The National Catholic Review

For those of you who enjoyed Mary Doria Russell’s bestselling science-fiction novel, "The Sparrow," about a group of Jesuit scientists and lay colleagues who discover life on far-off planet with some tragic results, comes this bit of casting news.  Many years ago there were rumors that the part of Father Emilio Sandoz, S.J., had been offered to, or at least considered by, Antonio Banderas.  (Trivia: Banderas’ cousin was a kindly Jesuit brother who cared for Pedro Arrupe, S.J., the former superior general, during his last years in the Jesuit infirmary in Rome.) 

Brad Pitt is certainly a talented actor, but the question remains: Is he handsome enough to play a Jesuit priest? 

Photo: Brad Pitt, SJ (Pictured here in his black clerical suit, though on a day when his Roman collar was at the dry cleaners.)

James Martin, SJ

Comments

Anonymous | 8/1/2009 - 9:40pm
Antonio Antonio...has heart, intellect, soul and the physical description...I would love to see him bring Emilo Sandoz to us.
Perhaps Brad could render Father Marc, the Canadian Botanist/artist with a greater believability.  
Brad just doesn't have the warmth, intellect, humor and physical description which make this character so rich.
Anonymous | 1/5/2009 - 3:54pm
Speaking back in 2006 (at the Festival of Faith and Writing), Mary Doria Russell stated that Brad Pitt's interest in the role was a key to the selling of the movie rights. She also noted that her kids would now be going to college debt-free, and expressed no concerns about the casting choice or screenplay adaptation. It's always about the money. ;-)
Anonymous | 12/21/2008 - 6:50pm
It's not a question of can a handsome talented married man play a celebate sometimes controversal structured spiritual leader. I guess what most people wonder is can a man who has made releif efforts in another country play a man who jioned a missions driven order. And do it well.
Anonymous | 10/30/2008 - 2:01pm
Interestingly enough, my last name is Sandoz and I am a former Jesuit. In response to the question is Pitt handsome enough to play a Jesuit? No, I would have preferred Banderas. And in my days as an SJ I was more handsome than Pitt, but not as charming as Banderas.
Anonymous | 8/29/2008 - 7:56pm
Not a good choice. Brad Pitt projects about as much compassion as his namesake, my neighbor's Pitt Bull named Brad.
Anonymous | 8/29/2008 - 6:37pm
Somebody I know suggested the Mexican actor Eduardo Verástegui. He starred in the film 'Bella.' Also he is a devout Catholic. My sister Theresa thinks it should be this Mexican actor. My sister and I are prejudiced: our maternal grandparents were Mexican and, like Verástegui, they had a Basque last name.
Anonymous | 8/29/2008 - 2:39am
I knew if I couldn't sleep, I'd find something interesting to read over here tonight. Hmmm... I could Photoshop in a Roman Collar in the picture, just to see if he can pull off the look. Maybe he's more the diocesan priest type? Maria
Anonymous | 8/28/2008 - 2:42pm
No, Brad Pitt isn't handsome enough to play a Jesuit. I suggest Jake Gyllenhaal (Donny Darko), who's not only attractive but has a quality of vulnerability that would suit a Jesuit missionary.
Anonymous | 8/28/2008 - 11:03am
I don't think Brad Pitt is handsome enough to play the part of a Jesuit. I think they should get a Spaniard to play the part. To this day the most memorable Jesuits I ever listened to were a couple of Spanish Jesuits. I heard them preach when I was a kid. They should get a Spanish actor. I opt for somebody who is Basque. I am prejudice, my late mother's last name was Basque.
Anonymous | 9/3/2008 - 2:24pm
I could picture Pitt slaughtering the Roman accent. Please God, no Pitt!
Anonymous | 8/29/2008 - 11:35pm
Hi, Father Jim, This is one of your friends from St. Mary's in Scituate, Mass. Thanks for a great talk on humor and spirituality! I see you intend to keep your audience still laughing. Well, to answer your question. Oh yes, Brad Pitts IS certainly HANDSOME enough to attempt to play a Jesuit. BUT, is he SOULFUL enough ...???? Kidding aside now, I loved Russel's book and its sequel, so profound and so provocative. Hard to imagine golden boy Pitt playing the dark, tortured soul Fr.Emilio' S.J. tragically becomes as "the sparrow" that falls from grace. O, Antonio, where art thou?
Anonymous | 8/29/2008 - 4:34pm
I think the better question would be, "Is Brad Pitt Latino enough to play Emilio Sandez?" Why must Hollywood whiten perfectly good characters like this?
Anonymous | 8/28/2008 - 11:31am
He's definitely more the Dominican type. Or, perhaps, a deacon.