Brad Pitt has defended the level of violence in his new gangster movie Killing Them Softly, insisting gory scenes are "absolutely important to film."
The Hollywood actor plays a mob fixer opposite Ray Liotta in the movie, which premiered at the Cannes Film Festival in France this week.
It features a number of brutal and bloody murder scenes, but Pitt is adamant violence on the big screen is an important part of Hollywood and admits he would feel worse about playing a racist character than a cold-blooded killer.
He tells reporters at Cannes, "Violence is an accepted part of the gangster world. Murder is a possibility. I would have a harder time playing a racist, something along those lines; that would be much more upsetting to me than playing someone shooting a guy in the face."
"But we live in such a violent world. I grew up hunting, which is a very violent act. If you've ever had a hamburger, the way they butcher a cow is barbaric and horrendous. This is the world we live in. I see violence as absolutely important to film."