Brad Pitt's surprise trip to India to promote his latest Netflix original film, War Machine, was a well-kept secret till the last minute. But the Hollywood star was at his charming best as he joined Bollywood superstar Shah Rukh Khan for an interesting discussion on their careers and the future of cinema.
The conversation, which lasted for an hour between the heartthrobs, became all the more fun when Pitt joked that he did not know how to dance or sing, an important element of Bollywood cinema.
But then, SRK being a charmer tried his luck to convince the Hollywood star.
Making it easy for Pitt, Shah Rukh quipped that despite being in Bollywood for 25 years, he was yet to master in the field of dance. And also added that he has escaped complicated situations by just doing his signature arms wide open step.
The 'Anybody Can Dance' moment!
Wasn't that easy? Well, it didn't move Brad for sure.
But, the dance is still due as SRK mentioned in his tweet.
Pitt, who was also joined by director David Michod, narrated his own experience of trying to play the piano and failing to do so. He said while he was good with one hand, another persons hands had to be fitted in the film.
Later, the discussion between the two soon turned into serious topics.
When asked about the secret behind their long-lasting careers, Pitt, 53, credited his attempt to try and stay relevant.
"I try to reinvent (myself). I constantly look for something new and we (he and SRK) have been fortunate to survive our mistakes along the way. I think I just try to be relevant," Pitt said during a chat.
Shah Rukh said he admired Pitt's movies but a personal favourite was "12 Monkeys".
"I find you amazing in that. You are fantastic. That's when I became a fan of Brad as an actor. There are lots of them (movies)... Benjamin Button," SRK said.
Pitt said he locked himself in a room just to see 'how crazy you can get' while working on "12 Monkeys".
In War Machine, out on Netflix on May 26, Pitt plays a US General, Glenn McMahon, posted in Afghanistan.
Directed by Michod of Animal Kingdom fame, the film is inspired by the book 'The Operators: The Wild & Terrifying Inside Story of Americas War in Afghanistan' by late journalist Michael Hastings.
An investment in the range of USD 60 million also makes it Netflix's biggest-budget feature to date.
Pitt's character is loosely based on General Stanley A McChrystal, a retired United States Army general best known for his command of Joint Special Operations Command (JSOC).
The actor said Hastings was frustrated that his story became more about the 'sensational dismissal' of the General rather than being a discussion on the system.
Pitt said he wanted to carry on the footsteps of great war movies like Dr Strangelove, MASH and Catch-22 which were an 'absurd view on the absurdities of war'.
Writer-director Michod, who joined the two actors on the stage, said he changed the characters name because he did not want it to appear like a biopic on McChrystal.
Pitt, who landed in India after the Tokyo premiere of the film, is putting his star power to use to promote the movie.
The Hollywood star said he decided to ditch the traditional studio and theatrical release model for this film because he felt sometimes good stories are lost in the rush for the opening weekend numbers.
A problem that they will not encounter with Netflix which has almost 100 million subscribers around the globe and has emerged as a major challenge to theatrical releases.
"The business model of the studio system in Hollywood does not allow films like that. Print and advertising is so expensive. From a viewers perspective, more films are getting made. Its a renegade new resurgence of film-making," said Pitt, sounding confident about the future of online streaming services.
Shah Rukh echoed Pitt, saying youngsters are changing the way movies are watched and Hollywood films are doing well in India despite the strong foothold of homegrown industry.
King Khan warned that if Bollywood kept ignoring good stories, Hollywood will eventually take over.
"If we don't adapt ourselves in terms of marketing, visual effects, script-writing and professionalism, we will be overtaken. If we do not learn from Hollywood, there is a real fear of being overtaken. The language barrier is no longer there. Spider Man does as well as a Hindi film, so we have to adapt. Scripting especially. If we don't do that, we will have an issue over the next 20 years."
Shah Rukh, who has been a part of some of the biggest potboilers in the Hindi cinema, said Bollywood was not treating its stories well.
"We have such wonderful stories to tell but we are not telling them well enough. We treat our stories like fads. Singing and dancing has to be a part of Bollywood movies, if only to keep Brad away from our movies. But we should learn from Hollywood," said Shah Rukh.
(Feature Image Source: Twitter)