Brad Pitt: A Roll To Remember

One of the most refreshing things about the new film Thelma & Louise is the deeply ambiguous nature of its characters. Unlike the people in most movies, they are neither all black nor all white. And Brad Pitt, as the irresistibly charming bad boy J.D. (juvenile delinquent?), is the most checkered of them all.

His turn is particularly memorable for an eloquent roll in the hay in a Texas motel with co-star Geena Davis. How did it feel to make love to the statuesque Davis so early in his motion picture career? "Geena and I had become friends by that time--she made me feel totally comfortable," says the 26-year-old actor, whose lanky grace and high cheekbones recall James Dean. "But They spend so much time beforehand doing things like covering up the zits on your ass, that during the actual scene, you're numb. It's over before you know it. All I remember is feeling very good driving home that night."

Pitt looks like one of those boy beauties who come to Hollywood on the Greyhound from somewhere in middle America, and indeed, he was born in Oklahoma and raised in Missouri, But he claims he never even thought about acting--"it's not the kind of thing you think about growing up in Missouri"--until he'd already come to Hollywood, ostensibly to further his education in graphic design. He is disingenuous about his leap into acting: "Things open up for you," is his cryptic explanation.

Although he describes his character in Thelma & Louise as "a real sociopath," he says that in his opinion, J.D. "is pretty true to life to me about some people. They're not what they seem in the beginning. They're sweet and caring, and then they turn out to be con men. They're just like actors."

David Andrusia