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March 10, 2023

Brad Pitt the Alien Photographed by Mark Seliger for Rolling Stone in 1999

In 1999 Mark Seliger was chief photographer for Rolling Stone – he held the position from 1992 to 2002 – and earlier this year Seliger and Brad Pitt met in the lobby of the Chateau Marmont in Los Angeles. The two had worked together several times before, and Pitt, who is always very creatively involved on his work, tells Seliger, “I have a really weird idea”.

“The strange idea” of Pitt was to wear mainly clothes, but also accessories, typically as a woman but not as if it were a disguise, but as if he were an alien from another planet heedless of the prejudices and unaware of the comments that would surely arise after the publication of the service.

At the time, Pitt had just finished filming David Fincher’s Fight Club, released in September 1999 (the shoot was a month later), in which he plays the alter ego of Edward Norton’s character/protagonist, Tyler Darden. For the film, Pitt had worked a lot on his body – as had Norton – increasing its structure by practicing boxing, Taekwondo and wrestling, shaving his hair and having his incisors chipped on purpose by his dentist, to be more believable in the role. This look would have certainly made a fistfight with Pitt’s idea of wearing purely feminine clothes, and this pleased Seliger as well.

In the interview that later accompanied the shoot, Pitt stated that he wanted to present himself as “some alternative to modern living” and about the looks chosen he added: “There’s nothing to talk about. I couldn’t just sit there and be pretty guy again... I think that dress looked pretty damn good. Truthfully, I don’t know what the hell I was doing. It just felt better than anything else.”


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