Here he reveals his “simple little ritual”, how Gwyneth Paltrow influenced her early skincare habits and why self-love may be the best secret to aging well.
How was the Le Domaine project born?
Brad Pitt- “We had been talking about it for so long that I can’t remember how it all started. I remember reading articles about the health properties of grape skins and wanting to study them. But the initial idea, right from the start , comes back to this place. It’s steeped in creativity and it’s so fertile. We produce olive oil, truffles and honey here. Reinforced concrete started here. Reinforced concrete! It’s crazy! In the 1840s, Joseph-Louis Lambot invented ferrocement, a precursor to reinforced concrete, and made a concrete boat that was eventually pulled from the pond here and is now in a museum in Brignoles. We had a few pillars, test pillars, in the yard. Then he built the first two reinforced concrete buildings, and now, of course, everything is built that way. It is quite extraordinary.
And was skincare supposed to be part of that creativity? Have you been secretly thinking all this time, “I must have a skincare brand”?
No, and honestly, we wouldn’t have if we didn’t feel there was something worthwhile here, something original, something that worked. They send me stuff all the time and… um… It’s always the same for me. But this last year, we tested The domain and I was really surprised by the results, and for me, it was worth going forward.
Have you always had a good skin care routine?[Très longue pause]. No.
I was so sure that you were going to say yes, because we imagine you well surrounded…
Well, when taken care of, I got one [une bonne routine de soins de la peau]. I just want to keep it simple, you know what I mean? That said, I’m really thorough now. I was brought into shape by my dear makeup artist friend Jean Black who we started with 30 years ago. She is really special. Every time we work on a movie, she helps me stay healthy, and then she says “try this” and “try that”.
You look like you have great skin anyway. I can’t imagine that much needs to be done!
No, not really, I don’t do much, but now… I mean I have my little, simple ritual.
I don’t even know what it is.
Rarely. I have itchy feet.
Have you ever imagined yourself as a beauty baron?[Rire]. I’m not even sure what a beauty baron is…
Whether The domain is a success, will we have baron status? No I do not have [imaginé cela]. Landing here, at Château Miraval, has opened me up to many ideas that I would not normally have considered. And the main one: the idea of zero waste is something very important for this region and for me. But look, when we got here, I mean, I never thought about having a vineyard either! I just wanted a nice base in this area and there happened to be a vineyard. And it turned out he was losing tons of money. So we had to get to work. And then we went looking and we found Mark [Perrin] and his family.
A smart idea. I read that you studied journalism…
Yes, I didn’t graduate, but I did.
Do you wish you had followed this professional path?[Rire]. I think I’m pretty happy with where things have come to! I wouldn’t have opposed it, but I feel good in my everyday work.
What do you think of business ventures run by movie stars in general?
When I started, it seemed shameful to advertise, for some unknown reason. You were called sold. I really think the hip-hop guys changed all that. They made it acceptable, and even cool, to spread your wings a bit, to try other things. And now it’s really exciting to be able to, you know, explore other corners [de sa créativité] like the old Renaissance artists, in a way. And I love what Gwyneth did [avec Goop]. She’s still a very dear friend, and she built this empire. She’s always had that in her as a curator, and it’s been a great creative outlet for her. In fact, come to think of it, he was probably the first person who pushed me to wash my face twice a day…maybe.
I don’t want to run away from aging. It’s a concept we can’t escape, and I wish our culture would embrace it a little more, by talking about it in those terms. We talked [en fondant Le Domaine] of this “anti-aging” title. It’s ridiculous. It’s a fairy tale. What’s real is treating your skin in a healthy way. And that’s something I’ve learned to do for my business, but it makes you feel better. I grew up with a country mentality, like, you know, wash with soap once a day and then move on. And I think we’re learning that if we love each other, if we treat each other a little better, then there are lasting benefits to that. So, just aging healthy, aging in a healthy way.
No, no, it wasn’t at all, I was rather fascinated by it, really. And by the way ? All those prostheses, six hours of prostheses? They tore my skin. They destroyed my skin!
How and why is it important to you that the Domaine’s approach be gender neutral?
Again, I don’t know if it’s just because I believe in being as inclusive as possible? Or maybe it’s because men need help from others to figure out how to best treat their skin? I mean I’ve probably gotten more help from my female partners in the past. We kept a very neutral, very fresh, and very, very subtle smell. I’m the type of person who changes hotel rooms if I smell the cologne of the last person who stayed there! It’s too much ! It’s too strong ! Stay subtle. Let people come to you. Don’t force others. That’s my feeling (laughs). For the smells, I mean. I’m sticking with that for the smells!
Do you have any special memories at Miraval?
Last spring was special. We spent five or six weeks here. The stories we hear about Provence in the spring, why people come here. Well, it’s true. And I can’t really describe it, other than the coolness of the air, the light, the… I don’t know, it’s just a real feeling of peace and harmony and the nights are so soothing. In summer, you have the symphony of frogs, they rock you. I have a lot of artist friends from different disciplines, and they were here this spring, we had fun. One of them was working on his music [au Studio Miraval], another was painting, yet another was designing a clothing line, and so on. They’d go off to their respective corners to work on their respective things, and then we’d come back here to cross-pollinate over a meal, or a game of bocce, where we’re sitting now. Creating a community of artists has always been the idea here, and it’s really nice to see that happen.
What does the future look like for you?
The older I get, the more I think about quality of life, and how to use his time, and I would like to steer him more in that direction. I think after the lockdown, it seemed to be on a lot of people’s minds, like, how do we spend our time, why do we work so hard, what do we dedicate our lives to? And I think family and friends, at the end of the day, is all that matters.”
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