Brad Pitt Was Actually Injured During An Excellent Fight Club Scene

Apparently, Brad Pitt was injured during a Fight Club scene. It would seem that some of the fighting was actually real in the filming.

By Doug Norrie | Published

brad pitt

Fight Club will go down as one of the great cult films of a generation. Sure, it did fine enough at the theaters, but it really picked up steam later on when folks got their hands on it at home and realized the genius all over again. Of course, at the heart of the movie is the “relationship” between Edward Norton as the Narrator character and Brad Pitt as Tyler Durden. The two play off each other perfectly from the very beginning, offering the exact juxtaposition you would want and ultimately starting the titular club no one can talk about. 

The film makes its bones on a lot of things, the fighting being one of them. And there was a scene in the movie that actually had Brad Pitt take a real punch. It’s just one of the things that makes this film feel so visceral and real. The guys were, in some ways, actually getting hurt out there. Was it a knockout blow? No. But from what Edward Norton says, the punch he landed actually hurt. 

While appearing on The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon (via SlashFilm), Edward Norton talked some about Fight Club and what went into making the movie. During that, he actually mentions that a punch he threw landed on Pitt, and that it actually really hurt the dude. It was the scene near the beginning of the movie after Norton’s apartment has been lost and he meets Pitt’s Durden at a bar. 

In the parking lot, Durden goads him to fight, saying that it would basically be good for both of them, suggesting neither had thrown down before. It was here that Norton let on that he actually connected saying, “Fincher came up to me and said, ‘Hit him, connect with him somewhere.’ I didn’t know what to do and I hit him in the ear. He says in the film, ‘Ow! Why the ear?’ Yeah, that was real.” You can check out the scene Edward Norton is referencing with Brad Pitt below. 

You can see Brad Pitt’s reaction here looks sincere or real enough, momentarily surprised by the pain of the Edward Norton punch landing simultaneously on his shoulder and on his ear. And getting hit in the latter does hurt, kind of a lot especially if you aren’t expecting it. It’s not clear what exactly Brad Pitt thought might happen in that scene, though he had to have known there was going to be a punch. But it appears that with Fincher coaching Norton to make it real, Pitt was at least partially unsuspecting of what was going to happen. 

While this particular scene isn’t among the most memorable from the entirety of Fight Club, it’s an example of just what makes the film so great. The differences in Brad Pitt and Edward Norton’s characters really start to solidify here and this does act as something of the jumping-off point for the Fight Club itself. It’s an important scene that sets the stage for what’s to come. And it makes it all the better later when we find out that it was just Edward Norton fighting himself in the parking lot, at least to those standing around watching.