It’s no surprise that most movies and shows don’t follow space logic. Even works like Firefly or Gravity, known for attempting a sense of realism, bend or break the rules. Director and co-writer James Grey may have promised Ad Astra will have the “most realistic depiction of space travel” ever, but he did make one concession for star Brad Pitt — even though the actor didn’t want him to.
Ad Astra is about an astronaut named Roy McBride (Pitt) who assigned a dangerous mission to travel across the universe in search of his father, played by Tommy Lee Jones. It may be about the fate of the universe, but it’s also a deeply personal quest that promises to explore McBride’s complex relationship with his father (a.k.a space daddy issues). So, it’s no surprise that Pitt got into it.
In an interview with IndieWire, Grey revealed that there was one moment he made a conscious decision to defy space logic for the sake of the story... against the actor’s wishes. According to Grey, Pitt started crying during a pivotal moment before the film’s finale. After they shot the scene, the actor told him that the tear should be edited in post-production to not stream down his face, because that’s not what would happen in space. But Grey wouldn’t have it.
“‘You gotta replace my tear, that’s not how it works in zero-gravity,’” Grey said. “I said, ‘Sorry, I’m keeping it. The acting’s too good, buddy.’”
Ad Astra lands in theatres on September 19. And yes, it comes complete with pirates on the moon.