On Saturday, Brad Pitt played Dr. Anthony Fauci in a cold-open sketch on Saturday Night Live, and since then, the skit has been watched more than 11 million times on YouTube. Now Fauci himself is speaking out on Pitt's portrayal -- and he's a big fan.
"I think he did great," Fauci said in an interview with Telemundo's Un Nuevo Dia. "I'm a great fan of Brad Pitt, and that's the reason why when people ask me who I would like to play me, I mention Brad Pitt, because he's one of my favorite actors."
In the skit, Pitt as Fauci translates some of President Donald Trump's statements about the coronavirus outbreak. After airing a clip where Trump says a vaccine could be created "relatively soon," Pitt's Fauci snarks, "Relative to the entire history of Earth? Sure, the vaccine's going to come real fast."
But the real Dr. Fauci said the NBC show's jokes were pretty accurate.
"Everything (Pitt) said on SNL is what's going on," Fauci said in the Telemundo interview. "He did a pretty good job of putting everything together."
The doctor also praised Pitt for a moment when the actor removed his wig and stepped out of character to thank not only Fauci, but others on the front lines of the disease.
"I think he showed that he is really a classy guy when at the end he took off his hair and thanked me and all of the health care workers," Fauci said. "So not only is he a really great actor, but he is actually a classy person."
Fauci, 79, is head of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, and has turned into a pop-culture figure thanks to his calm, level-headed approach on his frequent television appearances.
There's even Fauci merchandise, and an online petition urging that he be named People magazine's Sexiest Man Alive -- a title Pitt has already held. And Pitt's casting as Fauci made the doctor's own desire come true. Days before the show aired, Fauci joked to CNN that "of course" he'd love to be portrayed by the actor.