Brad Pitt, SJ

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.) 

Advertisement

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 are automatically closed two weeks after an article's initial publication. See our comments policy for more.
9 years 1 month ago
He's definitely more the Dominican type. Or, perhaps, a deacon.
9 years 1 month ago
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?
9 years 1 month ago
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?
9 years 1 month ago
I could picture Pitt slaughtering the Roman accent. Please God, no Pitt!
9 years 1 month ago
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.
9 years 1 month ago
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.
9 years 1 month ago
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
9 years 1 month ago
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.
9 years 1 month ago
Not a good choice. Brad Pitt projects about as much compassion as his namesake, my neighbor's Pitt Bull named Brad.
8 years 11 months ago
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.
8 years 10 months ago
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.
8 years 9 months ago
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. ;-)
8 years 2 months ago
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.

Advertisement

Don't miss the best from America

Sign up for our Newsletter to get the Jesuit perspective on news, faith and culture.

The latest from america

Pope Francis issues public correction to Cardinal Robert Sarah on who has final say over liturgical translations.
Gerard O'ConnellOctober 22, 2017
It is astonishing to think that God would choose to enter the world this way: as a fragile newborn who could not even hold up his own head without help.
Ginny Kubitz MoyerOctober 20, 2017
Protestors rally to support Temporary Protected Status near the U.S. Capitol in Washington on Sept. 26. (CNS photo/Tyler Orsburn)
Around 200,000 Salvadorans and 57,000 Hondurans have been residing in the United States for more than 15 years under Temporary Protected Status. But that status is set to expire in early 2018.
J.D. Long-GarcíaOctober 20, 2017
At the heart of Anne Frank’s life and witness is a hopeful faith in humanity.
Leo J. O'Donovan, S.J.October 20, 2017