Before his brief but memorable role in Thelma and Louise inspired women to slow down their vehicles hoping to pick up a hot, dimpled hitchhiker, Brad Pitt, 59, was an unknown actor, who off screen played the boyfriend to a young Juliette Lewis, whom he said was “one of the greatest relationships” of his life.
Dating back to before the star became an international heartthrob, Pitt was dating the much younger Lewis, whom he first met on the set of a TV movie, Too Young to Die, where he plays the slimy boyfriend to a young runaway, Lewis.
It was in 1990 when a Missouri boy started shaking up Hollywood, stealing every scene with his heart-melting smile, capped by his bleached blond hair and effortless ability to act.
Brad Pitt, a frighteningly handsome 27-year-old at the time, appeared in the TV movie, Too Young to Die, as the dirty boyfriend of a young runaway, played by the quirky Juliette Lewis, who was only 17 at the time.
Despite the 10-year age difference at the time, the two shared an unmistakable chemistry and became one of Hollywood’s hottest couples, and Lewis became the envy of many women.
Reflecting on their romance at the time, Lewis said, “We met on a movie of the week and started dating when it was over. I already liked him as an actor, plus you gotta respect somebody who’s in the same field as you.”
While Pitt was with Lewis, his career skyrocketed, starting with a very brief appearance as a cowboy hitchhiker in the 1991 road trip classic, Thelma and Louise, starring Geena Davis and Susan Sarandon. Despite his character robbing the women of all their money, fans were still left breathless by his screen time.
Pitt’s next big role was in 1992’s A River Runs Through It, that was directed by Robert Redford, and again women swooned over his boyish good looks and critics praised his performance.
Meanwhile, Lewis–the daughter of actor Geoffrey Lewis–wrapped up filming Martin Scorsese’s 1991 thriller, Cape Fear, a role she earned an Oscar nomination.
In their time together, the couple were the talk of the town, photographed together on red carpets, and hailed as one of the hottest couples of the early 1990s.
With the two actors on an intoxicating career trajectory, fans were excited to see them reunite in the 1993, film Kalifornia, where Pitt played a psychopathic serial killer, the abusive husband of Lewis’s character.
During the filming of the killer film, Lewis revealed her happiness in sharing screen time with her love. “We’re at the point in love where we just like to see each other every single day and we don’t get bored with each other, so it’s really, really nice.”
Pitt added, “You do a scene and then go over and grab the one you love. You want to keep your careers your careers and your love your love, but we just wanted to do it more for a vacation.”
But, the film bombed and so did their relationship.
Offering a glimpse into their once deep connection, Pitt told Vanity Fair in a 2011 interview, “I still love the woman. There’s some real genius there. I had a great time with her.” He continued, “Look, I don’t want to go into an explanation. She has her own views, and I respected those views. She does know people. It was one of the greatest relationships I’ve ever been in. The problem is, we grow up with this vision that love conquers all, and that’s just not so, is it?”
Before the star of Legends of the Fall was in a relationship with Lewis, he had been romantically linked to several other young actresses, including Jill Schoelen, whom he met on the set of the 1989 slasher film Cutting Class, and Christina Applegate, who in 1989 “ditched him for another dude.”
The bond he shared with Lewis was extraordinary and their relationship grew quickly.
The couple moved in together and commiserating on life as young, aspiring actors in Los Angeles. “It was such a lovely time in my life–well, in both of our lives–because we were anonymous,” Lewis shared, affectionately recalling their shared bungalow on Melrose, where they enjoyed their time together.
In a 1994 interview with Rolling Stone, the Bullet Train star joked that they “were trying to be Sid and Nancy [of the Sex Pistols] or something. We were idiots. We were just having a great time.”
The Interview with a Vampire star was then married to the star of Friends, Jennifer Aniston from 2000 to 2005, and then Angelina Jolie, from 2014 to 2019.
He holds two Academy Awards for his performances in 2014’s 12 Years a Slave and 2020’s Once Upon a Time in Hollywood, a film he also earned a Golden Globe, the second after his earlier win in the 1995 film 12 Monkeys.
Lewis went on to appear in What’s Eating Gilbert Grape with Johnny Depp, From Dusk Till Dawn with George Clooney and Natural Born Killers with Woody Harrelson. The 50-year-old actor, who was born into Scientology, married professional skateboarder Steve Berra in 1999 and divorced in 2003.
“People ask me about him [Brad Pitt] just because he’s famous. They don’t really ask about my ex-husband, which is a far more significant relationship because we were married,” Lewis said.
Years later, Lewis shared her thoughts on her relationship with Hollywood’s hottest star, revealing that she’s puzzled why it’s still being discussed. “He’s not in my universe at all now. It seems like a high-school relationship because now he’s a very famous person. I look at this person that I shared a bit of history with. I hope he finds happiness because I genuinely loved him. He’s a very stand-up, good guy.”
Brad Pitt is such an impressive actor and let’s face it, that smile of his is unparalleled.
It’s always interesting to learn about actors in their early days, like the relationship between Pitt and a young Juliette Lewis.
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