“I think we need a bigger table,” says Brad Pitt with a proud grin. It’s a rare rainy day in Provence, France, and for the first time, the superstar is about to sit down to a family-style lunch at the newly rebuilt Miraval Studios. An elevated-rustic assortment of tarts, salads, fresh cheese and bread spread out before him. He just needs to find a chair.
Tucked away within Château Miraval’s 2,200 acres — grounds so vast and lush that getting lost driving through them would be easy, but not so bad — Miraval Studios is as private and exquisite a place as any music (or music history) buff could imagine. And yet, it has sat dormant for nearly two decades.
Today, Pitt relays how eager he has been to reopen the space since he started spending time at the property in 2008. (He and ex-wife Angelina Jolie later purchased it for a reported $60 million in 2012.) All it took was being introduced to renowned French producer-engineer Damien Quintard, whom Pitt calls a “wunderkind,” to finally make his dream of creating the ultimate artist escape a reality. Come this month, just over a year since the two first met, Miraval Studios will formally reopen.
Built atop Miraval’s winery — itself constructed in the 1850s by the estate’s original owner, Joseph-Louis Lambot, and today known for its rosé — the building contains three editing booths for video and sound, production offices, a room housing Quintard’s collection of 170-plus microphones, a recording studio and a live room known together as Studio One, a reverb room, a kitchen, an artist salon, two guest suites, a 115-foot saltwater pool and a rooftop that offers a 360-degree view of the estate.
Read the full Billboard cover story here.