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Brad Pitt Wasn't 'Volatile' on Set, Says Source, Slamming Director as 'Desperate for Attention' (Exclusive)

An industry insider is pushing back on director Edward Zwick’s memories of working with Brad Pitt on ‘Legends of the Fall’

<p>Michael Kovac/FilmMagic for AFI;Liaison/Getty</p> (Left to right:) Edward Zwick in 2019, Brad Pitt in "Legends of the Fall"

Michael Kovac/FilmMagic for AFI;Liaison/Getty

(Left to right:) Edward Zwick in 2019, Brad Pitt in "Legends of the Fall"

An industry insider is pushing back on director Edward Zwick’s memories of working with Brad Pitt.

According to a source familiar with the filming of the 1994 Western hit Legends of the Fall, Pitt, who starred in the film, was not the “volatile” one on set, as Zwick claims in his upcoming memoir, Hits, Flops, and Other Illusions: My Fortysomething Years in Hollywood.

“They had disagreements,” a source involved with the film tells PEOPLE. “But Brad was not volatile.”

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In his book, Zwick, 71, describes the star as “volatile when riled,” per an exclusive excerpt published in Vanity Fair.

Zwick’s recollection of Legends of the Fall, which costarred Anthony Hopkins, Aidan Quinn and Julia Ormond, includes one afternoon in which the filmmaker "started giving [Pitt] direction out loud in front of the crew," something Zwick writes was "a stupid, shaming provocation—and Brad came back at me, also out loud, telling me to back off."

Pitt, 60, allegedly disagreed with Zwick over the nature of his role as Tristan Ludlow, a rural Missouri native.

<p>Gallery Books</p> "Hits, Flops, and Other Illusions: My Fortysomething Years in Hollywood" by Edward Zwick

Gallery Books

"Hits, Flops, and Other Illusions: My Fortysomething Years in Hollywood" by Edward Zwick

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"In his defense, I was pushing him to do something he felt was either wrong for the character, or more 'emo' than he wanted to appear on-screen," the Blood Diamond helmer writes in the memoir. "I don't know who yelled first, who swore, or who threw the first chair. Me, maybe? But when we looked up, the crew had disappeared.”

Related: Brad Pitt Circling Reunion with Director Quentin Tarantino for The Movie Critic (Reports)

<p>TriStar Pictures/Everett</p> Julia Ormond and Brad Pitt in "Legends of the Fall"

TriStar Pictures/Everett

Julia Ormond and Brad Pitt in "Legends of the Fall"

Zwick writes that that confrontation wasn’t an isolated incident. “Eventually the crew grew accustomed to our dustups and would walk away and let us have it out. ‘We hate it when the parents fight,’ said one.”

The director adds that the two would reconcile after "each blowup."

"We’d make up, and mean it," he writes. "It was never personal. Brad is a forthright, straightforward person, fun to be with and capable of great joy. He was never anything less than fully committed to doing his best."

An industry source calls Zwick's characterization "sort of sad."

"It's sort of sad that he's so desperate for attention that he would talk trash about people like Julia Roberts and Brad Pitt and others, when he's the one whose behavior, kicking over chairs and throwing things, got so bad that it upset the cast and crew," says the source.

Reps for Zwick and Pitt did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Hits, Flops, and Other Illusions will be released on Feb. 12.

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