Arriving in London to a packed out Leicester Square of adoring fans, and a ghoulishly black carpet as opposed to the conventional red, Pitt – who plays Gerry Lane, a United Nations employee entrusted with securing the safety of mankind following a zombie pandemic – discusses the unique selling point to his upcoming apocalyptic thriller, which hits UK cinemas on June 21.
“When we were talking about it, our thinking was, what happens if you wake up tomorrow and suddenly things that are important to you, like getting your newspaper, getting to work on time, not getting yelled at by your boss… what is none of that meant anything? What if it was all about survival? How well off would you be?” He said. “It’s so intense, and we’re thrilled with that.”
Much of World War Z – adapted from the popular Max Brooks novel – was shot here in Britain, and Pitt, who is also an executive producer on the film, tells us of his delight at returning to the capital to mark the forthcoming release of this title.
“I’m thrilled to be here specifically because we filmed here and the crews are great here, we have an international cast here, and we were really dependant on the extras in the film to sell that panic and they were just great, they totally went for it.”
Such a sentiment about the extras who played the various, genuinely terrifying zombies that we see in the film, was enhanced by co-star Peter Capaldi, who admits that even the actors on set were somewhat intimidated by their fellow colleagues.
“There was a pile of them that arrived one day and they were rather frightening, because once they get going they really go for it,” he said. “There was a scene when they chase us down a corridor and we have to barricade a door, and wow, they really come at you. We knew if we didn’t get through that door they’d get us, so we’d slam the door shut and they’d thrown themselves at it, and this is the actors I’m talking about.
“They’re all dying to get a bigger part and the only way they would get a bigger part is by killing one of the other actors, so they’re throwing themselves against the door and battering it down, and it’s great, because there is no acting required.”
Capaldi, who plays a scientist, also tells us of his pleasure of working alongside Mr. Pitt. “What’s really nice about working with Brad is that he is really good fun and he’s a really nice person. It’s a killer combination. He looks great and he’s great to be with.”
Going back to the zombies, we also caught up with the film’s director Marc Forster, who discussed his own take on the living dead, and what he hopes to achieve with this piture.
“When you start on a venture like this you have the camps of zombie fans, the ones who like the fast ones, and the ones who like the slow ones, so you’re always treading on thin ice. But I wanted to create a movie that stands on its own feet and is unique and hasn’t been done before, especially as there are so many zombie movies out there.”
Forster also told us that he is “open to a sequel” and such an optimism and passion for the project is shared by Pitt, who admitted that if this could be a success, then a second instalment could well be on the cards. “There is so much in that book, and we have plenty of ideas,” he continued. “If this one works we certainly have plenty of ideas.”
Finally Pitt, who had his beautiful wife Angelina Jolie also in attendance, spoke briefly about his thoughts on the actresses recent decision to have a double mastectomy, in what is her first public appearance since. “I’m so moved by it, it’s become a tipping point. We weren’t aware that it was something that so many people needed to hear,” he finished.
The entire event was a hugely memorable one for all involved, as not only did we have the opportunity to speak to such an array of talented individuals, but the night was capped off with a live performance by Muse, who have provided music for World War Z. Taking place at Horse Guards Parade, the three-piece performed a host of their biggest hits to celebrate the release of this title, as the excitement has already begun for a film that we’re certainly looking forward to hitting screens across the nation.