Brad Pitt has wanted to work with the Coen brothers for ages. Then he got wind of the birdbrain they had written for him to play.

"I've been knocking on the brothers' door for a few years, so I was really happy when they called me," Pitt told reporters at the Toronto International Film Festival on Saturday, a day after Joel and Ethan Coen's comedy "Burn After Reading" premiered there.

"Until I read the piece, and I was real upset," Pitt jokingly added.

Pitt's character, an ignoramus in way over his head on a blackmail scheme, is among a gaggle of boneheads caroming about in "Burn After Reading," whose cast includes his and the Coens' frequent collaborator George Clooney, plus John Malkovich, Tilda Swinton, Richard Jenkins and Joel Coen's wife, Frances McDormand. The movie opens in theaters Friday.