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Last Updated: Friday, 14 May, 2004, 09:53 GMT 10:53 UK
Pitt compares Troy with Iraq war
By Ian Youngs
BBC News Online correspondent in Cannes

Eric Bana, Brad Pitt and Orlando Bloom
Troy stars Eric Bana, Brad Pitt and Orlando Bloom
Troy stars Brad Pitt and Saffron Burrows have drawn parallels between the war in Iraq and the bloodshed between ancient nations in the film.

Pitt, who plays Achilles in the ancient Greek story, said at the film's opening in Cannes: "The themes that Homer had still resonate today."

Burrows described a "terrible sense of deja vu about what the Trojans faced and what we're facing at the moment".

The film, which opens in the US on Friday, has so far had mixed reviews.

Troy, which cost $200m (115m) to make, is based on Homer's Iliad and also stars Lord of the Rings' Orlando Bloom, Hulk star Eric Bana and British stars Julie Christie, Brian Cox and Peter O'Toole.

Brad Pitt in Troy

The film was famously forced to move locations from Morocco to Mexico when film studio Warners decided Morocco was too dangerous when the Iraq war broke out.

Pitt added that "mistakes and successes" from history were "there for us to learn from or ignore".

"You cannot watch a historic story without being informed about what we're going through now," he said.

"We're all after the same thing - this greater idea of common humanity and how do we get past these hatreds and resentments that have built between us."

Burrows, who plays Andromache, wife of Troy's Prince Hector, said conflict between countries was "an eternal problem and it is entirely pertinent today".

And the warmongering kings in the film, particularly brothers Agamemnon and Menelaus were reminiscent of "a fraternity in the world at the moment".

Pitt also spoke of themes running through Hollywood, and said it was currently going through a phase of making grand historical tales.

The movie trend came from "our collective consciousness", he said - but he added the film industry would probably soon be back to making baseball movies.

But he added that starring in one ancient war movie was enough, saying: "I'm done with the skirt."

But he added his wife Jennifer Aniston, the star of US sitcom Friends, liked his costume so much she asked him to take it home.

Fleeting fame

Pitt said his role as the fabled warrior required "the physical side, great research and great personalisation".

His most demanding scene made him "want to drop", he said. "But at the same time, that's what we're going for, that's what we are after," he said.

But unlike the hero he portrays, who is driven by the prospect of going down in history, Pitt said he knew his own fame would not last for ever.

Bloom, who shot to fame in The Lord of the Rings, plays the young prince Paris who sparks the legendary war between the Greeks and Trojans.

"For the younger generation, it's going to be able to bring these stories to life. It's great to keep them alive," he said.

If Homer would be able to look down on us today, I think he would say 'take the Gods out'
Director Wolfgang Petersen
He admitted the film has taken "quite a bit of liberty" with Homer's original tale, according to director Wolfgang Petersen, who previously made Das Boot, Air Force One and In the Line of Fire.

The film dispenses with the Gods who appear to steer the action in the 3,000-year-old story.

It would be "laughable" to modern audiences to have the Gods turn up in the film, he said, adding he thought Homer would "understand".


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