May 17th, 2011
12:24 PM ET
Filmmaker Terrence Malick's latest, "The Tree of Life," has been alternately described as a “tone poem” delving into issues about faith, family and forgiveness and a “coming of age story about the universe,” so it’s understandable that Monday's Cannes press event got a little heavy.
The movie tells the story of a Midwestern family in the 1950s, with Brad Pitt playing the authoritative father raising three kids along with his wife, played by Jessica Chastain.
Although Pitt, a father of six, joked that his parenting style isn't quite the same as the character he plays in Malick's film, the story does raise a lot of the same questions about spirituality he had as a child.
"Many people find religion to be very inspiring," he told reporters. "Myself, I found it very stifling."
Pitt said that he grew up “being told God is going to take care of everything and it doesn't always work out that way. And then you're told 'Well, it's God's will'...I grew up with Christianity and I remember questioning it greatly. Some things didn't work for me. Some things did. I had a lot of the questions that the film presents. That's why it spoke to me." The 47-year-old actor admitted, "I got my issues. Man, you don't want to get me started."
Pitt said he almost didn’t get started with the "Tree of Life" at all, because he was concerned about how his role as a sometimes angry and cruel father would affect his kids.
“I think of everything I do now [as] my kids are going to see [it] when they grow up and how are they going to feel,” Pitt said. “But they know me as a dad and I hope they’ll just think of me as a pretty damn good actor.”
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