Courtney Love Says Brad Pitt Got Her Fired From ‘Fight Club’ After She Rejected His Bid To Play Kurt Cobain; Pitt’s Reps Dismiss Claim As “Categorically Untrue” – Update



UPDATED with statement from Brad Pitt’s representatives: Courtney Love is airing out old grievances involving Fight Club star Brad Pitt. 

The actress and Grammy-nominated musician has asserted that she was set for the David Fincher film’s key role of Marla Singer — eventually to be played by Helena Bonham Carter — before Pitt intervened and got her “fired.” Love says that this happened because she “wouldn’t let Brad play” her late husband, Nirvana frontman Kurt Cobain, after he pitched her on the idea.

Love explained that when Pitt first brought up the idea of playing Cobain — who committed suicide, aged 27, in 1994 — she “went nuclear.” And that all these years later, she wishes she’d instead embraced “the shark instinct” — letting Pitt think she’d go along with the idea of him portraying Cobain, until she was able to get through production on Fight Club. Love added that while she was dating Pitt’s Fight Club co-star Edward Norton at the time of her alleged firing, Norton told her he didn’t “have the power” to get her re-hired.  

Love’s remarks came during an interview on the WTF with Marc Maron podcast published Monday, which had her go on to call Fight Club‘s Carter “a genius” and admit that she’s still “never seen” the film.

Reps for Pitt tell Deadline that her claims concerning her firing are “categorically untrue” and that “she never had the job” on Fight Club.

A source close to the film adds: “Nearly twenty-five years ago, Courtney Love auditioned for a role in Fight Club , a role she was never offered at any point. You cannot be fired for a job you didn’t get. It’s common knowledge that roles are not decided by other actors but by the director.”

Love claimed in conversation with comedian Marc Maron on his popular pod WTF that Pitt has been talking about making a Cobain-centric film since around 1996 — and approached her about producing a film on Cobain through his company Plan B as recently as 2020. Again, she was disinclined to hear Pitt out. “I did a Zoom with him and I stuck up for myself. I said, ‘Listen, man. I don’t know that I trust you, and I don’t know that your movies are for profit,'” she shared. “‘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.'”

Love went on to say that she’s not opposed to making a Cobain biopic with the right people — like Michael De Luca and Pam Abdy at Warner Bros., perhaps. “Because they know how to make a f***ing movie.”

Fincher’s film Fight Club, based on the same-name novel by Chuck Palahniuk, was released by 20th Century Fox in 1999. The anarchic piece watches as an unnamed, insomniac office worker (Norton) and the devil-may-care soap maker Tyler Durden (Pitt) form an underground fight club that evolves into much more. Love’s would-be character Marla is Fight Club‘s female lead — a prostitute and sometime-love interest of Durden’s.

While the film had a mixed reception with critics and underperformed in its initial box office bow, it would ultimately become profitable and develop a reputation as a beloved cult classic upon its release on home video.