Brad Pitt has weighed in on the discussion about streaming services like Netflix and his answer might surprise you. Unlike some other Hollywood icons that have taken shots at streaming services, Pitt has a different take. He really likes them.
Lately, the streaming services have taken a bit a beating from long-established Hollywood icons, like Steven Spielberg, who has softened his stance after going hard at Netflix in the wake of the service’s original production, Roma, taking home a number of awards earlier this year. Christopher Nolan similarly took a shot at Netflix. Pitt, however, recently praised Netflix.
Pitt is one of the biggest movie stars on the planet, and the majority of his films open in theaters worldwide, but he’s not opposed to opening movies on the small screen either. He starred in the 2017 Netflix movie War Machine and has produced a number of other films for the content provider, including the upcoming Marilyn Monroe biopic, Blonde. In a recent discussion with Anthony Hopkins for Interview magazine, Pitt spoke about why he embraced Netflix.
“I really like that we have these streaming services, because I’m seeing gutsy material,” explained the Once Upon a Time in Hollywood star. “I’m seeing material that studios aren’t able to gamble on. Through streaming services, artists are the ones who are able to gamble.” The actor continued, “I feel like cinema is being reduced more and more to spectacle, something more sensational. I don’t mean that as a negative, but I’m seeing more thought-provoking pieces like The Two Popes [Hopkins recent Netflix release] being done, and I’m pretty grateful for it.”
Pitt, like others, sees the streaming services as a new outlet for edgier material. With studios concentrating on huge blockbusters like the Marvel Cinematic Universe and Star Wars, it’s becoming more difficult for smaller films to get traditional studio funding. Netflix, Amazon Prime, Hulu and the like are filling in that void, and for that Pitt is grateful. As is Hopkins, who said, “I’m not a great fan of going to movies anymore. I’m not great at going to see the green screen films. I’ve been in a few of them and they’re fun, but they don’t grab me. I’m a bit too old for that.” Pitt added, “I’m glad things are always evolving and changing, and complaining about it won’t do any good.”
Pitt and Hopkins are not alone in their opinions of course. Netflix has had huge critical success with its release of Martin Scorsese’s The Irishman, which no major studio was willing to finance despite the pedigree involved. As Pitt says, there’s nothing wrong with fun blockbusters, but audiences want edgier, riskier, more thoughtful movies too.