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David Leon: Brad Pitt's Acting is Underappreciated

David Leon: Brad Pitt's Acting is Underappreciated

David Leon looks spiffy in Bottega Veneta for the fourth issue of Var贸n, on stands worldwide September 8.

The 32-year-old British actor starred in 2004′s Alexander (Angelina Jolie and Colin Farrell) and 2008′s RocknRolla (Gerard Butler) but next year sees his directional feature film debut. Here’s what David told the magazine’s Senior Editor Anders Christian Madsen:

On getting Brad Pitt‘s part in RocknRolla: “I was auditioning for another part and Guy said, ‘I’ve got this part that Brad Pitt is playing. Would you like to audition for the part of his best mate?’ And I of course thought it would be great to work with Brad Pitt, but then he dropped out because of scheduling problems and Guy said, ‘Do you want to play Brad’s part?’ I of course said yes but I always felt this monkey at my back because it was a bit like鈥”they’re big f–king shoes to fill, you know? After I’d done my first scene, I still thought to myself, ‘Yeah it was alright but Brad would have done it better’. But after a period of time, it became clear that Guy was happy with it.”

On Brad’s looks vs. acting: “I think his acting is kind of under-appreciated. He’s a classic example of looks overshadowing the talent. His body of work is very diverse, and he’s taken some very big risks. If you compare him with other leading men like Tom Cruise – who’s very good in his own way – they’re not quite as brave.”

Other British actors pictured below: Captain America‘s Jack Gordon (in Kenzo Homme), The Vampire DiariesJoseph Morgan (in Mugler), The BorgiasLuke Pasqualino, Luke Treadaway (in Lanvin), and One Day‘s Matthew Beard (in Burberry Prorsum).

Click inside to read more interview snippets…

‘Var贸n’ Magazine Interviews Continued –

Matthew Beard on why he doesn’t do teen flicks: “I don’t really get sent those scripts, because I’m not really going to play a jock heartthrob鈥”I mean, it’s not like I’m going to be in Twilight 12 any time soon. At the moment it’s all about fairytales, isn’t it? Those scripts just confuse me. I don’t really see what’s so interesting about it. I didn’t audition for any of them. I mean, there’s no point in going if you’re not interested.”

Matthew Beard on his role in One Day: “I play one of a set of twins – his name is Murray – and he’s an obnoxious, spoiled brat. Pretty much the opposite of my part in An Education. I really enjoyed it. And mostly, I enjoyed teasing Jim Sturgess on set.”

Luke Treadaway on watching his own films: “It’s like when you used to get your holiday photos back from development, and you’d sit and look at them and remember the different experiences. So when I watch something I’m in, I’m like, ‘Oh that was the day it was raining,’ or, ‘That was the day we had to wait for hours,’ and so on. So I love looking at it for the memories of that, you know, amazing gang of sixty who made that film or whatever it might be. It’s fun.”

Joseph Morgan on joining Twitter and finding fake Twitter profiles in his name: “I decided to open a Twitter account, and since I had no followers I texted Nina [Dobrev], who plays Catherine and Elena on the show, and said, ‘Would you mind just putting a tweet out saying this is actually me?’ There were already a couple of impersonators on there pretending to be me… I followed one of these guys for, like, a week and he’d write stuff like, ‘Going to set, really nervous,’ and so on. So that’s part of the reason I joined. And also, his grammar was so bad that I thought I’d do something about this representation of me. Overnight I had 22,000 followers just because of Nina’s tweet and the anticipation of this character.” . (Follow Joseph and on Twitter @JosephMorgan @JaredEng and @JustJared!)

Joseph Morgan on who he drew inspiration from for Klaus on The Vampire Diaries: “Tom Cruise‘s Lestat in Interview With The Vampire. Especially for when we were doing the period stuff. It’s the idea that you don’t want to be alone in a room with this guy because he can kiss you or kill you, and it all means the same to him. For the sociopathic nature of the character, I drew on Hannibal Lecter. That kind of playfulness…”

Joseph Morgan on being in Immortals with John Hurt: “We did a table reading before we started filming. John Hurt started reading in his amazing voice and it was like, you know… ‘Many moons ago…’ And I just sort of died inside. It was so amazing.”

On Immortals, out November 11: “I play a character called Lysander, who’s a rival to Henry Cavill‘s character, Theseus. When King Hyperion starts attacking our town, we have to escape. There’s a scene in which the Minotaur uses a huge mullet to smash in my genitals and destroy my hopes of reproducing. So this seven foot guy with a huge real mullet is told, ‘Just stop it right before it hits him. Swing it like it’s gonna hit really hard, though’.”

Jack Gordon on filming Captain America: “It was amazing – it was huge. The film cost something like $150 million. I had a chat with the director, who said to me, ‘You know, it is a fairly stressful time when you know you’re spending [about] $5,000 a minute’. So the fact that there’s a man spending money – even when he sleeps – of course influences you as an actor.”

Luke Pasqualino on being stalked by fans: “I had one follow me back to my apartment when I was in America once. We’d been to a bar for a few drinks, and when I came out this girl was standing outside. She asked me for a photo and I was like, ‘Yeah, no problem’. So I got in a car and left, and when I got to my apartment, there she was… like, ‘Hi’.”

Luke Pasqualino on being naked on the Showtime series The Borgias: “Whether or not you’re alright being naked is a decision you have to make at some point. You’re playing a character but sometimes it’s hard to separate yourself from that. It very much depends on
the content of the scene, but it comes with the job.”

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Photos: Thomas Lohr, Anthony Stephinson (fashion editor)
Posted to: David Leon, Jack Gordon, Joseph Morgan, Luke Pasqualino, Luke Treadaway, Matthew Beard

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  • http://justjared POLO

    BRAD PITT i waaaayyyyyyyyyyy sexier and good-looking than tom cruise. he’s acting is way better. tom can never beat brad pitt or even go near that.

  • rolling my eyes

    Underappreciated? the guys butt is kissed for every movie he does …even when he sucks!

  • Jones

    Couldn’t agree more with the headline. Brad Pitt is a phenomenal actor and is truly under appreciated by the powers that be in Hollywood. He’s given some truly diverse and iconic film performances including 12 Monkeys, A River Runs Through it, Fight Club, Snatch, Babel, Benjamin Button and Tree of Life. He was so deserving of an Oscar nod for The Assassination of Jesse James. That oversight was a dam.n shame. Such an amazing performance and he nailed it. Hope this is his year. He’s LONG overdue. David Leon, you just won major points with me. Great interview! Thanks Jared!

  • Dakota

    What a wonderful compliment by David Leon to Brad Pitt on his acting! Brad has always said he wants to be known as a character actor and has certainly played a variety of roles. Hopefully this year he will be rewarded.

  • teree

    I always felt that if one was to take an OBJECTIVE view of all of Pitt’s body of work they would see his talent. I think, like Paul Newman was, he is under-rated by the critics (not the populace) and will sadly, not be recognized by them until he is older.

  • [~Fug Face Man!ston~]

    @POLO: ..See, this is why everyone thinks their fans are fcuking nutjobs.

  • lola

    Pleased to see David Leon & the other guys getting some recognition.

  • ME

    I agree. His acting is underappreciated, but then again…he does get some of the best film roles out there and constantly works with the best of the best when it comes to directors. He’s also got his own production company and has been nominated for a couple of Oscars.

    I think his talent is very much appreciated, but I think the media tends to overlook it in favor of his personal life.

  • Heisenberg

    Brad Pitt in a pretty mediocre actor.

  • ME


    He should be for Tree of Life. I’m sure he will at least get a nomination.

  • michelle

    Brad Pitt is acting the same character very often. he needs to diversify. Many people think his acting is amazing but I think it is just ok. He is beautiful but not a great actor

  • michelle

    @ME: he doesn’t deserve a nomitation for that acting!

  • onyx

    All that he say is right.

  • toria


    You obviously have not seen many of his films if you think he plays the same character over and over. Go to IMDb and look at his films. He has taken risk after risk and presents a very diverse portfolio.

  • Kirsten

    I completely agree. I always saw him as an overrated celebrity but an underrated actor. Even when he was younger he did roles like Kalifornia, True Romance and 12 Monkeys to prove he wasn’t just a pretty boy. He is so versatile.

  • Elena

    He is not underappreciated. He has two Oscar nominations. Jesus christ. Sam Rockwell, now he is underappreciated.

  • Faye88

    Dakota @ 09/09/2011 at 11:54 am
    A few years ago another actor (his name has slipped my mind) said Brad was a great character actor with a leading man’s face. I do hope Brad gets another Oscar nod for Tree of Life and/or Moneyball, and wins.

  • didi

    Well i love BRAD PITT love the person,the acting,and yes He has taken risk and OUI he presents a very diverse portfolio.
    Has leading man鈥檚 face,not like alot of actors from his generation are doing so well..

  • juniper

    I think Tom Cruise showed is acting ability in Magnolia.