It is hard to believe but Fight Club is now more than 20 years old. David Fincher’s magnum opus on men, insomnia, and soap opened in theaters on October 15, 1999. The controversial film quickly became a cult favorite and soon was one of the most quoted films of its era.
But that was 20 years ago. One of its two stars, Brad Pitt, now jokes that he no longer even remembers the first rule of Fight Club. (We would tell him what it is, but that would break the first rule of Fight Club.) Honored with the Maltin Modern Master Award at the Santa Barbara International Film Festival this week, Pitt accepted his prize with a very funny speech where he marked the passing of time in his career by acknowledging all the things he is now too old to do. That included, he claimed, reciting those infamous Fight Club rules.
Or, as he put it:
Wow, it’s things like this and nights like these that tell me I’m old. I’ve been around a while and I’ve been doing this for a bit … I can’t do night shoots anymore, and I’ll gladly hand a stunt over to a stunt man. I no longer remember the first rule of Fight Club. But it’s also nights like this where I get to look back and feel really, really blessed. I feel so fortunate to all the amazing people I’ve been able to work with who have taught me so much and who’ve touched my life.
If you, like Mr. Pitt, need a refresher, here is the famous scene from the movie:
Sure, it seems like Pitt was joking. Maybe. Or maybe he was intentionally lying. Because after all, the first rule of Fight Club is you do not talk about Fight Club. He’s supposed to go up on stage and just blab it to all of those people? No! All these years later, he’s still following the rules.