December 5th, 2007
02:51 PM ET
11 years ago

Brad Pitt: Rebuild New Orleans

Watch this clip from "Larry King Live"

(CNN) – Hollywood star Brad Pitt, who bought a home in New Orleans earlier this year to demonstrate his solidarity with the hurricane-ravaged city, has thrown himself into a major rebuilding project in one of its hardest-hit neighborhoods.

In an interview with CNN’s “Larry King Live,” the actor and architectural enthusiast discusses “Make It Right,” an adopt-a-house project that allows people to donate money to help build 150 environmentally friendly homes in New Orleans’s Lower Ninth Ward, a neighborhood still reeling from the effects of Hurricane Katrina in 2005.

In this clip, Pitt calls on the 2008 presidential candidates to help the Lower Ninth Ward and other parts of New Orleans damaged by the historic storm.

“I hope this becomes, and is, one of the major issues in this campaign,” Pitt tells King. “I hope it’s used not so much as a whipping stick for the past administration but really used for a proving ground, an opportunity to address these issues of health care and education reform,”

New Orleans’s bid to host a 2008 presidential debate was recently rejected by the Commission on Presidential Debates – a move that was sharply criticized by White House contender John Edwards, who has made the sluggish pace of rebuilding in that city a centerpiece of his presidential bid.

Other Democratic candidates have also criticized the Bush administration for the city’s slow recovery pace.

Watch more of the interview Wednesday on "Larry King Live."

- CNN Associate Producer Martina Stewart

Filed under: Katrina
soundoff (50 Responses)
  1. Frank Va. Bch., VA

    What a stupid hypocrite!

    December 5, 2007 07:50 pm at 7:50 pm |
  2. marti j , springfield, ct.

    Brad is dedicated , but giving someone a house doesn't solve the problem. And the problem is that some of these residents spend money on things other than insurance. Will Brad replace their house every time it sinks?

    December 5, 2007 08:49 pm at 8:49 pm |
  3. bill e. - raleigh n.c.

    Even if you give these people a house, they're not gonna take care of it . And they're not gonna move if an evacuation order is called when another flood arises.

    December 5, 2007 09:23 pm at 9:23 pm |
  4. vtercell, just wanderin' around in America

    It's too bad there wasn't a hurricane in Antartica - maybe Brad Pitt would have moved there.

    December 5, 2007 10:05 pm at 10:05 pm |
  5. Jeff Spangler, Arlington, VA

    Would Brad and his wife rebuild their homes in an area where it is certain that the homes would be destroyed again in 25-50 years? The rebuilt levees can withstand no more than a Cat 3 storm, assuring that in 25 to 50 years, a storm will breach them again.

    December 5, 2007 10:20 pm at 10:20 pm |
  6. chris, chicago, il

    Not bad Brad.

    December 5, 2007 10:23 pm at 10:23 pm |
  7. Farrell, Houston, Tx

    Brad and Angelina are the faces of young people who will and can make a change in America and I say God Bless them. And guess what, they haven't asked anyone for their opinion only if one wants to support their efforts.

    December 5, 2007 10:31 pm at 10:31 pm |

    Tell that to the Dutch. They seem to be doing very well with their system of polders and vast sections of their country below sea level.
    Posted By Wayne, Greenville TX

    Sure, lets do as the Dutch do? Uh, there is a huge difference here Wayne, the topography is also much different, but that doesn't matter? Or does it?

    Pete M., New York, New York

    Maybe you have a point? Do people who live on train tracks have a right to Government Protection and money to rebuild when the 10:21 comes rumbling through the bedroom? Do people who live on the rims of volcanoes have a right to Government Protection and money to rebuild when their world goes up in flames? If a tree falls in the forest, and you live underneath it, shouldn't you have heard the sound of logic telling you not to live there to begin with? Don't you city people have any common sense?

    December 5, 2007 11:11 pm at 11:11 pm |
  9. Marie, Ontario Canada

    For those of you who say don't rebuild there, it is quite obvious you don't live there or have the connection to the area that those living there do. If you feel they may be flooded again then avoid rebuilding anywhere hit by fires, floods, hurricanes, tornadoes, mudslides and earthquakes. Now lets see how many areas of the US that wipes out. Funny how so many of you want to save Iraqis and spend billions there you are borrowing, but you resent helping your own citizens. And remember the other areas that got hit by the storm did not get the flooding the day after by the levee breaching. Aren't those levees maintained by the Army Corp of Engineers and not the citizens themselves? Can we stop hearing the US claim they want to help others around the world and then have to read that they don't even want to help their own.

    December 6, 2007 12:09 am at 12:09 am |
  10. Steve, Lyons, CO

    "To build on land that is actually below sea level is ridiculous, Mr. Pitt. As ridiculous as your relationship with Angelina Jolie." Jenn Jo, Kentuckey

    Whoa. Haven't gotten any in quite awhile, hmm, Jenn?

    December 6, 2007 01:19 am at 1:19 am |
  11. William Courtland, Waterford, Ontario

    When the hazards and disruptions of the paparazzi's requirement for pictures of the kids was being discussed: I hope the pictures that CNN showed were taken by a hired man provided by the Pitt's family.

    Actors need to have a better license over thier image, as do most of the general public. In Tourist attractions shots are available in the gift shop, and enhanced picture places should be found to prevent "walk throughs and unfamiliars" in the vaction pictures.

    When an recording is taken of a person who holds and insures title to thier image: voice permission should be had to allow a personal photo, and written consent should be granted for any further publication beyond a personal web-site.

    December 6, 2007 03:08 am at 3:08 am |
  12. mark wilkes barre pa

    j houston,,, the army cp of engineers understand the basics,,, aren't they the ones who built the dikes ? Lets see,, build a city in a bowl????? add too much water to that bowl ?????

    December 6, 2007 06:28 am at 6:28 am |
  13. Wayne, Greenville TX

    God I wish everyone understood the basic principles of engineering

    Posted By J Houston, TX : December 5, 2007 4:11 pm

    Which is why the houses Brad Pitt is helping to build are all built on stilts to keep them above flood waters.

    13 top architects are participating in the project, and I'm sure they understand "the basic principles of engineering".

    Additional information on Brad's "Make it Right" project can be found on their web site:

    December 6, 2007 08:28 am at 8:28 am |
  14. Alexander, Washington, DC USA

    Who cares, why is Brad Pitt filed under Politics? Does this mean his intentions are politically motivated? Please CNN get real...

    December 6, 2007 08:50 am at 8:50 am |
  15. josh, bring-common-sense-back, USA

    Brad Pitt is a good actor, but that's where it ends. Why do I care about this actors political opinion. And will someone tell me why we should rebuild a city that IS BELOW SEA LEVEL! So this can happen again the next time a hurricane comes? Think Donkies.

    December 6, 2007 08:53 am at 8:53 am |
  16. caegncookn

    New Orleans is a toilet bowl, literally. That smell was there loooong before the hurricane...

    December 6, 2007 09:38 am at 9:38 am |
  17. Anonymous

    I wonder how much all those purple canopies cost? Oh well.., at least the homeless of New Orleans will have a place to sleep..

    December 6, 2007 09:40 am at 9:40 am |
  18. summus

    Celebrity builds and then gives away free houses in flood zone.

    December 6, 2007 10:04 am at 10:04 am |
  19. Scott, Atlanta, GA

    great, here comes another celebrity on their high horse.

    December 6, 2007 10:44 am at 10:44 am |
  20. LeftyLoosey

    Who needs a federal government when we have Brad Pitt.

    December 6, 2007 02:12 pm at 2:12 pm |
  21. ronnie knoxville, tn.

    he's a drop out who can't speak proper english who makes way too much money for ...what? however he IS a step above Hollywood actors who don't give

    December 6, 2007 06:15 pm at 6:15 pm |
  22. A.F. - Boulder CO.

    "So-called Architect Thinks you can Build a Home Below Sea Level"

    December 6, 2007 08:12 pm at 8:12 pm |
  23. Dan (Columbia, MD)

    While I think it's great that Brad backs up his talk with action and money I think that ultimately the people of New Orleans are to blame. When you live in an area with a high risk of flooding in a city where the infrastructure is poorly maintained what do you think is going to happen when a major storm rips through the area???

    It's odd. You'd think that a city run by liberals for so long would be a socialist utopia.

    December 6, 2007 11:14 pm at 11:14 pm |
  24. Tom Dedham, Mass

    I saw Brad Pitt on "The Today Show" Monday morning, and he said he's pledged $5 million of his own money to rebuilding New Orleans. How refreshing to see a celebrity put his money where his mouth is.

    How much can we expect from GOP-leaning celebrities, such as Ahnold, Bruce Willis, and Particia Heaton???

    There you go again Wayne, everything is political and left-right with you.

    But considering that this Republican President has poored BILLIONS into this area and YEARS and YEARS of social programs has done what exactly?

    An attitude change has to be part of the equation.

    The same people that did nothing to help themselves before, are still doing nothing to help themselves now.

    I RESPECT the folks that lifted themselves up and are making a difference in their lives and others, the do nothings, deserve no plaudits just ridicule.

    I wholly applaud and support Brad Pitt for doing this, with no care of his political leanings.

    Not sure why this is on the ticker though?

    December 7, 2007 10:45 am at 10:45 am |
  25. KL Michigan

    I think it is great that Brad Pitt is helping out in New Orleans. But to the average middle class family we can't, we are just barely getting by making our own payments, even with 2 parent's working 2 jobs the cost of living is hard in today's world. We live in Northern Michigan where there is no hurricanes or heavy floodings, very seldom even a tornado , but we are still pay for what happens in the South by higher insurance costs and wood costs. I think it's great when you have the money and time to help, there is alot of people who would love to be able to help, but we can't, and it is not a choice for us. We live where we are geneally safe. Where we are not gonna lose are houses because of weather. I think in a all fairness, asking for help is great but it should be directed at the wealthy only, I'm sure they have worked hard for what they have, so have we. I think the politicians and stars and anybody that has a large corporation should and could help out, but they need to help out in places like New Orleans and Florida, California any wheres in the Uniterd States, we need to help our own out and get everyone here back on track before we are helping all of these other countries!! Most middle class and lower feel terrible for what goes on and we can't help.

    December 28, 2007 02:41 am at 2:41 am |
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