Courtney Love’s Beef With Brad Pitt Cost Her a Role in Fight Club


Courtney Love left a considerable mark on the culture of the ’90s, both through her musical output—her band Hole’s third studio album Celebrity Skin remains their most popular work—and her movie roles. Love starred alongside Woody Harrelson in The People vs. Larry Flynt, earning a Golden Globe nomination for her performance, as well as the Andy Kaufman biopic Man on the Moon opposite Jim Carrey. However, what’s less widely known is that she also very nearly got a starring role in one of the most iconic films of that decade; David Fincher’s Fight Club.

In a recent conversation on the WTF with Marc Maron podcast, Love explains that she was originally cast as Marla Singer in the adaptation of Chuck Palahniuk’s novel. However, she claims that an unfortunate argument with leading man Brad Pitt over his wishes to play her late husband, Nirvana frontman Kurt Cobain, in a potential biopic, resulted in her being ousted from the movie.

“I wouldn’t let Brad play Kurt,” Love said. “I went nuclear. I don’t do Faust. Who the fuck do you think you are?” She recalled telling Pitt: “I don’t know if I trust you, and I don’t know that your movies are for profit… They’re really good social justice movies, but…if you don’t get me, you kind of don’t get Kurt, and I don’t feel like you do, Brad.”

20th Century Fox/IMDB

At the time, Love was dating Pitt’s co-lead Edward Norton, but that wasn’t enough to keep her involved in Fight Club, and the part of Marla was given to Helena Bonham Carter.

“I still kick myself for not having the shark instinct to be like, sure, and fuck them later,” Love added. “I was so dumb.”

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