Theory: Brad Pitt has worked with an Oscar strategist & speechwriter for months

Oscars 2020 Nominees Luncheon

One of the reasons why this year’s awards season has been so boring is because all of the acting awards are sure-things. As much as I’d love to see a shake-up on Oscar night, Brad Pitt, Renee Zellweger, Laura Dern and Joaquin Phoenix are 99.9999% guaranteed to win. In retrospect, I think Renee and Joaquin were always the favorites for the lead categories, and I think Pitt and Dern simply became the “consensus” favorites after the Golden Globes and a handful of critics’ awards. In Pitt’s case, I find it curious just how quickly the consensus was made though.

Could it be that Mr. I’m-Not-Campaigning actually was around to shake hands at a lot of those Oscar screenings? Could it be that the careful revelations in interviews throughout last fall were all by a specific design, mapped out by a publicist or Oscar strategist? Did Brad quietly hire an Oscar campaign consultant several months ago? Because it certainly feels that way. I was reminded of that as I read this Hollywood Reporter piece about the “art” of awards-speeches, and they used Brad as an example of someone hitting all the right notes:

Throughout this and other awards seasons, winning speeches at precursor ceremonies have become a weapon in the war to win an Oscar, just as often written by publicists and strategists as by the nominees themselves….Brad Pitt has been deft in using self-deprecation and humor to deflate bad press following his 2016 breakup with Angelina Jolie. The supporting actor candidate opened his SAG acceptance with a quip, “I’m going to add this to my Tinder profile” — his self-mocking tone a reminder to potential voters that even he could be single.

“He’s using humor to poke fun at a situation, knowing that the industry favors him [over Jolie],” says a producer and Academy member. “He’s building on goodwill that’s already there.”

Pitt kept up the humorous tone in his de rigueur acknowledgment of everyone involved with Once Upon a Time in Hollywood, while teasing director Quentin Tarantino about his foot fetish: “Seriously, Quentin has separated more women from their shoes than the TSA.” He also added the phrase du jour: “I love our community so much.”

These speeches have many of the same components and share the same goals. They remind Oscar voters still on the fence that the speakers are modest and likable; they embrace the Oscar “community,” which starts voting on the winners Jan. 30; and they reach for something larger than themselves, as Laura Dern did in accepting her supporting actress Globe for Marriage Story, when she spoke of giving “voice to the voiceless,” something of a stretch given that she was playing a high-priced divorce lawyer.

What’s new this year is that few of these speakers risk rocking the boat, even with an election coming up, and controversial comments have only been delivered by those who are not truly serious contenders in the Oscar acting race. Controversy may yet raise its head at the Oscars. But the takeaway from the awards so far is this: In one of the most political years ever, it’s safest not to mention politics at all.

[From THR]

Well, what’s become increasingly clear to me as I watch Brad’s awards speeches is that he absolutely hired a speech writer. How do you feel about that? I can’t decide. On one side, it seems on-brand for Brad Pitt specifically: someone who pretends to not care enough to campaign but actually spends money hiring someone to write his witty one-liners, because he’s self-aware enough to know he can’t come up with those lines himself. But also, isn’t that what we want? I would much prefer to see an actor stand up there with an award and deliver a thought-out witty speech “off the cuff” rather than hem and haw and pretend to be flustered.

This also reminds me of Jennifer Aniston’s ultimately failed Oscar campaign for Cake in 2014/15, remember that? She reportedly spent SO MUCH money hiring the best Oscar campaign strategist in town and carefully plotted to become the “favorite”… only to never even get an Oscar nom. I guess Brad didn’t hire the same woman as Aniston.

Also: Brad clearly spent some money on extensions and wigs for his Oscar campaign, my God.

Oscars 2020 Nominees Luncheon

Oscars 2020 Nominees Luncheon

Photos courtesy of WENN.

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48 Responses to “Theory: Brad Pitt has worked with an Oscar strategist & speechwriter for months”

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  1. Nancy says:

    I dunno about his Oscar campaign but he’s looking slimier and creepier by the day. That hair is ridiculous.

  2. Mika says:

    Not to mention that wig maker.

    • Elaine Stritch says:

      I’m so bad with wigs and wiglets and hairpieces. Unless it’s REALLY busted I can never tell. Aside from a sudden change, how can you tell?

      • Silver Charm says:

        I’m am boggled by Brad Pitt’s wig infrastructure and Celebitchy is the only site addressing this. It’s definitely being overly blown out but I think there has to be some hair pieces in place to create that weird fullness. It’s too meticulously hand-crafted (like his non-campaign).

  3. Venus says:

    He’s got the Bobby Flay eyebrow thing going on.

  4. Ferdinand says:

    Wouldn’t be the first one.
    Surely he won’t be the last.


  5. Juju says:

    I’m just relieved that Scar Jo isn’t even in the conversation for either of the awards she was nominated for.

    • brinibini says:

      I wonder if she’s pissed about that?
      It seemed like she was the favorite for Best actress at the end of last year, and now she’s not winning anything.

    • lucy2 says:

      Yeah I usually don’t root against people for stuff like that, but I hope she goes 0-2.

      • Monette says:

        Yesss, two nominations are more than enough. She is already insufrable, Miss Highest Paid Asian Actress.

  6. Shirleygailgal says:

    White washing has a whole new meaning for me, these days. What about his “make it right” wrongs? What about the people he has left living in squalor? The ones he came alongside as a ‘saviour’? Is Hollywood the same as the ‘royal’ family? Circle the wagons and pretend they are as pure as the driven snow? FFS

    • K.T says:

      Yes, truth. He bought the right PR agency to get him as far as possible on the Oscar trail. And he seems to use casual sexism & stereotypes to buttress his rep. I really thought that 12 Years A Slave was a great film. And good for him and his company to produce it. But why does he casts himself in it as THAT character?!
      Please, let someone make an Oscar speech argument about ‘Make It Right’ and the Twelve Years A Slave white-saviour carpenters fixin’ it all!!

    • Meg says:

      The industry wants their nominees to seem appealing and likeable or no one will care about these award shows so they have an incentive to whitewash the bad. Its gross

  7. crogirl says:

    So someone actually gets paid for writing that horrible misogynistic speech

  8. Evie says:

    The whole thing is boring and predictable. So many awards that precede the whole thing, it makes Oscars boring, we already know who will win.

  9. Brianna says:

    Brad Pitt had hired Harcey Weinstine Oscar Strategist Lisa Tarbuck same strategist that Jennifer Aniston had hired when she was doing her Cake movie promotion . He already has hired not only Harvey’s strategist but also his Fixer who deals with all the Make It Right publicity.

  10. AnnaKist says:

    Dio mio. He’s looking rather creepy of late.

  11. Sarah says:

    He’s clearly going to Jennifer Aniston plastic surgeon and gor rid of those under eye bags and wrinkles he had 7 months ago. The hair is ridiculously thick,the older he gets the hair is getting thicker now how can that be he has clearly hired Oscar strategists and has the millions to spend on them. He is winning in a weak acting year and sadly for a weak part I can’t imagine how insufferable he will be after his win.

  12. Tmay says:

    Yuk looks slimey and greasy old man. Looking very old and dead eyes.
    All the Oscar Whoa@ing will It give him real happiness, considering how he used his ex mother of 6 as media punching bag.

  13. Valiantly Varnished says:

    Quelle surprise

  14. Kitefly says:

    Looking creepier by the day. I wish goes away for a long time and takes his smugness with him. Abusive SOB wonder if this dirty campaign was worth the bought statue. Disrespecting and gaslighting your kids and their mother.

  15. Thanks says:

    Is Angelina supposed to care that the industry favors him to her given how they covered up for Harvey for decades?

    • Sarah says:

      I never understand this kind of dig at AJ. Oh, she’s not well-liked in Hollywood. Well, not being “well-liked” by people who are BFF with the likes of Harvey, Roman and Woody, and laugh when the Chelsea Handler of thiw world tell racist jokes about your kids is a VERY good point in my book.

    • Snazzy says:

      Ohhh I’m pretty sure she’s well liked considering she got Disney / Marvel in the divorce. This whole article is as stupid and fake as Brad’s wiglet

  16. lucy2 says:

    He looks…odd. What is going on there?

    Of course he hired a strategist – I would imagine most of them do, at least those who care about the awards. Even if they don’t win (or don’t get the big nomination) just being talked about it in those circles probably gives a career boost.
    But him make jokes about his personal life is pretty gross.

  17. I drank the kool-aid when I was young and thought the Oscar was all about quality performance or craft. Now, all these awards shows bore me so much I don’t bother wasting the 4 hours. I’ll YouTube clips, look at photo roundup of fashions, or check excellent commentary sites such as this one; but invest myself in the whole carnival — Nah. I think these awards shows are about ALMOST everything but outstanding art and craft. Acknowledging outstanding work is still part of it, but so much quality is continually marginalized. Now, so much of these awards are about big big business, popularity, payback, PR, and enbiggening a certain strata of the film community while keeping other groups down. So, I don’t doubt that Brad is spending a lot of money on this; after all, it’s business — big business.

    • Meg says:

      Yeah they mention low ratings but i dont think ive ever watched these shows, just pictures in magazines or online. And now with YouTube its easier not to

  18. jade says:

    Not sure if he really hired a strategist, but a speech writer, maybe or one of his comedian friends is helping him. If Brad can afford to afford to hire this so called oscar strategist, so does Tom Hanks, or Al Pacino. Or maybe they are not that thirsty as Brad, since both have their oscars already.

    • Writermarie says:

      I feel like that’s beneath Tom Hanks and Al Pacino, both have won before. (TH-2 AP-1, both acting). *Side note, Pacino has actually been nominated 9 times! Tom has been nominated five times.

      Brad seems super thirsty for that Oscar. I totally see him doing this. It’s sad that could even be a thing to do though. How about winning on actual performance, etc.

  19. TrustMe says:

    His face is melting before our very eyes. Weirdo! Who used this campaign to attack his own family. Let’s see if all these shady attacks were worth it.

  20. Grant says:

    I can’t believe he’s going to win for OUATIH. That movie was forty-five minutes too long and I feel like Brad phoned it in. Leo was great in it though, I must say.

  21. Texas says:

    I will always think that Brad Pitt is handsome. I loved Robert Redford and I just have something about those kind of looks. It has nothing to do with the kind of person he is. I just think he is pretty.

    How can y’all tell when they are wearing wigs??? I’m always shocked when I read that.

  22. SM says:

    People are like: remember when Leo Dicaprio was so desperate for an oscar, he are a liver on camera in the Revenant? Brad Pitt: move over, people, I am coming!

  23. Hmmm says:

    I don’t think he quietly did it. He hired thst lady that was trying to help aniston win years ago for cake or whatever that terrible movie was called.

  24. February Pisces says:

    This award season is dry AF. Nothing particularly stands out this year. Brad is looking a like he’s had some bad cosmetic procedures done. The ‘hype’ between him and Jennifer Aniston is so staged by both of them, but I guess it’s all apart of the campaign.

  25. Sara says:

    I’ll tell you why they favor Brad and Jen over Jolie as it’s quite simple. They are more likable and light-hearted. Jolie has always come off as a smug and bitchy. Now that doesn’t mean I think this, it’s simply the public persona. Angelina isn’t likeable. Jen and Brad very much are.

    • Thanks says:

      But we all know Brad did something to his kids, yet he’s still likeable? Smug, bitchy>>>>>>>>> child beater.

    • Say what says:

      @Sara the only people who think a Angelina is bitchy are the ones who don’t want to like her. She has never treated people like that . Facts.
      Bead and Jen are likable because they wan to be socially liked Angelina doesn’t. Point is that doesn’t mean people should hate her because she doesn’t want to be everyone’s friend and keeps to herself.