Brad Pitt hopes Fury 'respects' World War Two soldiers
Brad Pitt said he hoped his new film Fury recognised the trauma suffered by soldiers in World War Two as it closed this year's BFI London Film Festival.
"War is hell," said Pitt, who plays a Sherman tank commander on a mission behind enemy lines in 1945.
He said the film "was about the accumulative psychic trauma that every soldier carries to some extent."
The London showing was the European premiere of the film, which is released in the UK on Wednesday.
Speaking on the red carpet, Pitt told the BBC News website: "The film follows a tank crew - which hasn't really been dissected before to this kind of detail."
Pitt and co-stars Shia LaBeouf, Logan Lerman, Michael Pena and Jon Bernthal were greeted by hundreds of cheering fans in Leicester Square.
They were also joined by World War Two ex-tank crewman Peter Comfort, 90, who had worked as an adviser on Fury.
Bernthal said: "This movie is family drama. It's about a family travelling through hell in a metal box."
Earlier, Pitt told a press conference that he hoped soldiers would feel "respectfully recognised" by what the film showed.
"It is an amazing fact of human nature that one year we can be chopping each other up [and] the next we can be sharing a pint. We continually devolve into conflict, no matter how much we evolve."
The 50-year-old was working on Fury at the same time his wife Angelina Jolie was directing her forthcoming WWII film Unbroken, which stars Jack O'Connell as an Olympic athlete taken prisoner by Japanese forces.
"It was a lovely experience; we don't normally work at the same time," said Pitt, who previously played a soldier in Quentin Tarantino's Inglourious Basterds.
"I was studying the European theatre [of war]; she was studying the Pacific theatre. I was studying tanks; she was studying bombers."
Fury's director, David Ayer, said it was a "privilege" to close the BFI London Film Festival with a film shot in the UK - specifically around Oxfordshire and at Bovingdon Airfield in Hertfordshire.
"It brings great closure to the process," he said. "One year ago to the day, we were shooting some of those very battle scenes."
According to the director, Pitt would often stay inside the tank during breaks on set.
"There's nothing ergonomical about a tank," Pitt admitted. "You were always getting banged up on something.
"But we were forced to familiarise ourselves with the tank and we all found our little comfort spots. I became quite proprietorial about it."
The London Film Festival opened on 8 October with another WWII film, The Imitation Game, about codebreaker Alan Turing.
Festival Director Clare Stewart said this year's festival had a record audience turnout of 163,300, a 7.5% increase on last year.
Sunday's gala screening followed an awards event on Saturday at which director Stephen Frears was honoured with a British Film Institute fellowship.