6 mar 2023

Brad Pitt and France: a long-standing love story

On Saturday 24th of February 2023, Brad Pitt gave David Fincher a pleasant surprise when he presented him with the Honorary César and took the audience at the César Awards ceremony by storm. Among smiles and standing ovations, his appearance sealed his beautiful (and mutual) love story with France. Throwback.

Brad Pitt at the 48th ceremony of the César Awards, at L’Olympia, Paris, February 24 2023. Photo by Stephane Cardinale – Corbis/Corbis via Getty Images

Brad Pitt’s multiple visits to France and his beautiful speech at the 2023 César Awards ceremony


It has been the landmark of the 2023 César ceremony, along with Jamel Debbouze’s introductory speech and Virginie Efira’s consecration. On Friday, February 24th, the evening was in full swing on the legendary stage of the Olympia when a major surprise came to raise the level of the event. Shortly after 10:30 pm and Virginie Efira’s lively speech, Brad Pitt made his entrance. His mission? To award the Honorary César to American filmmaker David Fincher together with the Belgian actress. The whole audience stood up with a smile on their face and stars in their eyes and gave the Hollywood star a big round of applause. The 59-year-old protagonist in Quentin Tarantino’s Once Upon a Time… in Hollywood (2019) – who doesn’t look his age at all – offered a humorous and spirited speech about the director of darkness with whom he has made three films (Seven, Fight Club and The Curious Case of Benjamin Button). Among other things, he declared that the American director was “the funniest bastard [he’s] ever met.” Later that same evening, Brad Pitt went to dinner at the Parisian institution Fouquet’s with his new girlfriend, Ines de Ramon.



A merger between his production company Plan B and the French audiovisual group Mediawan


His latest foray into the capital wasn’t just a show of admiration for one of his mentors. It was also an opportunity for him to strengthen his ties with France, a country with which he has a mutual love affair for over a decade now. Brad Pitt seems to come more often to the country whose heritage and respect for artists he admires, whether it is to promote new projects, spend holidays in the South, or for more professional matters. Indeed, Plan B Entertainment (World War Z, Twelve Years a Slave, The Tree of Life, Moonlight), the actor’s production company launched in 2002 with Jennifer Aniston before he took the reins alone, merged with the French audiovisual group Mediawan, which took control of it in 2022. Founded in 2015 by Pierre-Antoine Capton, Xavier Niel, and Matthieu Pigasse, the French company is behind the successful series Call My Agent! and the film The Stronghold (2020) by Cédric Jimenez. It is no mean feat…


Brad Pitt and Damien Quintard at the Miraval Studios by Hélène Hadjiyianni

The Miraval Studios adventure with Damien Quintard


The romance between the hero of Bullet Train (2022) and Molière’s home country isn’t new. In 2011, Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt, who were a couple at that time, bought the Miraval estate located in Correns, in the Var department, for the modest sum of $60 million after having rented it for three years. The sublime property, which looks like a village all to itself, includes a castle, many sculptures, a chapel, a lake, and extends over 600 hectares of forest and olive trees – several hectares are dedicated to a vineyard. Listed as a Maisons Nobles de France because the Prince of Naples settled there during the 16th century, the place eventually became the couple’s summer residence and an idyllic setting for the Brangelina’s wedding. A wine, the fruity Miraval Rosé, was also born there. More recently, a unisex, green cosmetics brand called Le Domaine was launched by Brad Pitt. In October 2022, Brad Pitt and Damien Quintard, an Emmy Award-winning French producer and collaborator of Arca and Brian Eno, finally reopened the doors of the music studios Miraval after a year-long renovation. Formerly known as Miraval Studios, the place has hosted Pink Floyd, AC/DC, The Cure, Sade, Sting, and Courtney Love, among others, for album recording sessions.



A retirement in the south of France


While many artists would be interested in a residency at Miraval Studios, Brad Pitt might also spend a lot more time at his estate. In January 2023, Page Six reported persistent rumors about the actor’s potential semi-retirement at Miraval. “He’ s considering leaving Hollywood and moving to France to do his vineyard, art, and make furniture,” an anonymous source claimed. A move that doesn’t seem as far-fetched as it sounds… Indeed, last January, Brad Pitt caused a sensation on the French TV channel TF1 with a sexy dance and a declaration of love to France with some jazz music in the background, suggesting that he might spend more time in France in the future. Invited to Le Journal de 20 heures, TF1’s evening news broadcast, for the release of Damien Chazelle’s film Babylon, the American actor declared: “I spent a few months here last year and it was wonderful. There’s definitely a reason why painters chose France. I’m thinking of spending half of the year here, which sounds rather exciting.” Along with Scarlett Johansson, Mick Jagger, George Clooney, and Hugh Grant, the star ranks among the list of international personalities who have spent part of the year in France. So, can Brad Pitt’s French neighbors look forward to an early morning encounter with the Hollywood star at the local bakery… in pyjamas?