Kevin West's profile of Brad Pitt graces the cover of the latest W Magazine.
WITH A CRITICALLY ACCLAIMED NEW FILM—AND A PERSONAL LIFE THAT’S ALMOST SINGLE-HANDEDLY KEEPING THE TABLOIDS IN BUSINESS—BRAD PITT IS MASTERING THE ART OF SUPERSTARDOM.
By Kevin West
Photographs by Chuck Close February 2009
To be Brad Pitt is to know the bowels of hotels: the hidden mazes of back entrances, subterranean passages and service elevators daily trudged by housekeepers and room service waiters—and sometimes traveled by a VIP guest who needs secret conveyance to his suite. Thirty minutes before Pitt is scheduled to arrive at the Roosevelt Hotel in Hollywood on a Friday afternoon in December, his private security detail is scouting a route through the basement and issuing brisk instructions to hotel staff. In an earlier era, the mood of tense anticipation would have suggested the arrival of a political candidate, or perhaps a kingpin in illicit commodities, but today’s advance preparations are just for a 45-year-old actor, albeit one whose fame calls for an impervious security bubble to thwart overeager fans and aggressive photographers. Intensifying the situation is the fact that, a few days earlier, Pitt said on television that he “hates” the paparazzi—an arguably gratuitous comment, since, who didn’t already know that? “Now,” he announces when he blows through the door of the 12th-floor suite, motorcycle helmet in hand and aviator glasses still on his face, “they’re out for me.”