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Brad Pitt: Lay off the Jennifer Aniston talk, already!

Deanna Barnert covers entertainment from all the corners. Stay tuned to SheKnows for Deanna's in depth reports on everything you need to know about television, film and celeb gossip.

Pitt says Aniston "is a valuable person"

With Moneyball hitting theaters Monday, Brad Pitt sat down with Matt Lauer to talk baseball and promote his movie. In the prerecorded chat, airing Thursday, Pitt also opened up about the recent controversy over his Parade magazine interview and the unending Brangelina and Angie/Brad/Jen news cycle.

Brad Pitt's new movie Moneyball is all about the Oakland As and general manager Billy Beane (Pitt), so the superstar met up with Matt Lauer at the team's home base, The Coliseum. Pitt may have hoped the setting would deflect any Angelina Jolie/Jennifer Aniston questions, but in the interview airing tomorrow morning, Lauer didn't hesitate to ask about the Parade interview in which Pitt raved about Jolie as a mom and also seemed to imply that his marriage to Aniston was "pathetic" and "dull".

Brad Pitt tells Matt Lauer: 'I Can't Say Something Nice About Angie Without Jen Being Drug In'

Pitt, who already apologized for the misunderstanding, told Lauer, "I don't want them to say anything bad like that about Jen. She's a dear friend of mine. "

That said, however, Pitt also claimed he doesn't exactly know what the hype was about. "I haven't really seen the reaction. I've been told about the reaction," he said. "I don't know what was pieced together or put together.

"All I know is that my point was, the best thing I'd done as a father is be sure that my kids have a good mother," he continued. "That's all I was, or am, trying to say. It has no reference to the past. And I think it's a shame that I can't say something nice about Angie without Jen being drug in. You know, she doesn't deserve it."

While he spoke out to defend his ex this time, Pitt insisted he doesn't follow the constant stream of stories about himself, Jolie and Aniston.

"I don't wanna be encumbered by any of that," he said. "I know my intentions, and I know what I believe, and I know things get misconstrued, and I know there's a good cycle and a good story to say we're splitting up. And then when we don't, they say we've come together again, it's another new cycle, and then there's a secret wedding. 'No, that was put on hold because they're upset.' I live outside of that, and it's much healthier."

He also revealed Aniston did not reach out to him about the Parade hype or his apology. "She's also a seasoned veteran and she knows," he explained. "You know, and she's a valuable person. We spent seven years together. Come on."

Pitt on Moneyball

Pitt opened up about his personal life because that's what it takes to drum up press for his real projects, whether they're professional or philanthropic. In this case, he's promoting Moneyball, his new drama co-starring Jonah Hill, Robin Wright and Philip Seymour Hoffman, which he sees as a David and Goliath story about justice and choices. Of course, it's also about baseball.

Brad Pitt and Jonah Hill in Moneyball

The movie recounts the story of Oakland A's general manager Billy Beane's successful attempt to build a baseball club by using a computer-generated analysis to draft his players.

"It's certainly a sports film," Pitt said. "Baseball is its backdrop. I love process and getting inside in films. I love movies about process. And so there, we get inside baseball. We get under the stadium and into the offices and into the clubhouse."

With writer Steve Zaillian (Schindler's List) and Aaron Sorkin (The Social Network) on board, the film is already generating Oscar buzz. Lauer brought that up, but Pitt wasn't interested in hearing it.

"Well, it was -- it remains a great piece of material for me that I got to take on," Pitt hedged. "It's too early to talk about all that other stuff. It's all good fun if your number comes up, and it's even more fun when your friend's number comes up."

See what else Brad Pitt had to say about his ladies and his movies when his interview with Matt Lauer airs Thursday, Sept. 22 on NBC's Today, sometime between 7 and 9 a.m.

Image: Today / Sony

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