Arriving in Italy on August 28 for the Venice Film Festival, Brad Pitt drew headlines for having a new tattoo, a tall skinny man standing above what seems to be his smaller shadow.
The media inches dedicated to the fresh ink at a time and place when dozens of other A-listers were descending on Venice proves Pitt is, at 55, arguably still Hollywood’s biggest movie star.
“Like a Steve McQueen or someone … you like watching the way he moves, you like watching the way he drives,” director Quentin Tarantino told GQ in July.
“This cool, masculine quality that a movie star can have – he has it.”
The father of six is in Venice for the world premiere of his new sci-fi epic Ad Astra, which opens in September.
Three decades into his career, Pitt’s role as an astronaut searching the cosmos for his missing scientist dad is his second this year to already generate Oscars buzz.
Pitt – the “last good-looking white man“, according to New Yorker writer Doreen St Felix, is living his best life three years after he had to rebuild it because of an acrimonious split with then-wife Angelina Jolie,
He’s reconciled with most of his kids, is fit enough to showcase his six pack shirtless on screen 28 years after he first did it in Thelma & Louise, and buoyed by rave reviews for his role in Tarantino’s Once Upon a Time in Hollywood.
It was reported in April that Jolie, 55, and Pitt (whose recent dating life is a mystery, although he was linked to architecture professor Neri Oxman last year) finalised their divorce after she filed in 2016.
“There’s no more drama” between the former golden couple, a source told Entertainment Tonight.
“All of the dust has settled.”
The actor has “worked very hard on himself to be healthier and the best dad possible,” a source told People in August.
“These were always his priorities. That his career is going well is a happy bonus that he is thrilled about.”
Once Upon a Time in Hollywood was Pitt’s first film since 2017’s Netflix drama War Machine and while he now also has Ad Astra, he’s said he’s “doing less and less” projects in front of the camera.
“I really believe that overall it’s a younger man’s game – not that there aren’t substantial parts for older characters – I just feel, the game itself, it’ll move on naturally,” Pitt told GQ.
“I could be a dinosaur and not even know it, man. And the comet could be on the way.”
Pitt is doing everything to dodge that comet, swapping vodka and wine for Matcha tea and hitting the gym.
He “really takes his workouts seriously,” the People source said. “It’s been a whole lifestyle change. And he looks amazing.”
In May, Pitt was reportedly part of the celebrations for his and Jolie’s daughter Shiloh when she turned 13 but is said to still be estranged from eldest son Maddox, 18, who started biochemistry at a South Korean university this month.
“He comes from a close family, and he has continued to be a parent who is interested in the lives of his children.”
Between his last movie’s box office success, the hype of his new one and his personal strides, Pitt has “really found his happiness again”, a different source told People.
“He is back and very excited about life. And it’s well deserved.”