Makeup artist Jean Ann Black is Brad Pitt’s friend and co-worker for nearly 30 years. They’ve worked on over 40 movies, including Once Upon a Time In . . . Hollywood, which landed him an Oscar this year.
Pitt and Black are being featured on the premiere episode Celebrity IOU, a new HGTV show hosted by Property Brothers Drew and Jonathan Scott. The Scotts, along with an A-list celebrity, surprise someone special to them with a fabulous home renovation. In Pitt’s case, he’s doing a heartwarming renovation for his longtime friend.
“A lot of people don’t know he is so into architecture,” Jonathan told Entertainment Tonight Online. “He’s brilliant when it comes to the home. So the fact that he was part of our premiere episode of Celebrity IOU is amazing.”
“I will admit when we were doing demolition, he beat me through the walls. Like, he smashed through that thing like no one’s business,” he continued. “Really, it was so cool to see someone that’s such a huge celebrity just want to get in and put his own hands in on the work because he wanted to do this for someone he loves.”
To find out more fast facts about Black, continue reading below:
1. Black Is Like Family to Brad Pitt
Pitt said that he and Black met in the early ’90s. He said fate bring’s certain people together, and Black is one of those people for him.
“She’s family. We’re like brother and sister. We bicker, we fight… Jean is one of those nucleus’ we all orbit around,” Pitt tells the Scott brothers. “Even if I tank a scene, she’s always right there telling me, ‘Hey, it’s all right.’ And not just for me. For anyone.”
On their first gig together, Black asked Pitt if he needed anything. She remembered that he said to just bring good music.
The first movie they did together was Cool World. “I would say you’d never think in a million years that you would be with someone 27 years and almost 30 films,” she told GQ in 2017. “To have traveled the world with him…It’s a whole life that I would never have thought possible. It’s pretty unusual for someone like Brad, or someone in that position, to be so loyal.”
She said that Pitt is part of the reason she stayed in the Hollywood makeup industry. They’ve been able to have a good time together over the decades and shared a lot of laughs.
2. Black Put Makeup on Brad Pitt’s Butt
Black said being a makeup artist is more than just cosmetics. It’s also about trust. “Makeup is a lot about trust,” she said on Celebrity IOU. “It’s not always about how great you are at makeup. It’s how much you can understand people.”
Trust is something that Black and Pitt definitely have. There was even a point where it got uncomfortable. Pitt remembered one time Jean had to use her makeup in an unusual way.
“There was a time, on Legends of the Fall, she had to make up my butt because of bad tan lines,” he recalled on the episode. “When it comes up, we can’t really look each other in the eye.”
3. Pitt Teared Up About Surprising Jean & The Finished Project
Pitt got emotional when thinking about how much Black would love the renovation. When he first walked in he said this was “hilarious.” After letting everything sink in, he said it was “amazing” and that it used to look like a “s— box.”
In a side interview with HGTV, Pitt said what the Property Brothers did was fantastic. “I’ve been waiting so long to see something like this happen to that dump,” he said. “That’s honest.”
Pitt loved the overall look. “This will mean so much to her,” Pitt said. “I’m the guy who’s gonna cry on television. I can’t take it in just yet, what it will mean to her, and all the people she helps, and how much she means to me. It’s just great.”
4. Black Said She and Pitt Are Both ‘Loners’
After their first film together, Black and Pitt were able to work together again on A River Runs Through It because someone in the makeup department dropped out. Pitt wasn’t that big of a star at that time where he could request a certain makeup artist.
“Brad and I are both loners. We had kind of a sense we could enjoy being in the same room without having to talk all the time. Although now that I think back I did for some reason always want to talk to him while he was reading or trying to sleep,” she recalled to GQ.
“But anyway like I said it’s kind of a rare duo, a rare thing to have someone in his position…there’s so much attrition in this business, it’s so much about personalities and egos. You can easily be with someone great one day and then the next 5 movies down you’re out,” she continued. “It’s a little bit of a conundrum at times to me, Lili, but you know it’s kind of something that you can’t really explain. It just happens.
Black added: “There was just a real copacetic type of thing in terms of humor and things we like.”
5. Black Has Spent More Time With Jean Than Most of Her Family
One of the things that has made Black and Pitt connect is the commonalities they share. “Brad and I do things in life,” she told GQ. “He and some friends will come over to the house and have drinks here or I’ll go over there.”
In the dozens of movies they’ve worked on together, Black has spent more time with Pitt than anyone else in her life–even her family. “I’ve spent more time with him and all these years than anyone else including my family,” she told the publication. “When you’re in a relationship like that you have to have it be sort of a family situation and also a professional situation as well.”
Though they try to always remain professional while on set together, people can normally see how close they are. “When I’m working with him I try to be as professional as possible, but it’s pretty obvious to people that he and I are quite close,” she said. “He’s there for me and I’m there for him.”
At the time, there was an incident and Pitt made sure to take care of Black. “Just recently I had an accident and he was there for me,” she remembered. “Those kind of things—especially when you’re away from home and family—are very important. He knows that I’m always there for him should things come up and something always does come up one way or the other!”
Celebrity IOU airs Mondays at 9 p.m. PT/ET on HGTV.