In a recent interview with Esquire, Harrison Ford looked back on the time he shot the 1997 film ‘The Devil’s Own’ with Brad Pitt. During the conversation, he revealed his thoughts about Pitt and expressed his admiration for him despite the challenges of working with the actor.
Asked to explain why shooting ‘The Devil’s Own’ was challenging for him, Ford started by revealing his thoughts on Pitt’s acting talent. He said:
“Heh. Yeah, I remember why. Brad developed the script. Then they offered me the part. I saved my comments about the character and the construction of the thing — I admired Brad. First of all, I admire Brad. I think he’s a wonderful actor. He’s a really decent guy.”
He then continued, revealing why the two had clashed in the set:
“But we couldn’t agree on a director until we came to Alan Pakula, who I had worked with before but Brad had not. Brad had this complicated character, and I wanted a complication on my side so that it wasn’t just a good-and-evil battle. And that’s when I came up with the bad-shooting thing.”
In the film, Pitt portrayed Frankie McGuire, who was an IRA member planning to obtain anti-aircraft missiles in the USA to shoot down British helicopters. Ford, on the other hand, played NYPD Sergeant Tom O’Meara, who is determined to stop McGuire. As Harison recalls, the two had different ideas about the script:
“I worked with a writer — but then all the sudden we’re shooting, and we didn’t have a script that Brad and I agreed on. Each of us had different ideas about it. I understand why he wanted to stay with his point of view, and I wanted to stay with my point of view — or I was imposing my point of view, and it’s fair to say that that’s what Brad felt. It was complicated. I like the movie very much. Very much.”
Back in 2011, Brad Pitt told Entertainment Weekly that he liked the film. However, he thought it could’ve been better:
“I really like ‘Devil’s Own.’ It was a good schooling for me. Still, I think the movie could have been better. Literally, the script got thrown out. Larry Gordon, the producer, is a good friend of mine. He said to me point-blank, ‘I understand if you want to go away. We’re throwing the script out. Make your choice, big man. You can come with us — we’re going to figure it out as we go along — or you’re free to walk.’ And I decided to stay.“
‘The Devil’s Own’ was the final film directed by Alan Pakula, who passed away in 1998. Despite the conflicts between Pitt and Ford and the negative criticisms, the film grossed $140 million after its release.