March 5th, 2009
07:24 PM ET

Brad Pitt and us – working the halls of power

Brad Pitt walks in the Capitol building on Thursday.
Brad Pitt walks in the Capitol building on Thursday.

Justine Redman

Bumped into Brad Pitt on Thursday. Which was nice.

We've got the video to prove it. If you think it doesn't really look like your typical celebrity picture, here's what was going on: Joe Johns, photographer Jeremy Moorhead, and I, were prowling the tunnels of the Capitol's underground subway system, accosting Senators and Members of Congress to ask them about health care (that'll be our story on the show tonight). While Joe and I were mumbling about where to go next, the ever-vigilant Jeremy spotted Brad Pitt coming towards us, flipped on the camera and got the shot.

Some people tell stories about meeting famous people and blurting out something really dumb... not Joe. Completely focused on our mission, Joe called out, "Wanna talk about health care?"

Yeah... As you can see, it didn't really work. Brad - and his security entourage - were gone. And then a throng of determined-looking admirers (congressional interns??) came out of nowhere, chasing him. The Capitol police cut them off in the tunnel.

In fact, the issue Mr Pitt was in town to talk about was his charity work in New Orleans. He had meetings at the White House and with Speaker Nancy Pelosi about his "Make it Right" project to build affordable and environmentally-sustainable housing for low-income residents of the Lower 9th Ward in New Orleans who lost their homes because of Hurricane Katrina. At least that's the official word on what was discussed....he managed to pull off most of these meetings pretty much under the radar, which is why we were happy to get this video.

As we relived the moment later, Joe was saying that when he used to be in charge of the Radio and Television Correspondents Association, it could be really difficult to book stars to perform at the Association's annual dinner, because so many Hollywood types didn't want to share the stage with President Bush. Now, with the Obamas and their star factor, maybe we'll be bumping into a lot more A-listers around town.

Finally, because I've been asked a million times today what he looked like in person, I'll just say this: in this job, you get to meet a fair amount of famous people. Usually, when you meet them in person, they look pretty normal. Brad Pitt may have been in an unglamorous basement tunnel, in the same place where you can run into any number of Senators and they hardly stand out, but he still looked glamorous. Or maybe you had to be there.

Filed under: President Barack Obama • The Buzz
soundoff (6 Responses)
  1. Tom

    Both Brad and Angelina are admirable for putting their star power to good use. They not only put the time and effort for their humanitarian causes, they also donate millions of dollars. They could very easily do nothing and bask in the sun in HW jetting from one party to another like many of them do. Kudos to both of them!

    March 6, 2009 at 9:31 am |
  2. Art

    If more people did what Brad did with his money, America would be alot better off. My hat's off to him!

    March 6, 2009 at 8:26 am |
  3. Kim

    Billy Paul sings,"Me & Mrs. Jones any minute now. We've got a cause going on ! Forgot the cause,it's Brad Pitt !

    March 5, 2009 at 8:42 pm |
  4. Annie Kate

    I admire Brad's work in NOLA in the Lower 9th ward. I wish more stars would take an active role in these kinds of projects. Brad is not only filling a need in NOLA but he is doing it the right way with the environmentally conscious design of the houses, etc.

    March 5, 2009 at 8:13 pm |
  5. ikamana

    Cool. I was just in those same tunnels and hallways last week for a legislative visit with work about health care programs. It was my first visit and was a very powerful one!!! I took it upon myself to move on some things in my life that needed exactly that kind of powerful feeling!! I loved it! May be I'll consider moving to DC.

    March 5, 2009 at 7:55 pm |
  6. Clarence

    life in the pitts....

    March 5, 2009 at 7:55 pm |