On Monday 22nd, Brad Pitt was in Tokyo to promote his latest movie Bullet Train, directed by his former stuntman and good friend David Leitch. There was time to ride the Shinkanzen, meet the U.S. Ambassador to Japan, Rahm Emanuel, and take part in a Buddhist ritual.
The sound of drums and chanting monks mixed with the smell of incense candles echoed through the entire Koyasan Tokyo Betsuin Temple in Tokyo in the early evening. The attending guests placed behind the chanting monks were visibly in a meditative state absorbed by the spiritual atmosphere. |
No other than Brad Pitt, director David Leitch, his spouse Kelly McCormick, and co-actor Aaron Taylor-Johnson, Brad Pitt were attending this “traditional Bad Luck Cleansing Ritual.”
In this particular ritual monks chant sutras while burning gomagi, special pieces of wood with prayers written on them. For Brad Pitt and the movie Bullet Train this ritual has a special meaning, as Brad plays a character who is cursed with bad luck, in an action packed spy thriller that takes place in Japan inside a famous Japanese bullet train known as Shinkanzen.
In the brief interview that followed the ritual, Pitt said he found the experience to be incredibly moving, saying he almost got teary, and it was something he would never forget. For Pitt it certainly had an additional cleansing experience as the superstar has been battling with news reports of claims from the FBI about his ‘mid-air fight’ with his ex wife Angelina Jolie, ahead of their divorce.
Though these reports refer to events that took place prior to 2016, when Pitt and Jolie were still legally married, it seems bad spirits have been haunting Pitt ever since. Hence, a powerful cleansing ritual couldn’t hurt to bring some much needed light into the Oscar-winning actors’ life who had been struggling with alcoholism among other personal challenges in the past. Certainly, there is no better place for powerful cleansing rituals than in one of Japan’s many temples.
On the promotional tour that was organized by the film’s studio Sony Pictures, there was enough time to ride the iconic Shinkanzen on a quick stop over in Kyoto where they met fellow cast member Hiroyuki Sanada. Welcoming him at the station was no other than the U.S. Ambassador to Japan, Rahm Emanuel, who took that opportunity to take some quick selfies with the movie stars.
Brad Pitt has always been a fan of Japan, and he has visited the country many times on promotional tours. One of the happy memories we have at Hersey Shiga was when when Warner Bros. brought in a big delegation to promote “Troy!’ Members of the group included Brad Pitt, Eric Bana, Diane Kruger, Rose Byrne, director Wolfgang Petersen and producer Diana Rathburn. Photos and more on all this later. Bill Hersey was able to meet the star for a personal interview.
As always Pitt was frantically welcomed by his Japanese fans in Kyoto who are looking forward to the official launch of Bullet Train when it hits the theaters in Japan on September 1st. However, unfortunately for Brad Pitt and the producers of Bullet Train only received a 53% critical approval rating on Rotten Tomatoes, even though it was a commercial success grossing over US$ 150 million world-wide. One could argue more good luck chanting would have been in order.