Groups that helped coordinate the screening at MU of George Butler’s “Going Upriver: The Long War of John Kerry” said actor Brad Pitt came to the event strictly to support his candidate at his old school.
Stars such as Cameron Diaz, Dermot Mulroney, Pitt and his wife, Jennifer Aniston, all attended the Palisades Pictures screening of “Going Upriver” when it kicked off its college tour and DVD release in Los Angeles.
Pitt simply took his cause a step closer to home. Pitt is from Springfield, Mo., and attended MU.
The MU College Democrats, along with the Vietnam Veterans for America Foundation and Palisades Pictures Entertainment Group, sponsored the event, which already included Pitt’s appearance.
“It just dropped in our lap,” Elena Lamprich, publicity coordinator for MU College Democrats, said of Pitt showing up at the screening. “It was kind of a package deal.”
Keiligh Thomas of Palisades Pictures said Pitt came to Columbia because of his ties to the school.
Todd McCubbin, executive director of the MU Alumni Association, said Pitt came to support his candidate but acknowledges MU played a part as well.
Neither McCubbin nor anyone contacted for this story can remember the last time Pitt visited Columbia.
“It’s been a long time since he’s been here officially,” McCubbin said. “I’ve been here for nine years, and I haven’t known him to be here officially in that time.”
McCubbin said Pitt has never been asked to be a part of homecoming celebrations.
“We have never extended the invitation for him to be the grand marshal for homecoming because of logistical and timing issues, but we will always consider him,” he said. “No doubt.”
Pitt arrived in Columbia on Wednesday afternoon and left town immediately after the early evening event in Jesse Auditorium.
“It was just a quick visit,” McCubbin said.