I want to be the next Rich Little, so I’m working on my new stage act.

Here’s my impression of Brad Pitt: “Waaaaaaaaaa. Waaaaaaa. Waaaaaaaa. Waaaaaaaa.”

How did I do? Did I capture the movie star’s essence? If you closed your eyes, could you picture him crying in front of you?

OK, maybe it sounded an awful lot like a few other crybaby movie stars, but I think Pitt is crying the loudest right now.

The hunky star of the ridiculous “Mr. & Mrs. Smith” has been on his version of a promotional campaign lately, which has amounted to nothing more than an exercise in ego. Big bad Brad wants to show the media how much control he has over them.

Did you see Diane Sawyer’s TV interview with the reluctant star? How sad.

It is obvious that Pitt agreed to appear on the hourlong show only if Sawyer devoted most of the hour to the actor’s concern over the horrible conditions in Africa.

It is a noble cause, and I credit the actor for using his celebrity status to shine a much-needed light on the tragedy in Africa.

But what happened to his end of the deal? Wasn’t he supposed to answer a few personal questions in exchange for ABC spending so much time on Africa? Where were the answers to the questions that his fans – you remember them, Brad? – wanted to hear?

Pitt stonewalled Sawyer so thoroughly that she didn’t know what hit her.

And it wasn’t much better for the rest of the media types, whose only crime was that they were trying to interview Pitt to promote his new movie, which would make him richer, more famous and apparently more disdainful of his fans than he already is.

Last week, Pitt and co-star Angelina Jolie (who has always been pretty open with the media) held a news conference to push their movie, which opened Friday.

The print media in this country was excluded, and those who were invited to the news conference (TV and international reporters) were handpicked by Pitt’s publicist, presumably because they were deemed to be more friendly to the star and more amenable to being bullied.

They all were required to sign an agreement before they walked in the door promising that they would not ask Pitt any personal questions, or face being thrown out.

I’m not sure what is more appalling – that Pitt would be arrogant enough to make such a demand, or that these media people were willing to sign such an agreement. It’s a sorry time for the media when a movie star can get away with something like this.

Celebrities who find themselves in the middle of a media storm can blunt the onslaught by simply facing up to the truth.

The day after telephone-throwing superstar Russell Crowe was arrested in New York City, he went on David Letterman’s show and apologized. Once he did that, who cared about Crowe’s incident anymore, except for the victim of the alleged assault who will probably sue the actor to pick up a few bucks and 15 minutes of notoriety?

If Pitt and Jolie had faced an open and honest news conference, where all the media was invited, all they had to do is face the rumors head-on and say: “We are not romantically involved” or “We are romantically involved, but we’d like to keep it a private matter until we break up in three weeks.”

I would like to have been at that news conference. I have a few questions for Brad Pitt.

The first, of course, is: “Why did you go into the movie business if you don’t like the spotlight?”

So many actors whine endlessly about the white-hot light of celebrity that shines on them, when they could have avoided it altogether by staying in regional theater. Nothing cools the spotlight like a career in the theater. And they would still get to pursue their craft, and that’s all it’s really about, isn’t it? That’s what they keep telling us.

My next question would be: “If you’re such a serious thespian, why did you appear in a piece of fluff like “Mr. & Mrs. Smith?’ It couldn’t be the money, could it? My feeling is that if you do something for the money, and I have nothing against movie stars who do it just for the money, then you’ve got to be willing to answer a few questions.

Finally, I’d like to ask Mr. Pitt: “Do you believe in publicity stunts, and is this one of them?”

Some actors will say that they owe the fans only a good performance. Sorry, but I disagree. You chose a life in the spotlight, and you have been handsomely rewarded for it. Stop complaining about all the attention.

Nobody likes a crybaby.

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