Entertainment

Brad Pitt: Hollywood has turned its back on drugs

Hollywood has largely turned the page on drug-related extremes, say Brad Pitt and Margot Robbie, the stars of “Babylon,” a film about the hedonistic lifestyle of the 1920s film Mecca that enters the the competition for the “Oscar” awards, reported France Press.

The long-awaited Paramount film, directed by Damien Chazelle (“La La Land,” “Whiplash”), was screened to critics for the first time Monday night at the American Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences in Los Angeles, which annually awards the prestigious honors.

Tobey Maguire and Gene Smart also star in the film, which chronicles the fortunes of mostly fictional Hollywood actors and directors trying to make the transition from silent to talkies, but also a lifestyle of wild, cocaine-fueled parties.

“There’s a lot less drugs in Hollywood today,” said Margot Robbie, when asked during a post-screening discussion if the film made her nostalgic for the so-called. “golden era” of the film industry.

“Unfortunately, it’s true,” joked Brad Pitt in turn.

Babylon is one of the last Academy Award nominees. The film will be released in North America on December 23 – in time to be considered for the race for the honors, which will be presented in March next year, BTA reports.

Elephants and topless dancers

Damien Chazelle made movie history in 2017 when, at age 32, he became the youngest winner of a director’s Oscar for his ode to Hollywood musicals, La La Land. Previously, his film Whiplash (2014) was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Screenplay.

For three hours, “Babylon” tells about the Los Angeles of the 1920s and 1930s, about the lavish parties with elephants and topless dancers and about the expensive photos in the Californian desert.

The film also deals with racism, as well as the devastating effect of rapid technological change on silent film stars, some of whom become redundant literally overnight.

Damien Chazelle explains that he was inspired by what he read as “a strange phenomenon in the late 1920s when there was an epidemic of suicides, deaths that appeared to be due to drug overdoses.

The phenomenon coincides with Hollywood’s transition to talkies and gives it a “brutal look,” says the director, whose characters are based on several real-life movie stars and tycoons of the time.

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