Brad Pitt has confirmed he has a special place in his heart for gay stories, during publicity for the release of his new film, The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford.

Answering questions from critics at the Venice Film Festival, where the film opened, Pitt appeared temporarily stunned when asked if the tale – a western – was actually a gay drama about the relationship between two men.

“If that’s what works for you, it’s absolutely fine,” he replied.

“You can interpret it as you will but it’s actually much more complex.

“I do love a gay story though.”

The admission came as Pitt suffered at the hands of attending photographers.

He refused to act on repeated calls from the photographers to take off his sunglasses and the mutual irritation grew so great members of the media decided to take action.

Photographers booed the A-list Hollywood star and then staged a walk-out, suddenly turning their backs on one of the most photographed men on Earth.

But the day also allowed Pitt to tell the world how much he was enjoying fatherhood.

“It’s the most fun I’ve ever had and also the biggest pain in the ass I’ve ever experienced,” he said.

“I love it and can’t recommend it any more highly — although sleep is non-existent.”