In case you need a refresher, Twain sang these lyrics in the Shania-crazy world of the late ’90s:
I never knew a guy who carried a mirror in his pocket
And a comb up his sleeve — just in case
And all that extra hold gel in your hair oughta lock it
’Cause heaven forbid it should fall outta place
Oh-oo-oh, so you think you’re something special
Oh-oo-oh, you think you’re something else
OK, so you’re Brad Pitt
That don’t impress me much
Ouch! But Twain revealed in an interview with Billboard this month that the dig wasn’t personal.
“I remember I had a girlfriend visiting me, and it was near Christmas and we were baking cookies. I was writing this album, and there was a scandal of [Pitt] and Gwyneth [Paltrow] where there was naked photos of him [in Playgirl magazine, which Pitt later successfully sued for publishing the paparazzi photos]. And this was like all the rage. I just thought, ‘I don’t know what all the fuss is about.’ I’m like, well, that don’t impress me much, I mean what is all the fuss. We see people naked every day. That’s really what I thought. I wasn’t picking on Brad Pitt. But that was just the association in that moment and things we make fusses about and whatever. Of course, it could have been any gorgeous guy.”
Pitt was already a pretty big deal in 1998, when the song was released. Movies like Se7en and Interview With the Vampire had been hits, and he’d already earned a Golden Globe for Twelve Monkeys. There was also, as Twain mentioned, his romance with Paltrow, who was fresh off her performances in Sliding Doors and A Perfect Murder.
Twain’s song certainly didn’t do Pitt’s career any harm, but it seemed to have peeved the actor anyway.
In a 2011 interview with Entertainment Weekly, he was asked if he remembered Twain’s song, to which he replied, “Unfortunately, yeah.” The interviewer followed up by asking Pitt if he’d rather have been in a heavy metal song. “Yeah. Precisely,” he answered.
For the record, Paltrow has vouched for Pitt being the kind of guy who does impress in real life. Their romance ended in 1997, after three years together, but she dished to Howard Stern on his radio show this past June that she was the problem. She was too young and he was “too good” for her, she said.
“I definitely fell in love with him,” she told Stern. “He was so gorgeous, and sweet — I mean, he was Brad Pitt, you know?”
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