise appearance in India on Wednesday, says the business model of Hollywood studios does not allow them to support risky films like his forthcoming satirical comedy War Machine. He said that it was one of the main reasons he chose to get together with US-based on-demand streaming website Netflix for the film.

“The way the business model of studios in right now, Hollywood can’t support risky films like War Machine, of this budget certainly. The costs of prints and advertising are so high, so they are not making them right now,” Pitt said during a session with Indian superstar Shah Rukh Khan here.

Elaborating on his decision to unite with Netflix, Pitt said: “The beauty of Netflix for the film viewer is that now more films are getting made, more interesting filmmakers are getting a chance which means a greater variety.”

Pitt says the changing trend reflects “a new resurgence of filmmaking that” he grew up on in the 1960s and 1970s.

War Machine, directed by David Mich’d, is a satirical comedy with Pitt essaying the role of US General Glen McMahon, who is tough but overconfident with an only aim to lead his army towards victory in Afghanistan, and win the war.

The film will have its premiere on the streaming website on Friday and will have a limited release.

The Inglourious Basterds star finds it unfair to judge a film’s performance based on its opening week collection.

“Many of our films are often categorised by performance on the opening weekend. It is an unfair jury of a long journey of the film, which is still playing in theatres, still speaking to the audience. I know films which were dubbed as failures and went a long way,” said the actor, who opted for an ill-fitted suit for his India outing.

Pitt went on to say that it will be interesting to see “platforms like Netflix remove this aspect and what that does to a film’s reputation”.

Pitt, who was maintaining his distance from the limelight following his public and rather ugly split from actress Angelina Jolie last year, also appreciated the trend now of “different cultures cross-pollinating ideas and styles”.

He used Netflix original backed by his banner Plan B Entertainment Okja, helmed by South Korean Director Bong Joon-ho, as an example.

“We would never have been able to create Okja otherwise…It is his mind, and we are definitely seeking more such experiences,” said the 53-year-old.

Pitt’s production Moonlight and 12 Years A Slave” went on to win Oscars. But the actor insists that there is no formula to pick films that guarantee success.

“We pick projects of people with whom we want to work with. We started some 12 years ago…We (Pitt along with Dede Gardner and Jeremy Kleiner) were all in love with films and wanted to just tell stories which are different…It has been rewarding for us and we will stay on that same pattern.

The Fight Club star also stressed that as of now he is focusing more on his career as a producer than an actor.

“As I get older it is a big commitment to do long day shoots. It is a big time away from family and I find myself more and more part of film production side. I find it really rewarding to be able to open doorways to filmmakers and putting films out. It is a real gift to be able to do that.”

Pitt, who also attended MAMI screening of the film here on Wednesday, says he cemented his position in showbiz luck after surviving his mistakes.

He said: “Staying relevant is a little bit of luck but we also try to re-invent. We are constantly trying to look for something new and different and fortunately we have survived our mistakes to stay relevant.”

Pitt was in India last in 2006 with his then girlfriend and actress-filmmaker Angelina Jolie, who later on went on to become his wife. They were in the country for a few months for the filming of  A Mighty Heart.

The actor said he had a fantastic time shooting the film in the country.

This time, Pitt’s trip to the country will be short as he will be flying out on Thursday.