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Actor Brad Pitt on the red carpet gala for the new movie 12 Years a Slave during the 2013 Toronto International Film Festival, Sept. 6, 2013. (Nathan Denette/The Canadian Press)
Actor Brad Pitt on the red carpet gala for the new movie 12 Years a Slave during the 2013 Toronto International Film Festival, Sept. 6, 2013. (Nathan Denette/The Canadian Press)

I met Brad Pitt. He’s not a jerk Add to ...

Talking to a celebrity is a surreal experience. The moment they step in front of your camera on the red carpet the bubble between celebrity culture and real life bursts and there is a flash of consciousness that these mega-stars/uber-humans are actually just people.

And often they are not nice people. Or at least not nice to media. And some days, I’m sympathetic (only when my feet aren’t throbbing from my red carpet heels). I get it. It sucks to be hustled down a line of 60 reporters, all asking the same, generally fluffy questions.

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But then you meet a star who is actually thoughtful and passionate about something and it restores your faith in the celebrity race.

Thank you, Brad Pitt, you did this for me. Thank you for not being a jerk.

Some context: Pitt was in Toronto promoting his new film, 12 Years a Slave , directed by Steve McQueen. Pitt is not only a character – he plays a Canadian abolitionist in the historical drama based on the life of Solomon Northup – but was also one of the producers.

The movie follows the journey of a free black man in the mid-1800s who is kidnapped and sold into slavery.

I have to say that when I first spotted Pitt’s blond ponytail at the beginning of carpet, I glanced at my phone. It was about 10 minutes to the start of the movie. I had sort of given up hope that I’d even get a good shot of Pitt walking by me.

But slowly and methodically he made this way down, speaking to pretty much all of the media outlets. Right there, he scored big ‘he’s-not-a-jerk’ points.

When Pitt finally made it to the end of the carpet (I was in spot 48 out of 60), he scored more points by giving thoughtful answers about slavery and human trafficking, talking about how as humans we all have a responsibility to care for each other.

Certainly, he could have just been paying lip service to an important global issue. Cripes, his partner is Angelina Jolie, the supreme UN do-gooder. But the guy gushed sincerity.

Perhaps I was star-struck. Or perhaps Brad Pitt has got your back. At least metaphysically speaking.

(And to all of the Brad Pitt worshipers out there, yes, he is as stunningly handsome in real life as he is on the big screen.)

Follow on Twitter: @_mjwhite

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