The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Brad has designs on A, and it’s not Angelina

New York, July 22: Forget Angelina Jolie. Jennifer Aniston may have lost Brad Pitt to an even hotter muse.


Pitt is collaborating with Frank Gehry on a $450-million seafront redevelopment in England, and plans to take time off from acting to make a documentary about the project. He is also investing in a casino and hotel in Las Vegas with George Clooney in which he will no doubt want a say in the design.

Forensic analysis of a 2001 W magazine piece on Pitt’s house in the Hollywood Hills reveals: “When pressed, Pitt admits his wife may have slightly different ideas about decoration. ‘She has an ' ah ' more matronly take on it,’ he says gingerly.”

He’s modern. She’s matronly. It could never have worked!

But Pitt is not the only one who is succumbing to the vocation that dares not speak its name. Hayden Christensen, star of the latest Star Wars films, recently announced his willingness to trade his light saber for a drafting table. “I don’t find Hollywood interesting,” he told The Sun, a British tabloid. “So I’m thinking of studying architecture instead.”

For male sex symbols who might have once raced cars or farmed cattle, it is now acceptable ' cool even ' to boast about their obsession with travertine or to pore over fabric swatches.

Lenny Kravitz, who owns some of the funkiest bachelor pads around and says if he hadn’t been a musician he would have been a designer, this month announced the formation of Kravitz Design, a firm focusing on commercial, residential and product design.

“When this tour ends in two weeks, it’s going to be full-on designing,” Kravitz said in a phone interview from his hotel in Paris.

Pitt, who declined to be interviewed for this article, met Gehry in 2001. He went to Pitt and Aniston’s home to renovate their wine cellar.

Pitt subsequently did an informal apprenticeship in Gehry’s Los Angeles office. In Vanity Fair last year Pitt quoted Gehry: “He said to me, ‘If you know where it’s going, it’s not worth doing.’ That’s become like a mantra for me. That’s the life of the artist.”

What drives a huge star into a field likely to dismiss him as a dilettante'

John Pawson, the British architect, said in an e-mail message: “I think it reflects a need to reconnect with something which feels real, when you are involved in work which is very intense, but which is conducted in a sort of parallel universe, at one removed from the everyday world.”

Hollywood depictions of the profession have veered from the macho to the sensitive: Gary Cooper in The Fountainhead to Mike Brady. Keanu Reeves will play one opposite Sandra Bullock in the coming romance film Il Mare.

When Bernie Telsey, a casting director in New York, thinks of architects, he sees an Ivy League, urban, WASP type. “Short hair and very together,” Telsey said. “Manicured to a point. Small glasses.” In The Black Cat, a 1934 horror film, architect Boris Karloff kills the wife of his nemesis, Bela Lugosi, preserves her in a glass coffin, then marries and kills Lugosi’s daughter.

“They definitely all have a secret,” Telsey said.

Sure. They want to be Brad Pitt.

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