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Francesco Bonami

old-man babies

Benjamin Button’s Taraji P. Henson Signed Up to Work With Brad Pitt, Not an Old-Man Baby

Since his character ages backward from 80 to an infant, Brad Pitt couldn't act in every scene of The Curious Case of Benjamin Button — much to the disappointment of Taraji P. Henson, who plays his surrogate mom. "He's good, but he's not that good — he can't shrink himself," she told us at last night's Cinema Society screening. "I was like, 'I signed up to work with Brad Pitt. Where is he?'" Instead, a chagrined Henson spent most of her time working with stand-in actors, who would later be replaced with computer-generated old-man babies. "They had a blue sock on their head and they had the face cut out so I could interact with them," she explained.

"[David] Fincher was like, 'Don't worry about that, we have a whole team that's going to take care of that. You just act,'" she continued. "But I couldn't really conceptualize it. He tried to explain it to me … But once I got past the blue cap, I was able to let go. There’s a scene where he’s like bare-chested with Brad Pitt’s head, and I knew where to look. And it’s incredible, it’s seamless, it’s perfect." Henson said she did get to work with the real Brad a little, and not even his new mustache would discourage her from doing it again: "Cute. Sexy. He can't go wrong. He can wear a bag on his head and he's fine."

Photo: Getty Images, Courtesy of Paramount