With kids, career, no time to direct, says Brad Pitt

CANNES, France Thu May 24, 2012 1:53am EDT

Cast member Brad Pitt poses on the red carpet after the screening of the film ''Killing Them Softly'', in competition at the 65th Cannes Film Festival, May 22, 2012. REUTERS/Christian Hartmann

Cast member Brad Pitt poses on the red carpet after the screening of the film ''Killing Them Softly'', in competition at the 65th Cannes Film Festival, May 22, 2012.

Credit: Reuters/Christian Hartmann

CANNES, France (Reuters) - Brad Pitt, in Cannes to promote his latest movie "Killing Them Softly", has no intention of following fiancee Angelina Jolie into directing, he told Reuters on Wednesday.

The 48-year-old, one of Hollywood's biggest stars, hit the red carpet at the film's world premiere on Tuesday, drawing noisy crowds and the world's media to the glitzy ceremony.

As well as playing mob enforcer Jackie Cogan in the violent but darkly comic gangster movie, Pitt was one of its main producers, a side of the business he has become increasingly involved in over the last six years.

Asked whether he might add directing to his career in movies, he replied: "No, not a chance.

"It makes sense on some level, but I really enjoy being a creative producer and I enjoy my day job," he said at the Carlton Hotel on the main Cannes waterfront overlooking the beach and luxury yachts moored offshore.

"It's enough for me. I want to also be a dad, first and foremost. After two days it gets itchy, I miss them. I just know how I'd be, I see how much time it takes to mount the thing and put it together. It wouldn't be a good match."

Last year Jolie, with whom Pitt has six children, directed her first feature "In the Land of Blood and Honey", a hard-hitting drama set in the Bosnian war.

"Killing Them Softly" was directed by New Zealand-born Andrew Dominik, the second collaboration between him and Pitt after they made "The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford" together in 2007.

GOOD REVIEWS, POISONED POLITICS

Set against the U.S. presidential election in 2008, and the economic crisis during which it was held, the movie is featured in the main competition at the Cannes film festival and has generally impressed critics.

"Here it's artistic merit first and less about an opening weekend," Pitt said, explaining why he thought a launch in Cannes was important for the film.

"They have such respect for the auteur, and you know it's going to get a really respectful viewing."

As well as telling the story of gang violence after a poker game is hijacked, Dominik's third feature paints a bleak picture of the U.S. economic and political landscape.

Pitt said he did not see much hope of improvement in the political climate, which he has described as "toxic," amid the current presidential election year.

"It's such a divide, such a rift, that I don't see any positive outcome," he told Reuters. "And I don't know of anything that's going to bring the two parties together to work together."

The Oscar-nominated actor said he was glad to put something back into New Orleans, where the film was shot, after it was ravaged by Hurricane Katrina in 2005 and subsequently hit by the financial crisis.

"They have a great film infrastructure now and there's amazing rebates for movies to get made ... to help recover from an economic disaster," Pitt said.

"It feels good to bring a film there because you know it's supporting the city, it's a big influx of cash when a movie comes to town. You're giving people jobs and it's a really good feeling. I'm very connected to that place."

Dominik, speaking during a joint interview with Pitt, said he felt intimidated being in competition in Cannes with some of the filmmakers he most admired, including Austria's Michael Haneke who is presenting "Amour".

"The night before (Tuesday's premiere) I kind of felt terrified and I think about midday yesterday I started to realize that it had gone over and I started to feel relieved."

For a look at Cannes 2012 lineup, click here: link.reuters.com/vav28s

(Reporting by Mike Collett-White; Editing by Bob Tourtellotte)

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