Courtney Love stands by a claim she made on Marc Maron’s “WTF” podcast that Brad Pitt got her booted from “Fight Club” after she blocked his attempt to make a Kurt Cobain biopic.
The story, in which Love detailed that she was initially cast in the role of Marla that went to Helena Bonham Carter in David Fincher’s 1999 film, went viral this week. A source disputed the claim in Variety, specifying that while Love auditioned for the film, she was never actually cast. “You cannot be fired for a job you didn’t get,” the source said. “It’s common knowledge that roles are not decided by other actors but by the director.”
Love spoke out about the controversy in an Instagram post she shared December 30.
“Hi. Regarding a story I told on the @marcmaron #wtf podcast. A story I was never going to tell. Brad pushed me a bridge too far. I don’t like the way he does business or wields his power. It’s a simple fact, and it started during the production of Fight Club,” she wrote.
“I understand how much of a game of roulette casting is. I am not here 22 years later bitching about losing a part playing someone’s side piece in a movie.
“On the podcast, I recount the day Brad & Gus Van Sant called me from lunch and tried to blackmail me over my role, for the rights to a film about Kurt. I lost my shit on them, and by 7pm I was fired from Fight Club. Every word of this is factual. This was always a secret that I was fine keeping,” she said.
“It’s a movie. Indeed, I passed on better roles that [sic] that. Who cares?” Love wrote. “The point is Brad kept on stalking me about Kurt.”
As Love alleged in the podcast, Pitt got Fincher to take her off “Fight Club” after she rejected Pitt’s pitch for a biopic about the life of her deceased husband, Nirvana frontman Kurt Cobain. According to Love’s story, Pitt pitched her on the film during a meeting between the two of them and Gus Van Sant about a potential adaptation of Annie Proulx’s short story “Brokeback Mountain,” which was then floating around Hollywood as a hot property years before Ang Lee adapted it.
“I wouldn’t let Brad play Kurt. I went nuclear. I don’t do Faust. Who the fuck do you think are?” Love told Maron. She also said that “Fight Club” star Edward Norton was the one to break the news.
“He starts sobbing,” Love said. “And he was like, ‘I don’t have the power!’” She said that, afterward, Fincher reached out to confirm the news.
In the podcast, Love claimed she’d rejected pitches for Cobain biopics from Pitt and his Plan B as recently as 2020. She also said that director Cameron Crowe told her, “Brad Pitt was put on this earth to stalk you for Kurt, which has been going on since 1996.”