Brad Pitt has played immortal characters, mythological heroes, and even someone aging in reverse. In 2019, he proved that while there probably isn't anything supernatural at play, between that smile and face (and those rock-hard abs) there is still plenty to thirst over. During his 30-plus year career, he has undertaken a variety of genre movies set in the past, present, and future. He has faced off against zombies, murderers, and Nazis, ticking a lot of hyper-masculine archetype boxes in the process. His blonde hair has gone through a variety of cuts over the years, so whether you like a buzzcut or long luscious locks, there is probably a Brad Pitt style to meet your needs.
He is one of the last great "movie stars" of his generation (see also Keanu Reeves) and his name is shorthand for a certain kind of classically attractive dude. Over the years he hasn't rested on his handsome laurels, carving out a career that doesn't just lean on that face/smile/body. Sure, all those attributes come in handy and add to the thirst levels, but desire is more than skin-deep. Thoughtfulness, charm, and the number of diverse films Pitt's production company Plan B supports also goes a long way in maintaining his stud status.
Since the late '80s, Pitt has played the romantic hero on a number of occasions, but getting the girl or guy isn't the only defining characteristic for a thirst-inducing role. In a year in which he has played a man who loves a dog more than any person (hard swoon) and someone going through an existential crisis while floating through space, it has been a very versatile and strong end to the decade for Pitt in genre filmmaking.
All these roles are hot for one reason or another, so the ranking is a mere formality. Here are the thirstiest Brad Pitt genre roles.
Inglourious Basterds - Lt. Aldo Raine
Brad Pitt doing a whole 1940s military man look is an instant winner, particularly when he is part of a covert operation to end WWII. A mustache is not the easiest facial hair to pull off and yet, Brad does it with ease. As Lt. Aldo Raine, he is dedicated to his position of killing Nazis, and he is a vital player in Operation Kino. He switches out his army fatigues for a white tuxedo, leaning into the whole James Bond of this daring mission which would help sell his cover identity if he actually spoke Italian (as he claimed). The Tennessee drawl is hard to mask and the neck scar is pretty menacing, but when he cracks that smile it is hard to think of anything else. Did we mention he also kills Nazis?
Fight Club - Tyler Durden
Tyler Durden is an actual fantasy of a man — this also goes some way in explaining why this character has been co-opted to mean something else. As an alter-ego, Tyler is a projection and his hyper-masculinity isn't without a laundry list of issues. From a purely aesthetic point-of-view, his attributes are hard to deny: he's ripped, charming, and comfortable in his own skin. His closet consists of outfits that are meant to stand out including a signature red leather jacket, color lens sunglasses, a wide-collar bold print shirt, and skin-tight graphic tees — not to mention the fur coat that is just asking to be wrapped up in. This isn't a wardrobe that takes the safe route and there's a gender fluidity via fashion that goes against Durden's overall ethos. He's excellent in bed and he’s got a body so sculpted that the "Apollo's belt" descriptor should be renamed the "Tyler Durden belt."
Troy - Achilles
For peak pretty Brad, look no further than his role as Achilles in the 2004 Greek mythology epic Troy. As Greece's greatest warrior, Brad flexes those biceps and even during battle doesn't lose those perfect golden waves — he doesn't even get embarrassing helmet hair. Those abs are fit for the gods and the aforementioned Tyler Durden belt gets a workout. Greek mythology is full of hook-ups and this film doesn't disappoint in this area. Briseis (Rose Byrne) has a plan to kill Achilles, but instead, she sleeps with him. This movie includes far too much wistful looking into the mid-distance, but it is refreshing to see a sex scene in which the dude is completely naked and the woman is not.
Interview with the Vampire - Louis de Pointe du Lac
Vampires are inherently sexy no matter the time period and Anne Rice's Louis is no different. As the subject of the titular interview, Louis has lived through eras of decadence and squalor. In present-day San Francisco, as he sits opposite a henley-wearing Malloy (Christian Slater), his stiff collar doesn't diminish his enticing aura. He exudes sensuality even while telling his sad tale: a story of love, loss, and passion. He takes his role of father figure to vampire-in-training Claudia (Kirsten Dunst) very seriously, starring in a twisted version of My Two Dads with Tom Cruise as Lestat. Eternal love is complicated, but it's hard to deny the power of Pitt's beguiling beauty as Louis.
The Curious Case of Benjamin Button - Benjamin Button
Yes, you see Pitt as a tiny old man who then ages backward into the appearance of a young child, but the middle portion of this film is a treat for fans of vintage Brad. At one point, it feels like David Fincher's adaptation has turned into a Calvin Klein or Ralph Lauren commercial as Benjamin sails a boat in casual attire before taking a dip in the ocean. The motorbike leather fashion is high on the fantasy fuel list, as is his casual knit cardigan and white tee ensemble, which ticks so many romance novel boxes. His love affair with Cate Blanchett's Daisy is doomed from the start, but for a brief time, the action is bathed in golden light, enhancing the fluff and heat-driven levels.
Once Upon a Time... In Hollywood - Cliff Booth
2019 proves that Brad Pitt can still turn it out when it comes to action sequences and while he might not do all his own stunts (yes, even while playing a stuntman), those abs are all him. Cliff Booth is charming, but the ambiguity about his wife's demise and his casual racism are a slight turn-off. He is loyal to Rick Dalton, handy in a fight, knows the power of having a dog as a best friend — Brandy is a very good doggo — and his wardrobe is effortlessly cool, which all work in his favor. It is hard to deny that smile, but Cliff's other less savory attributes are impossible to ignore.
Ad Astra - Roy McBride
A spacesuit isn't particularly high on the list of thirstiest outfits, even if an astronaut is a pretty hot career choice. Sure, it means being separated from a loved one for months or even years on end and the danger element is high, but there is a rock star quality to this job. While watching Ad Astra, you will be struck by a) how good Brad still looks with his cropped hair and visible lines in his face, and b) that he is really good at delivering teary eyes of different levels. There's a lot of flashbacks to how terrible he was as a husband due to being emotionally closed off, his daddy issues permeating every part of his life. However, if you can get past this, Roy is quite the dreamboat.
World War Z - Gerry Lane
This film was made during the dad period of Pitt's career, which explains his everyman attire. Playing Gerry Lane — a former United Nations investigator — Pitt's blue button-down, jeans, and scarf all lean into this regular status, although the stubble and dusty blonde locks tucked behind his ear can't hide his handsomeness. He is definitely the kind of guy you can believe would be handy in a zombie apocalypse — his quick thinking saves the life of someone who gets bitten. Sensibly-dressed Gerry isn't as cool as Cliff or Tyler, but his love of his family and book smarts are endearing qualities.
12 Monkeys - Geoffrey Goines
A bad haircut, questionable facial hair, and darting eyes don't spell out heartthrob, and yet this is still Brad Pitt beneath those performance ticks. Wearing a black hat with long greasy blonde hair, he looks like a burnout from Dazed and Confused and yet there are still some swoons to be found in his portrayal of someone who is much more than what he seems.
Meet Joe Black - Joe Black/Young Man in Coffee Shop
Playing death should be sexy, particularly when factoring in the whole suit-wearing and peak '90s blonde floppy hair Brad. This is a haircut fit for a romantic comedy, but unfortunately, a very slow undressing sequence is somehow more awkward than hot. For its 21st anniversary, Meet Joe Black received the honor of becoming a popular meme, in which we learn why you shouldn't stand in the middle of the road looking wistfully back at someone who is no longer there. It is an unintentionally hilarious sequence that is both the perfect descriptor for 2019 and quite the quiver killer.