Brad Pitt’s Cultural Pursuits Keep Leading to Dating Rumors

He attended an art opening with Alia Shawkat and the internet now thinks they’re dating.

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Brad Pitt is supposedly dating someone new: Search Party star and Arrested Development legend Alia Shawkat. This morning, various outlets breathlessly reported that Pitt might be seeing the obscenely cool actress after the two were spotted together at an art opening at the Wilding Cran gallery in Los Angeles. They were also seen getting dinner, and they were photographed last month at comedian Mike Birbiglia’s new one-man show, The New One.

There’s no confirmation of a relationship, and according to People, a source close to Pitt adamantly stated that the two are “just friends.” In any case, the internet was very excited about the potential pairing. It is very chic that they hang out at all. What a pair!

We don’t really know if Pitt and Shawkat are dating or not, though “not” seems like a safe assumption. But what we do know is that Brad Pitt is a man of taste–he sculpts in his spare time and has had a famous architecture obsession for years. He is consistently spotted at galleries all over the greater LA area. And every time he tries to express a cultural interest, he’s subjected to dating rumors.

Back in September, Us Weekly reported that Pitt was dating jewelry designer and holistic healer Sat Hari Khalsa (Khalsa is 50, and thus the public was briefly thrilled, as we are whenever a male movie star starts seeing anyone age-appropriate, á la Keanu). They were initially spotted together last year at the Red Hot Chili Peppers’ annual Silverlake Conservatory of Music Gala, and it turned out that the dating rumors were false. Pitt was just trying to take in performances from the Chilis, Lindsey Buckingham, and k.d. Lang, and he walked away with a new fake girlfriend.

Pitt’s interest in architecture also lead to widespread rumors that he was dating Neri Oxman, a professor at MIT’s Media Lab. Oxman is an architect who also founded a new discipline she calls “material ecology,” which, according to the New York Times, “marries the technological advances of computational design, synthetic biology and digital fabrication (otherwise known as 3-D printing) to produce compostable structures, glass objects that vary their optical and structural properties, and garments made from a single piece of silk fabric.”

Pitt, who was interested in her work, reached out last spring in hopes of collaborating. He paid a visit to Oxman’s lab, and dating rumors abounded. It turns out they were false–Oxman was actually dating, and has since married, mega-wealthy hedge fund-er William Ackman. Though she did reference Pitt once in an interview with W. When asked if she thought architecture was a uniquely male-dominated field, she replied that the profession felt that way “for the same reason we have the Brad Pitts and the George Clooneys, it’s just part of human nature to idolize stereotypes. Such singularities are useful to the common perception of heroism.”

So there you have it. Brad Pitt likes to explore various cultural interests with cool, intelligent women, and then people throw dating rumors at him. Next time he’s spotted alongside a woman who has an Eastern medicine practice or is a member of an elite university’s faculty, let’s just assume it’s a meeting of the minds, rather than other parts.