Brad Pitt And Ed Norton Got High Before Fight Club Premiere And Couldn’t Stop Laughing

Fight Club

Earlier this week, Brad Pitt and Leonardo DiCaprio appeared on Marc Maron’s podcast to promote their film Once Upon a Time… in Hollywood. The hour-long episode is a must-listen as well, as the two A-listers covered a number of topics including their childhood, first movies and various experiences on different projects.

At one point, they started talking about films not really connecting with audiences upon release and how they garnered cult status over time. A prime example of that is Pitt’s Fight Club. The movie famously bombed at the box office in the fall of 1999. But with the advent of DVDs shortly after, you couldn’t find a dorm room in America that didn’t have a copy of the David Fincher classic.

But it’s safe to say moviegoers didn’t really get it the first time. And none more so than the people who attended the Fight Club premiere at the 1999 Venice Film Festival. Pitt and co-star Edward Norton were there, too, and they decided to really enjoy the evening by smoking weed before watching it.

And while they were certainly having a blast, the foreign audience didn’t seem to understand what they were watching, as Pitt explains:

“The first joke comes up – and it’s crickets. It’s dead silence. And another joke, and it’s dead silent. This thing is not translating – you know, it’s subtitles and it’s not translating at all,” he said. “And the more it happened, the funnier it got to Edward and I… So we just start laughing. We’re the assholes in the back laughing at our own jokes – the only ones.”

Pitt and Norton have shared this anecdote before, of course, but it never gets old. And hearing the star tell it again is definitely amusing.

Obviously, actors never really know how successful their movies are going to be, but films can never be judged after one viewing or how they do on opening weekend. In fact, Bill Simmons of The Ringer had a great idea when he said that they should give out the Oscars every year for movies that were released five years prior. Sort of like the various sports hall of fames. We can’t just anoint a film great or deem a certain performance Oscar-worthy unless we have time to reflect, take a wider look at the overall big picture of its impact and how it holds up on multiple viewings.

The Academy would never do this, of course, but it’s an interesting thought. And Fight Club is the perfect example. Maligned when it first released, it’s now counted among the best films of the last 25 years. I guess Pitt and Norton really did have the last laugh here, eh?