Actor Brad Pitt moves from on the screen to behind the scenes as a producer

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Actor Brad Pitt moves from on the screen to behind the scenes as a producer

LOS ANGELES - Never content to be just another Hollywood hunk, Brad Pitt these days is not just one of America’s most bankable film stars but also a sought-after and influential movie producer.

The actor, 48, starred in the critically acclaimed “Moneyball” for which he has won a best actor Oscar nomination to this year’s awards, as well as in the art film “The Tree of Life.”

But these days, it is Pitt’s work as a producer that most sets his heart racing. The actor, who says he is a “perfectionist” when it comes to his work, is on a mission to make sure that quality films, not just mindless trifles, get made in Hollywood.

In “Moneyball,” Pitt played the role of Billy Beane, a baseball manager who developed a quirky but effective statistically-based approach to spotting on-field talent.

Pitt relished his Oscar-nominated role in the film, but said he may have gotten even more satisfaction as its producer.

“Any movie you see here today wouldn’t have made it to the screen, unless you had someone with the idea that this would make a good movie and then the fortitude and luck to push it through,” Pitt told AFP.

“Each one of these movies took some heavy lifting. That’s why I enjoy the producing side so much.”

His work on the production side of the film business had been made possible via his Plan B Entertainment film production company.

Over the years he has produced some two dozen films, including “Running with Scissors” and “The Year of the Dog” - movies without a commercial Hollywood aesthetic and that might never have been made if not for his involvement.

Another Plan B project was last year’s “The Tree of Life,” which Pitt also starred in and which was directed by Terrence Malick.

“Terrence would get up in the morning and just kind of type like a stream-of-conscious ideas of today’s scenes. And he would come and give us his pages. And we would only do a couple takes,” the actor said, with a clear appreciation for this fly-by-the-seat-of-your-pants approach to acting.

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