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Brad Pitt Talks Still-Struggling New Orleans: "I Wish We Could Do More"

Remember Brad Pitt the architecture enthusiast?

Well, with the fifth anniversary of Hurricane Katrina approaching, that guy was in New Orleans' Lower 9th Ward to inspect the progress of the green rebuilding program he spearheaded to get the impoverished neighborhood back on its feet.

"We chose this spot because it was the iconic location of everything that was wrong with the rescue, the recovery," Pitt told NBC's Brian Williams today, referring to the government's much-criticized response to the natural disaster in September 2005.

But when Williams referred to the newly built homes—about 50 out of a planned 150 are up so far—as Pitt's empire, he gently protested that characterization.

"It's not mine, it's theirs," he said simply. "I see them having barbecues out in the [backyards] and I'm just thrilled."

When asked what he could take credit for, Pitt modestly replied, "I can take credit for sitting down with the community first [before the government], and I can take credit for bringing in some really smart people and hooking them up with the families here."

(Not to mention, he and that lovely partner of his also purchased a home in the Big Easy, bumping up property values in at least one community.)

Pitt says he hopes that in five years his foundation will have not only built 150 homes but also will have raised more money to expand the project into other areas of New Orleans.

"We've got the price point down on these homes to any antiquated, conventional housing," Pitt said. "There's no reason to do it any other way."

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You may recognize Mr. Pitt from our Do-Gooder Gallery.

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