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Oops! Was Brad Pitt mistranslated? August 23, 2009

Posted by Jill (@bonnjill) in Translation.

The other day it was reported that Brad Pitt called Tom Cruise’s World War II movie Valkyrie “a ridiculous movie,” and the media was crowing about how Pitt and Cruise would most likely never work together again.

The Internet Movie Database is now reporting that Brad Pitt’s publicists are claiming he was mistranslated in an interview about his new film, Inglourious Basterds, with the German magazine Stern. They insist the actor didn’t take aim at his Interview With A Vampire co-star and that he was misquoted. A spokesman for the star says, “Brad has never seen Valkyrie so this is not accurate.” Ouch! I don’t know if that quote is any better…

I searched the Stern website and can’t find the original interview. I’d love to know what he actually said and what the translation was to see if he was indeed misquoted. I’d hate to be the translator behind this translation mistake – if it indeed happened and isn’t just PR spin.



1. Craig - August 23, 2009

Here you go:

Brad Pitt hält “Operation Walküre”, das aufwendige Stauffenberg-Drama mit Tom Cruise, für einen “lächerlichen Film”.


He does not have to have seen it to have called it ridiculous.

2. Technology - August 23, 2009

That doesn’t sound like Brad. It will probably turn out to be a lie.

3. jillsommer - August 23, 2009

Thanks for the link, Craig. Well, that certainly doesn’t seem like a mistranslation. If you ask me someone’s PR team dreamed up a bit of controversy to get folks talking about the film and are now claiming it didn’t happen. It happens all the time in Hollywood. Couples that aren’t really couples, hook-ups that never happened, co-stars dating, etc. but tons of speculation, which creates buzz.

4. Sonja - August 23, 2009

Oh, that reminds me of that famous interview of Tom Cruise that was published in Bunte (?) or some other German magazine. Back then, one of his answers in the interview was that he was infertile and therefore not able to have kids of his own (that being the reason why he and he’s ex-wife adopted children). Shortly after it was published, Cruise claimed the magazine had mistranslated this part and sued them.

Now that he has a kid of his own I guess there is some truth to this… if that kid is really his flesh and blood, of course.

5. doviende - August 28, 2009

it’s not a mistranslation from german to english, but it could be a mistranslation from the original english in the interview into german (and same with the “infertile” comment by cruise perhaps).

6. Aurora Milster - September 3, 2010

Besides Brad PItt’s looks, he actually can act. He is a moviestar who does not repeat himself, he does not act the same kind of character all the time. He did make some bad movies, but that does not make him a bad artist.

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