Vanity Fair published an excerpt from Legends of the Fall director Ed Zwick‘s new memoir on Tuesday (February 6th), in which he details the “volatile” fights he got into with Brad Pitt on the set of the 1994 movie.
Zwick writes in Hits, Flops, and Other Illusions: My Fortysomething Years in Hollywood that Pitt “wanted to quit” the film after the first table read. “It fell to producer Marshall Herskovitz to talk Brad off the ledge,” the Blood Diamond director explained. “It was the first augury of the deeper springs of emotion roiling inside Brad. He seems easygoing at first, but he can be volatile when riled.”
Zwick added that the Meet Joe Black actor “would get edgy whenever he was about to shoot a scene that required him to display deep emotion.”
One day on set, Zwick gave Pitt an acting note in front of the cast and crew—which he admits was “a stupid, shaming provocation.” This caused the pair to get into a big fight.
“I don’t know who yelled first, who swore, or who threw the first chair. Me, maybe? But when we looked up, the crew had disappeared,” Zwick wrote. “And this wasn’t the last time it happened. Eventually the crew grew accustomed to our dustups and would walk away and let us have it out. ‘We hate it when the parents fight,’ said one.”