This morning’s news about Brad and Angie getting married made me smile. I still feel a little proprietary about them. For a few years, Brad Pitt was attached to play the lead in a Warner Brothers production of The Sparrow. He was, reportedly, passionate about the book and I was told he gave copies of it to friends for Christmas one year.
I never spoke to Mr. Pitt directly, but I came close in 2009 when I got a call from the producer Nick Wechsler. “Brad is in New York for the opening of ‘The Time Traveler’s Wife’,” Nick told me. “He’d like to bring you to the city on Thursday to talk about The Sparrow.”
When I got this call, I was in a big rented ocean-front house on Folly Beach, just south of Charleston, S.C. “Nick,” I said, “Don and I are on vacation with our son and daughter-in-law. This is the first vacation my husband and I have had in years. We’re only here for a week. If I fly up to New York for a Thursday meeting, I’ll miss most of the time we’ve got left. Can we change the date? Maybe push it to next week?”
Nick said, “I’ll see what I can do.”
Goggle-eyed, I went downstairs and told my family what was going on. “Talk about chutzpah! I just asked Brad Pitt to change his schedule for me.”
When my daughter-in-law stopped squealing, my son looked around and said, “It’s a big house. Tell him to bring Angie and the kids down here after the opening. We’ll put them up for the weekend!”
About an hour later, Nick called back to say that Brad would only be in New York overnight before leaving the country again. “Are you sure you can’t take a day for this? Brad would love to talk to you.”
“No,” I said. “I really need this time with my husband.”
“Well, we’ll see if we can make this work another time.”
“That would be lovely,” I said. “Give Mr. Pitt my best.”
Then I went downstairs and told everybody what just happened. My daughter-in-law looked at my husband and asked, “Do you know what just happened? Your wife just blew off Brad Pitt for YOU.”
As it happened, Mr. Pitt held the rights to two SF novels at the time and he ended up making “World War Z” instead of “The Sparrow.” Maybe if I’d gone to New York, things would have turned out differently, but I have no regrets. I haven’t read World War Z, but heard that the movie was only vaguely reminiscent of the novel it was based on, so maybe it’s just as well that The Sparrow remains a good book instead of a so-so movie. And it really was a wonderful vacation.
As for the Jolie-Pitt newlyweds, I wish them what Don and I wished for our son and daughter-in-law when they got married seven years ago. “May you be as happy as we are when you’ve been married as long as we have.” Next week is our 44th anniversary, and life just doesn’t get much better than what Don and I have had together.