Whereas actor Brad Pitt does not show his own tattoos in his movies, two of his roles have featured characters with specific tattoos. In OCEANíS ELEVEN, Pitt plays card magician Rusty Ryan, friend of George Clooneyís Danny Ocean. Ryan is recruited to help pull off a heist whereby a vault containing $150 million is robbed during a prize fight.
Rusty Ryan has a black tribal tattoo design on his left hand. As the character spends the entire movie in long-sleeve shirts and jackets, itís really never seen. Most of the time Pittís cuffs are unbuttoned and all you get are little tails ends peeking out. It does shape his character as it becomes obvious that his mannerisms are meant to keep the tattoo low key. No explanation is given for the tattoo and you never get more than a glimpse of it.
As a tattoo, it comes off as a throwaway, a little detail that distracts more than it adds. For a criminal and a card player, the tattoo is both too obvious being placed on his hand and the style isnít the sort that criminals tend to display. Card players do get very specific about their wristwatches, cuffs, rings and other hand ornaments, favoring items that seem lucky or donít interfere with their work. A permanent bold tattoo seems out of character, being way too identifying a characteristic for a card manipulator, and too crude given the overall style of presentation that the Ryan character affects otherwise.
In director Guy Ritchieís SNATCH, Pitt plays the eccentric character Mickey OíNeil, a Gypsy with a talent for fighting. Sporting almost as intense a physique as in FIGHT CLUB, Brad Pitt is also covered with theatrical tattoos, with work on his arms, chest, abdomen and back. The style is rendered very realistically, being a mix of personal imagery and symbols rendered in a plain outline or fineline style.
With the use of just blackish outlines and the random placement that often comes with Western style collecting, the tattoos in SNATCH are very realistic. People often complain that they canít distinctly make out what the images are, but itís this quality that adds to the realism. A closer inspection of the movie while paused on DVD will let you see a bulldog on an elbow, the Last Supper back piece, a snake and flowers on the stomach, and a stylized portrait of the Madonna on his chest.
You get plenty of chances to see the tattoos during several bare knuckle boxing fight scenes. Sharp-eyed viewers can supposedly see the tattoo get smeary and runny due to sweat in the last fight scene before they suddenly ďfixĒ themselves, so keep an eye out if you like movie gaffs.
See more of these movie tattoos for yourself with the DVD of Oceanís Eleven or Oceanís Twelve, directed by Steven Soderbergh or Snatch directed by Guy Ritchie.