By Federico Grandesso
VENICE, Italy, Sept. 8 (Xinhua) -- In space you are dealing with the abyss and complete emptiness. To be driven to the last part of the solar system is to really understand yourself through an internal journey, said U.S. movie star Brad Pitt.
"I'm looking from inside out and from the character's journey, I thought it was genius by director James Gray to place the story in space," Pitt told Xinhua in an interview about his movie Ad Astra, which was presented at the 77th Venice Film Festival.
The story focuses on an astronaut who is searching for his long-time missing father at the outer reaches of the solar system and, in doing so, saves the earth from destruction.
Ad Astra, Latin for "to the stars," is commonly used in Latin phrases.
The movie aims to explore humanity's eternal thirst for exploration, and the painful journey of a man into his own soul. Pitt said he spoke to one astronaut who piloted the space shuttle, but the internal journey was of greater importance for the actor.
Regarding the presence of machines controlling one's mental health, Pitt said, "this idea, that in the future someone would monitor your emotions and bio rhythms, not because they care about you and me but because they would like to make sure that you do your job and feed the corporate side of things, was for me a really compelling idea."
The film touches on the topic of masculine identity in the modern age. "We grew up with this idea that being a man, you will always be capable, strong and not showing weakness or be disrespected."
"Where I grew up my parents were pioneer stock, so if you broke your arm or cut your head, you just moved on and you didn't complain. At the same time, any internal injuries, we didn't acknowledge them, so in that way you are denying a part of yourself and that can actually keep you from knowing yourself and being open to other people," Pitt added.
"This is a barrier, this facade of ultimate strength and no weakness is a wall preventing you from connecting with those you love and being a better partner, dad, human being and friend to yourself. These are some of the ideas we were investigating in this film," Pitt explained.
"We are used to investigating, and this has probably accelerated my growth on the subject," the Oscar nominated actor said.
Recalling the old times at the beginning of his career, he said "when I arrived in Los Angeles, there was something called the 'job factory', a listing full of jobs that people needed, for example, they could search for delivery guys to transport refrigerators into university. I did one of those jobs."
At that time Pitt worked for fast food chain called El Pollo Loco. He had to dance dressed up like a chicken for the grand opening of their new franchise, "it was still great, because you could still focus going to the acting classes."
Speaking of his passion for cinema, Pitt explained that movies were his way out and that understanding films showed him the world, different cultures and how people responded to various situations.
"They tried to push me into doing situation comedies, but I realized immediately that I couldn't do it and I didn't have any feel for it. It took me a full decade to understand where I wanted to land and what I had to offer," he said.
"There is a misconception about acting, I think, when you must not fake anything and you have to be absolutely sincere because you have to experience something to mean anything."