“I wanted to bring my mom, but I couldn’t," Brad Pitt joked earlier this year when accepting his Golden Globe. "Because, any woman I stand next to, they say I’m dating…and it would just be awkward."
Indeed, ever since Pitt announced his split from Angelina Jolie three-and-half years ago, the tabloid media has inferred that the actor is dating just about any woman he's spotted within three feet of. He's been linked to an Oscar-winning actresses, an MIT Media Lab professor, and even a woman named Lydia who he met at a coffee shop (this is to say nothing of all the Jennifer Aniston reunion fan fiction out there). But each rumor cycle has amounted to next to nothing. Pitt, who is still legally married to Jolie, has remained publicly single since the split, much to the disappointment of the celebrity gossip–industrial complex, we're sure.
That hasn't stopped inquiring minds from speculating. Over the weekend, Pitt was spotted at the musician Thundercat's concert in Los Angeles with a supposed mystery woman. TMZ ran with the angle first. Another website asked, "Brad Pitt spotted with mystery woman at Thundercat concert: Was it Jennifer Aniston?" (It most certainly was not). As it tends to, the Internet once again exploded over Pitt's presence near a woman.
It turns out, however, that the mystery woman wasn't much of a mystery to begin with. She's one of the stars of a beloved sitcom, and a known member of Pitt's new inner circle. Not Aniston, but rather Alia Shawkat.
We've already gone through this news cycle before. The pair were spotted together at various art-gallery openings, as well as a performance of Mike Birbiglia’s one-man show The New One, last year. The official word was that the pair were just good friends, and enjoyed the same cultural activities. The latest spotting only reinforces that idea—it occurred at a concert, after all.
Unfortunately, all these dating rumors and mystery women only serve to obscure the post-separation story line we're more interested in: the emergence of Pitt as total hipster. It's not as if Pitt wasn't noted for his interests in arts and culture before, but he's really gone all in over the past few years. He's into making pottery, listening to Frank Ocean, and checking out art installations. Sometimes those pursuits happen to bring him into contact with women, as one would expect. Unfortunately, "Brad Pitt Suddenly Really Into Abstract Expressionism" doesn't make nearly as juicy of a headline.