Hollywood superstar Brad Pitt, who enjoys global recognition, landed here on Wednesday morning on a surprise visit avoiding shutterbugs and paparazzi to promote his forthcoming Netflix film "War Machine". He will be in conversation with Indian superstar Shah Rukh Khan.
"War Machine" is his co-production, which will stream on the US-based on-demand streaming website from Friday.
With no big announcement about his arrival and no publicity around it -- unlike that of Vin Diesel, Justin Bieber or Jackie Chan in recent times, Pitt's India visit was a well-guarded secret. Even social media had no fodder for gossip around his visit. However, there were hints he may stop over in India after completing his Tokyo press tour.
Following the Tokyo premiere of the war satire on Tuesday night, Pitt landed in India on Wednesday morning for a press conference here. The select media invited to the event only knew that "War Machine" director David Michôd, along with Dede Gardner and Jeremy Kleiner, Pitt's partners in production house Plan B Entertainment, would be present.
But Pitt has come as a pleasant surprise.
He spent his afternoon posing for a photo shoot pool side at a five-star hotel here, before he made his way to get ready for the event.
This is his second visit to the country. Pitt was on a working trip to India for "A Mighty Heart" back in 2006 with his then girlfriend and actress-filmmaker Angelina Jolie, who later on went on to become his wife. Now, he is back with a newly acquired single status after his split from Jolie.
The Hollywood icon, who in an interview to IANS in the past had expressed his desire to work in the Indian entertainment industry, will be getting a dose of Bollywood too.
He will be meeting Bollywood's 'Baadshah' Shah Rukh Khan for a conversation about the world of cinema later Wednesday evening.
Keeping his personal troubles aside, Pitt, who has been maintaining his distance from the limelight following his public and rather ugly split from Jolie, is back on the work sphere, and is gradually making frequent public appearances.
The couple went public with their split back in December 2016, and Pitt has confessed that it was a troubling time for the whole family, including children Maddox, Pax, Zahara, Shiloh and twins Vivienne and Knox.
The India press event will also mark his third appearance following the death of his close friends singer Chris Cornell and former Paramount CEO Brad Grey. It was being reported that he is "devastated" by their deaths.
His first public outing since then saw him in a slimmer avatar in Japan on Monday for "War Machine". He opted for a casual and rugged look with an olive green shirt with white chinos, black jacket and white sneakers. For the premiere in Tokyo, he went for an all white outfit.
Rewinding back a little, Pitt was in India last in 2006 with Jolie, daughter Zahara and son Maddox. They were in the country for around one month for the filming of "A Mighty Heart". From taking an auto rickshaw ride to strolling around Gateway of India in Mumbai to exploring Elephanta Island, they took out time for some of the touristy things.
This time, Pitt's trip to the country will be short as he will be flying out on Thursday morning.
"War Machine" is a satirical comedy with Pitt essaying role of US General Glen McMahon, who is tough but over-confident with an only aim to lead his army towards victory in Afghanistan, and win the war.
(The writer's trip is at the invitation of Netflix. She can be contacted at email@example.com)
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