How Brad Pitt FINALLY impressed Shania Twain
The Daily Telegraph - Stellar Magazine
By Bree Player
March 14, 2020
The riffed off Brad Pitt in lyrics to one of her most famous songs – and two decades later, singer Shania Twain finally reveals what she really thinks about the acting superstar.
Last year, there was a viral meme about Brad Pitt playing a rocket scientist with a car [in the film Ad Astra] that was captioned “Those are the three things that don’t impress Shania Twain much!!!” Did you see it, and were you impressed?
[Laughs.] Yes, I did see it. I think it’s awesome; I like to write with a sense of humour. I didn’t realise it would go this far or be memorable. I’m thrilled that reference has lasted the test of time.
And I must say I’m very impressed by Brad’s wonderful career. He’s been getting some great accolades recently, so I’m very proud of Brad. I hope he takes it with the sense of humour that was intended.
You’ve worn so many iconic outfits – from the leopard print hood in ‘That Don’t Impress Me Much’ to the men’s shirt and short skirt in ‘Man! I Feel Like a Woman’. Are they stored in a temperature-controlled vault?
They’re actually just in my basement along with family heirlooms, photos and other memorabilia I want to hold onto. Sometimes I’ll go down there and go through it. I like keeping it quite organised.
It’s become popular for people to dress as you for Halloween. How do you feel about that? [Laughs.] I think it’s fun. I’m entertained by it and flattered. It’s a compliment to my influence on fashion.
Your songs have always had a feminist angle. Was that a conscious decision?
No, I was just saying what was on my mind. I was consciously forward with my opinions from a female point of view, but I didn’t intend on my songs having the resonance that they have.
I’m glad. I just wasn’t aware that they would. My intention was to keep my mind and have a sense of humour. I take great pleasure in communicating my truth and my point of view. That’s what it was and still is.
Our cover star Alanis Morissette has the second highest-selling album by a female vocalist of all time. The highest spot belongs to your 1997 blockbuster Come On Over. Was there something in the water in Canada?
We do have a lot of water in Canada; I think we have more water than land mass. But I do have to say, and not just because I’m Canadian, the ratio of talent in music and performing artists is incredibly high for our population. I think that we take it quite seriously and just get out there and do it.
Over your career you’ve won about 188 awards. Where do you keep them?
I’ve never displayed my awards at home, but when my son [Eja Lange, 18] got old enough to realise what a Grammy was, he asked, “Mum, do you have a Grammy?” And I said, “Yeah, I have a few, honey...” So I pulled them out and let him hold it and he was like, “Mum, why don’t you put these up on the shelf so we can look at it?”
I didn’t raise him as a son of a celebrity or anything like that. I raised him as a normal kid, so he found stuff on the internet on his own as he became more and more aware. Now I have a few things up on the shelves. I let him pick out the things that he thought should go up.
You have had a long career in the music industry, but now you’re acting in the new film I Still Believe. At 54, this is new territory for you.
It’s something that has just come about fairly recently. I’ve always been open to new challenges and taking new experiences, but I’m surprised by how much I enjoy it.
There’s a scene in which your character takes great delight in embarrassing her son at college. As a mum, are you guilty of that yourself?
[Laughs.] I try to avoid that. I wouldn’t necessarily test that out on my son. I just wouldn’t go there. I’m well aware as a parent that kids at a certain age get very sensitive to what parents say in the presence of peers and how they behave, so I’m mindful and I do put an effort into not embarrassing him.
That’s part of the fun of acting – you get to do things that aren’t you. It’s an escapism and an area that you wouldn’t do in your real life.
Your son in the film has a hard road due to the choices he makes and, as a parent, you’re supposed to protect your kids when sometimes it’s not possible. How have you learnt to navigate that in life?
It is difficult. I think a lot of it is dictated by age, but I never stop learning as a parent. Just when I think I’ve figured out how to be the person in charge, while still respecting his wishes and choices, he changes and I have to sit back all of a sudden and it’s a different story.
Now that you’ve dipped your toes into acting, can we expect to see more of you on the big screen?
Yes! My experiences so far have been surprisingly comfortable. It’s a real happy place for me. So now, I’m like... wow, this is an area I want to explore more.
You last toured in Australia at the end of 2018. Which song do you feel resonates the most with local audiences?
The Australian audience really relate to ‘You’re Still The One’. When I think about Australia, I think of that song. I was once there in a studio next to Elton John and, before greeting each other, he started singing ‘You’re Still The One’ to me. Since then, I’ve associated it with Australia.
Harry Styles has frequently said that ‘You’re Still The One’ is his favourite song of all time, and he covered it during his last tour. What did you think of that?
I was thrilled! I’m a huge fan of Harry. I think he’s just so wonderful. It’s a mutual thing – we’re mutual fans. And I plan on collaborating with him down the line; in fact, the sooner the better.
That tune and ‘From this Moment On’ are extremely popular at weddings. Have you attended one where either was the first-dance song?
I don’t even remember the last wedding I attended. But I’m honoured – it’s an incredible feeling to have such a positive influence in people’s lives.
I will say, though, I recently met a wedding planner and she told me that in more than 800 she’s planned, the majority of them play [one or the other]. She said to me, “I love the songs, but I’m kind of over it at weddings.”
I Still Believe is in cinemas now.