Friday 13 December 2019

That time my granny got me a date with Brad Pitt...

Lisa Cannon
Lisa Cannon
Lisa Cannon

Lisa Cannon

When I was a teenager, I had tons of posters of Brad Pitt on my walls. The first thing I ever saw him in was A River Runs Through It, and I was instantly mesmerised by him. He had this tanned, boyish American look and I didn't know any girl of my age that didn't fancy him at the time.

I was so mad into him. He seemed to have a steady flow of girlfriends - I think at the time he was seeing Juliette Lewis - and he'd hang out with Johnny Depp in the Viper Room in LA, which seemed hugely glamorous to me in 1990s Dublin.

There was no one in the vicinity like him in those days; any Irish girl will tell you that.

Fast-forward to the present day, and on Xposé, we get assigned different items from fashion to showbiz to work on. Everyone we feature on the show is treated with the same level of importance - but when I heard that I'd get the chance to get face to face with Brad Pitt, it was a little different, as you might imagine.

The dreamboat of my teenage years was going to be in London to promote his new war movie Fury. I would have the chance to ask him a question at a press conference, then work on the red carpet for the premiere.

Brad is a very hard guy to get one-on-one time with, so being allocated a question at the press conference was really important. Red carpets are more hit and miss. I do my level best to get time with the stars - I've been known to jump barriers to get my man.

On the day of the assignment, I had a very early flight to London. I spotted Jim Sheridan at the airport, also getting on the red-eye to London.

Given that it was so early in the morning, I figured Jim might want to keep to himself, but he was delighted to chat. And for a film buff like me, it was great to hear all the juicy info he had.

We'd already fastened our seat belts on the flight when we were told that there was a problem with the plane's engine and there would be a delay. Disaster! To put it politely, the idea of missing Brad Pitt there was a tough pill to swallow.

By the time I made it to the Corinthian Hotel, I was sweating bullets. I sprinted through the hotel, but when I finally arrived, the press conference had been on for 15 minutes and the PR guy, who I knew, said straight away: "No way can I let you in."

My heart sank.

I'd never felt so deflated, so I just slumped into a chair beside the door. I was pretty upset that the opportunity to ask Brad a one-on-one question had slipped me by.

Next thing, the door opens and out walks Brad right in front of me. For the first time in my life I hadn't a clue what to say so I just went, "hiya!" to him. I never get starstruck, but it happened there and then.

He was very tall and slim and younger-looking in real life. I got all giggly and mushy and rang my fiancé Richard; bless him, he was asking me all about it. Brad Pitt is like my "hall pass" guy, and I've a picture of him in my movie room as home, so Richard gets it.

In the afternoon, I had an hour or two free so I went to visit my 101-year-old grandmother, who lives in Chelsea. There was only an hour-long window, but it was so lovely to have my granny to myself - having tea and scones.

Her mind is going a little, so she got a bit mixed up and thought I was engaged to Brad Pitt. I was like: "Yep, can't wait to marry him." My grandmother loves showbiz so we talked about the film Brad was in, and she said: "I lived through the world wars, so I'd love to know if he thinks he depicted that time well." It was time then to take a cab back to Leicester Square for the red carpet premiere.

I could see his publicist there, and she's pretty… well, ball-breakerish. PRs, in general, are fairly brusque, and not keen on making friends in a high-intensity situation like this. But I called her over and asked if I could ask the question that my granny planted in my head.

She thought for a minute, and then said: "Hold on a second, that's brilliant." So against all the odds, she called Brad over to ask the question.

I showed him the picture of my grandmother on my phone and told him that she had a question for him about the depiction of the war in Fury.

He was like: "Wow, that's amazing." After that, he spent around five minutes chatting with me on camera, which is way longer than most people ever get.

I waited 20 years for a moment like that, so for him to be so nice and give me that much time was incredible.

In a roundabout way, my granny helped me get my man this time!

Twitter: @LisaCannonXpose

Irish Independent

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