Welcome to a new series here on Cinematical where we select an actor or actress and the role we think is their all time best.

Brad Pitt has taken on a myriad of roles over the years. He's fly fished, hunted down sadistic killers, played a romantic devil, dallied in thievery, suffered through pain in his Achilles, and even showed up as the notorious Jesse James. And while he may have earned Oscar nominations for his turn as a mental patient in 12 Monkeys and a backward-aging man in The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, his best role lives in cult fandom as the corporation-loathing anarchist Tyler Durden in Fight Club.

I know. It's strange of me to pick this role out of the list -- especially in light of his time in 12 Monkeys. Fight Club was the film Edward Norton got recognized for -- not so much Brad Pitt. But it's Durden that always stuck out to me -- a marked turning point in Pitt's career.

From the very beginning, Pitt's work was rife with reinvention. He started as the clean-cut and cute young actor, from uncredited time as a preppy partygoer in Less Than Zero to shilling Pringles in bubbly '80s commercials. Then his hair grew out a little and he played the seductive J.D. in Thelma & Louise, ushering in a period of grunge and long-haired loverdom. He dated Juliette Lewis, played a trashy ex-con in Kalifornia, and made a name for himself as a rugged heartthrob, balancing vampiric times with Tom Cruise in dramatic period pieces. However, just when the path seemed set, the year 1995 rang in with the back-to-back power of Se7en and Twelve Monkeys. Things were starting to change.
categories Cinematical