Brad Pitt on 'Killing Them Softly,' Chanel Ad

Actor teams up with James Gandolfini for new film and talks about that saucy perfume ad.
6:54 | 11/29/12

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Transcript for Brad Pitt on 'Killing Them Softly,' Chanel Ad
More than a few female film fans remember the first time they saw a shirtless young actor named brad pitt holster a hair drier in "thelma and louise." He's added humanitarian and family man to that hearttloeb resume along with some darn fine performances and one very interesting channel perfume ad. His latest film has him as a swav hit man alongside james gandolfini, a guy who rarely does interviews. But the two could not resist a chat with my "nightline" CO-ANCHOR cynthia McFadden. Excuse me, ma'am. Reporter: It was more than 20 years ago that a young actor played a sexy hitchhiker in "thelma and lose wees" and forever stole the hearts of millions of women. My goodness. Reporter: But brad pitt wasn't just a romantic lead. His tough guy side solidified in movies like "fight club." First rule of fight club, you do not talk about fight club. Reporter: This week, he's opening in a new film, "killing them softly," a mob movie. Star alongside of him, the man who made tony soprano a household name. James gandolfini. It's hard not to get one of you to sit down for an interview but two of you together -- protection. Reporter: Is that what it is. Yes. Reporter: For each other? Yeah. Reporter: It's actually everyone else that needs protection from them. Both actors play hit men. Put his light out tonight. Reporter: Hired to seek justice for the mob. So, I hear it took 40 -- what, 48 hours for you to sign onto this film, true? Ah, no, 30 minutes. Reporter:30 minutes. Why the quick sell? Pitt says he was eager to work with andrew dominik again. Who walk into the bank just before noon. Reporter: Who directed him in "the assassination of jesse james." Head back like so. Reporter: The film was a box office disaster and dominik was having trouble finding another proje project. He was in, like, director's jail because jesse james wasn't considered a success. To me, it's the one I'm most proud of. Reporter: So, when the director told him he was excited about a new story, pitt starred on as star and producer. Gandolfini was a tougher sell. I didn't want to do another mob guy for a long time and -- Reporter: Why? Well, why, I did it for ten years. I had no more tricks. I couldn't pull anything out of the hat. Reporter: But dominik persisted. He tortured me, tortured me. Then I started thinking, maybe, I've done a bunch of these guys and this is kind of the final nail in the coffin. This is where you are at the end. No more booze. No nothing. I don't take orders from like you! So, maybe if I played it that way in my mind, this is the last one, then it got interesting. Hey, come here. Reporter: In the movie, they play old friends, hired to chase down a group of wannabe tough guys, stupid enough to knock over a mob-protected card game. Pretty standard fare. But here's the twist. America is the most talented, productive and entrepreneurial workers in the world. Reporter: The film is set in 2008 in the midst of the worse financial crisis since the great depression. Actual news reports are woven into the story line to suggest the people running the mob and the people running the country have a lot in common. You are a cynical guy, you know that? Reporter: Not even thomas jefferson escapes unscathed. He's a rich white snob. I've always been of the opinion that maybe crime movies are about capitalism. Reporter: That's andrew dominik. He stopped by with another one of the film's stars, ray liotta. It's the genre where everyone is chasing the buck. The idea of getting rich quick. And I saw parallels between that and what was going on with the bailout, at the time, and it just seemed like kind of too good to ignore. America's not a country. It's just a business. Reporter: Politics aside, those hoping for good old fashioned mob movie violence will not be disappointed. And that's where ray liotta comes in. He's used to dishing it out. What are you doing? Reporter: But this time, he's on the receiving end. And it was a whole different thing, to take the beating and, really hard and I wanted to do it all myself. I didn't want a stunt guy to do it. Because I thought it was important to show real fear. No, no, no. Action! Reporter: While for pitt, this film is a return to the tough guy role. Every journey ends, but we go on. Reporter: Lately, we've seen a lot of his sofr side. The world turns and we turn with it. Reporter: Final question. I got to ask you. Oh, no. Oh, boy. Oh, no. That setup, you know something's coming. Reporter: You ready? The channel ad. Oh, come on. Reporter: What is it? Explain it to me. Can you? I kind of liked it. You don't know what you're meant to be feeling. Reporter: A lot of people didn't. And it's led to a whole series of youtube parodies. We all turn and I turn in it. Reporter: And this on "saturday night live." Wake up and smile at reality. I'm sorry, is there really no script? I'm starting to sound insane. Reporter: Have you seen the parodies? No, no, I stay blissfully naive to the chatter out there in the world, but -- fair play, you know? Listen, I take out jefferson, right? Fair play. Reporter: In the whole dustup over the ad begs the question, can anyone asous as pitt really just be another actor on the set? Come in all big and movie starry or not? He can get a bit of starry when the light is fading. He always just slows down, like, when he's walking to set and the crews love it. They really adore it. When he pulls just a little bit of a movie star turn, everyone loves it. Drives me crazy. Reporter: A small price to pay to work with pitt, who, despite the cynicism of the character he plays on-screen, ultimately finds hope in the movie's message. It's a reminder for us, for a -- that human nature is what it is and unregulated. Many people will be damaged by it. Maybe there's a call for a higher definition of capitalism, not feed off the backs of others. That's what I would like to see us head. That was well put. Well, thank you. You're welcome. Reporter: For "nightline," I'M cynthia McFadden in new york.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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