Courtney Love was almost Fight Club‘s Marla Singer before the role eventually went to Helena Bonham Carter, but the “Hole” frontwoman revealed that a tense conversation with the 1999 film’s star Brad Pitt led to her losing the role.
While joining Marc Maron for an interview on his WTF podcast, Love claimed that she “went nuclear” on Pitt after the actor director Gus Van Sant pitched a Kurt Cobain movie to her. “I wouldn’t let Brad play Kurt,” she said. “I went nuclear. I don’t do Faust. Who the f— do you think are?”
She added that she told 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.”
Love, who married the Nirvana frontman in 1992 and was with him until his death at age 27 in 1994, revealed that after that conversation, she was fired from Fight Club. Pitt’s co-star Edward Norton, who was Love’s romantic partner at the time, was the one who told her the news. “He starts sobbing,” Love recalled. “And he was like, ‘I don’t have the power!’”
A source close to the film shared in a statement to Billboard, “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.”
Van Sant went on to helm the Michael Pitt-starring Last Days, which was inspired by Cobain — but Love said the film wasn’t the one that was discussed in the fateful meeting.