Brad Pitt smiles pretty for the cameras (Araya Diaz/WireImage)It's pretty rare to see Brad Pitt promoting a movie without Angelina Jolie on his arm. Heck, it's kind of rare to see Brad Pitt promoting a movie at all -- he's not exactly known for flooding the PR zone for his movies. But Pitt left Jolie and the kids at home Monday night while he attended the premiere of "Moneyball" in Oakland, California. By his side: the testosterone-heavy lineup of Jonah Hill, Chris Pratt and Philip Seymour Hoffman, his co-stars in the baseball-themed drama. These four have been spending a lot of time together lately, what with all the press appearances they're making of late.
To say Pitt has been less than shy in his public appearances in support of "Moneyball" is putting it mildly: never before has the actor seemingly campaigned so hard to sell a film, happily posing for photos that milked his universal sex appeal. The new Sports Illustrated cover boy knows he's hot, and he's working it. According to Us Weekly, Pitt charmed journalists on the "Moneyball" red carpet and "let loose" at the afterparty. "He was hugging old ladies, taking pics with co-stars, and letting the crowd photograph him with cell cameras," says an witness, noting that Pitt busted a move to the '80s music that was playing.
And that's just the tip of the PR iceberg. In addition to his Toronto Film Festival blitz (where Jolie helped him handle the screaming crowds) and the aforementioned premiere appearance, Pitt has made or will make at least five more major press moves around "Moneyball": Entertainment Weekly, Parade magazine, Sports Illustrated, "Ellen," and the "Today" show.
All of this brazen publicity-generating behavior suggests Pitt's laying the groundwork for an Oscar nomination. Pitt's been nominated twice -- as best supporting actor for "Twelve Monkeys" and best actor for "The Curious Case of Benjamin Button" -- but he has yet to win an Academy Award.
Movie blog Cinemablend thinks there's Oscar hope yet for Pitt -- with one caveat. "Brad Pitt's Best Actor campaign now feels inevitable and quite viable," they write, "But it's still a hard road for him to get attention playing a golden boy."
Or maybe he's simply really excited about "Moneyball." He told the press gathered at the Oakland Coliseum premiere that the movie is unique in that it has "big, universal themes that go well beyond the underdog story, ideas of values of how we rate ourselves successfully or as a failure. They bring up some interesting questions."
Sell, Brad, sell! Just don't bring up the ex-wife. We admire the strategy, but we all know that the more a person talks, the more he is likely to put his foot in his mouth.
Additional reporting/editing by Courtney Reimer