Fitting Come Back: Brad Pitt wins best supporting actor Oscar for ‘Once Upon a Time…’
Brad Pitt’s Oscar win on Sunday marks a fitting comeback for the veteran actor whose personal life, rather than his on-screen roles, have dominated headlines in recent years.
Pitt won the golden statuette for his role as a laid-back fading stuntman in Quentin Tarantino’s ode to 1960s Tinseltown, “Once Upon a Time … in Hollywood.”
“This is incredible, really incredible,” the 56-year-old said as he accepted the award his first Academy Award for acting after more than 30 years in showbiz and three previous performance nominations.
“They told me I only have 45 seconds up here, which is 45 seconds more than the Senate gave John Bolton this week,” he said, in reference to President Donald Trump’s impeachment trial.
“I’m thinking maybe Quentin does a movie about it in the end, the adults do the right thing.”
His quips were the latest in a string of pithy, often funny speeches delivered as he swept a glut of prizes this award season including a Golden Globe, targeting everything from divorce to Prince Harry.
On Sunday, he bested a crowded field of four former Oscar winners Joe Pesci and Al Pacino for Martin Scorsese’s “The Irishman,” Anthony Hopkins (“The Two Popes”) and Tom Hanks (“A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood”).
But it was not his first Oscar he won a best picture prize in 2014 as one of the producers of “12 Years a Slave.”
Pitt’s performance in “Once Upon a Time…” earned him rave reviews, with Britain’s Sunday Times describing it as the best by a movie star in 2019.
The award is a well-earned win for the Hollywood heartthrob, who has kept a low profile since 2016 as he went through a messy divorce with Angelina Jolie and a bitter custody battle over their six children.
Pitt faced accusations of child abuse, heavy drinking and drug use.
Since then, he has talked at length about getting sober, and attending Alcoholics Anonymous meetings for a year and a half after having “taken things as far as I could take” them.
“This is for my kids who color everything I do. I adore you,” he said Sunday.
Even before his relationship with Jolie, Pitt has endured the constant tabloid spotlight especially during his engagement to Gwyneth Paltrow and subsequent marriage to Jennifer Aniston.
“In the 90s, all that attention really threw me,” Pitt told The New York Times in an interview last year.
“It was really uncomfortable for me, the cacophony of expectations and judgments. I really became a bit of a hermit and just bonged myself into oblivion.”