Courtney Love Says She Was Fired From Fight Club Because She Didn’t Want Brad Pitt Playing Kurt Cobain

1999, Courtney Love seemed to feel, was too soon for a biopic about Kurt Cobain. It’s also a matter of record — recorded in Cobain’s own voice in A.J. Schnack’s 2006 documentary “Kurt Cobain: About a Son” — that the singer felt very strongly about “selling out” and having his image used for crass, commercial purposes. Recall, this is the man who wore a “Corporate magazines still suck” t-shirt on the cover of Rolling Stone. Ironically, one can buy such a t-shirt online. 

According to Love, when Brad Pitt and Gus Van Sant approached her about a scripted Cobain biopic, she had nothing but vitriol. She said: 

“I wouldn’t let Brad play Kurt. I went nuclear. I don’t do ‘Faust.’ ‘Who the f*** do you think are? […] 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 says that she was fired from “Fight Club” shortly after the confrontation, feeling that her rejection led directly to her being released. Helena Bonham Carter was brought in as her replacement. Most of Marla’s scenes in “Fight Club” would have been with Pitt or with Love’s “The People vs. Larry Flynt” co-star Edward Norton whom she was also dating at the time. There was, it seems, a lot of tension on the set after Pitt’s proposal regardless. Norton was the one who broke the news to her. 

In 1999, Love would also appear in the freewheeling indie comedy “200 Cigarettes” and another Miloš Forman biography “Man on the Moon,” a celebrated film about Andy Kaufman.

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