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Brad Pitt on Joplin: 'My thoughts are certainly with them'

05/25/2011 by Kristina Lopez

Actor Brad Pitt, who grew up in Missouri, spoke to reporters on Tuesday in Los Angeles during the premiere of his upcoming film "The Tree of Life," about the tornado that struck Joplin, Missouri on Sunday.

The tornado, which hit the city with winds of more than 200 mph, killed 122 people southwest Missouri city, reports the Associated Press. Officials estimated about 750 people were injured.

The Joplin tornado was the deadliest single twister since The National Weather Service began keeping official records in 1950 and the eighth-deadliest in U.S. history.

Pitt, who was born in Shawnee, Oklahoma and raised in Springfield, Missouri, told the press, "I spent a lot of time in Joplin. My grandparents are from there. It's about 50, 60 miles from where I grew up. We're looking into it now and my thoughts are certainly with them. "

He added, "Of course, a lot will be coming out in the next day, next few days and they have a big mountain ahead of them. I wish them the best."

Pitt's mother, Jane, and her parents lived in Joplin before she married the actor's father, William, in the town 1962, records show. Pitt's grandparents have since passed away.

"The Tree of Life" won the Palme d'Or award at the Cannes Film Festival on Sunday. The award is a top honor at the Festival. The movie is described as "a far-flung story of family life that plays out against a cosmic backdrop, including glorious visuals of the creation of the universe and the era of dinosaurs," according to the Associated Press.

"The Tree of Life" opens in theaters on Friday and also stars Sean Penn and Jessica Chastain.

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