For his W shoot, Brad Pitt requested amazing artist and photographer Chuck Close, who is known for his "superdetailed" portraits which reveal every line and wrinkle in the skin. Close says:
"You can't be the fair-haired young boy forever. Maybe a photograph of him with his crow's-feet and furrowed brow is good for him." As for the story inside, writer Kevin West spoke with Pitt at the Roosevelt Hotel in Hollywood and got the 45-year-old actor to spill about his Angelina Jolie, Jennifer Aniston, gay marriage and the appeal of his motorcycle.
On Jennifer Aniston calling Angelina "uncool":
"Listen, man, Jen is a sweetheart. I think she got dragged into that one, and then there's a second round to all of that Angie versus Jen. It's so created. We still check in with each other. She was a big part of my life, and me hers. I don't see how there cannot be [that]. That's life, man. That's life."
On Angelina being a homewrecker:
"What people don't understand is that we filmed [Mr. & Mrs. Smith] for a year. We were still filming after Jen and I split up. Even then it doesn't mean that there was some kind of dastardly affair. There wasn't. I'm very proud of the way that it was handled. It was respectful. [The film] will mean something to our kids. It will, that's all."
On watching Barack Obama's acceptance speech in Grant Park in Chicago:
"It was just total jubilation. It was the best rock concert that I've ever been to. Really. I could just feel it in the air. All the boulevards were closed afterward, and so we walked a half hour to the hotel. Everyone was just on a high."
On Prop 8:
"People who are against gay marriage do not understand the very freedoms that they themselves are enjoying. What if someone said, ‘Sorry, no Christianity here? No Judaism. Certainly no Mormons.' No one would stand for that, and I wouldn't allow anyone to say that either. I'd fight them in the same way."
On how fatherhood has changed him:
"I'm scared to death of death. I quit smoking. That was the only thing that got me to quit. That was it. Done."
On the W photographs he shot of Angelina Jolie breastfeeding, which a publicist would certainly have advised against:
"A publicist isn't going to know as much as I'm going to know about what we want to do. It just becomes more people to talk to. Man, we've got six kids. We don't have time for that. We've got to streamline. I make my own decisions for myself anyway. I've never seen a publicist that could protect me from things, protect anyone from what's going on out there. [Angelina and I] have fun working together; these things bring you closer. And let me tell you, it's really sexy to see your loved one through the lens. I went much further [than the shot of her breast-feeding]. I didn't show those."
On riding motorcycle (and wearing a helmet):
"This is my anonymity. With it, I'm just another asshole on the streets."