Brad Pitt Killing Them Softly at Cannes Film Festival
Crowds went wild last night as they caught a glimpse of Hollywood superstar Brad Pitt as he arrived at the premiere of his new film.
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Pitt, looking dapper in a black tuxedo and a pair of sunglasses, with his blond hair loose around his shoulders, sent fans into raptures as he paced quickly up and down the lines of fans bordering the pavement in Cannes, signing autographs.
Angelina Jolie, Pitt's long-term partner with whom he has six children, was not on the red carpet with him at the festival in the French Riviera resort because of prior commitments.
Earlier in the day at a press conference for Pitt's new mob thriller Killing Them Softly, Pitt said she would not be attending and also quashed rumours they had set a date for their wedding.
He said: "We have no date. We actually really, truly have no date."
Pitt, who plays mob enforcer Jackie Cogan in director Andrew Dominik's new film, appeared on the red carpet with co-stars Ray Liotta, Scoot McNairy and Ben Mendelsohn, as well as the director Dominik and producer Dede Gardner.
Pitt, who also produced Killing Them Softly, posed for photographers before standing at the top of the steep staircase at the entrance to the Palais des Festivals and waving at the hundreds of fans who had gathered around the building, causing them to scream wildly.
Some held large colourful banners saying: "We love you Brad".
Brad Pitt's role as the brutal Cogan is not just a gangster story but a commentary on modern living, he said earlier today.
He is hired to hunt down and punish a gang of petty thieves who turned over a lucrative poker game and Pitt said he was interested in the film because he was looking for stories that "say something about our time and who we are".
Describing the idea behind Killing Them Softly, in which Liotta stars as Markie who owns and runs gambling clubs, Pitt said newspaper headlines about the global financial situation and what was happening to people was a source of inspiration.
He said: "This commentary - in the way it's done in this film, in the way that you believe you're watching a gangster film - I felt it was really a gangster film and it wasn't until the very end that things coalesced for me as far as maybe the direction the film was pointing to overall; that the film actually was saying something about the greater world."
He said his character killed people in the best way possible, hence the title of the film, as was dictated by his occupation.
"He wanted to get the job done and put people through the least pain," Pitt said.
"There's actually a humanity there for the person who's got to go - 'This is just an unfortunate part of our business but it's got to be cut-throat and that's the way it is.'
"I equate that to business, business can be very, very cut throat and we all accept the terms."
Killing Them Softly sees Pitt as Jackie who, under the eye of a mysterious driver, tries to track down and punish those responsible for the heist.
Along the way his assignment is complicated by an ageing drunken hitman, bumbling local gangsters and a ladies' man who ran the ill-fated game.
Based on the book Cogan's Trade by George V Higgins, Killing Them Softly also stars James Gandolfini, who was not in Cannes today.
Also on the red carpet last night ahead of the cast's arrival was model Kelly Brook in a glittering low-cut jewelled dress, actor Jeremy Irons, rapper P Diddy, who sported a white tuxedo in the evening sunshine, and actor Alec Baldwin.