TODAY   |  October 16, 2013

Brad Pitt talks turning 50 and ’12 Years a Slave’ role

The iconic actor sat down with NBC News’ Ann Curry to talk about his small role as an abolitionist in the new movie “12 Years a Slave” and share his thoughts on his upcoming 50th birthday.

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This content comes from Closed Captioning that was broadcast along with this program.

>> movie about a freeman kidnapped and sold into slavely. it's getting a lot of attention. pitt sat down to talk about his passion project and more.

>>> the director of the film said about you, without brad pitt this film would not have been made. he made the real contribution as the producer because he is so full on, direct and supportive to the film maker, how passionate are you about it?

>> it's why i got into film in the first place. it's one of the few films that cuts to the base of our humanity. it wasn't until i saw the story that i fully, fully grasped the utter horror of losing your freedom or denying another one their freedom, taking their freedom, splitting their family apart. it's abhorrent.

>> reporter: the film is based on the 1953 memoir.

>> days ago i was with my family, in my memo. now you tell me all of that is lost?

>> i have to say when i saw the movie, i was reminded of roots. when i was young, i saw roots and it was transformative.

>> yes, i remember too being rivoted very young.

>> do you see this as being something you'll show your own family and children?

>> absolutely.

>> now?

>> now, maybe my eldest i would right now. as the others get older and understand the dynamics of the world a little more.

>> you play samuel bass, a canadian, an abolitionist, a carpenter. you're in the movie for not quite eight minutes.

>> what amused me is your concern for my wellbeing in this heat when quite frankly the condition of your laborers, it's hard. it's all wrong. all wrong.

>> they ain't hired help. they're my property.

>> you say that with pride.

>> i say it as fact.

>> i'm there to support the story. the performance. these are such demanding parts. these guys had to keep themselves in this state of angst and longing and they did it. they held themselves through the entire film process.

>> what do you hope the audience --

>> i already know. it's not a hope. i already know. i know what this film is. i've been around film long enough i know the impact and this one will have continuing impact. i'm a movie goer. it was a big escape to open my eyes up to the world when i was a little kid. i loved going to see film. so i think of it from that side of it and i know the impact of this film.

>> so i need to ask you about turning 50. so --

>> you need to.

>> no, i don't have to. i'm more than 50.

>> so far i haven't minded it a bit. so no complaints.

>> and your feeling about where you are now?

>> i'm curious to see what it is.

>> there's an openness to it and cool?

>> cool, i don't know. i'm busy right now. i haven't thought about it.

>> i think he's cool.

>> he's pretty cool.

>> i'm going to see if he's cool when he finds out what miley cyrus said