Brad Pitt is officially back in the spotlight — and very busy. After wrapping up the press tour for Quentin Tarantino's Once Upon a Time in... Hollywood, Pitt is starting to make the rounds for his newest and much-anticipated film, Ad Astra. Somehow, even the in the midst of flashy premieres and nonstop interviews, the 55-year-old actor found time to add a new tattoo to his eclectic collection — and fans think it might have something to do with his ex-wife Angelina Jolie.
We got a first glimpse of the fresh ink when Pitt arrived to the 76th Venice Film Festival via boat taxi this week and lifted up his arm to wave to fans. There, just beneath the hem of his T-shirt sleeve, was a tiny silhouette of a man and his shadow.
While there are many theories as to the meaning of the design, more people were interested in the placement: It's right next to a couple tattoo he got to match Jolie back in 2014, which features a quote by the poet Rumi: "There exists a field, beyond all notions of right and wrong. I will meet you there."
Jolie initially filed for divorce from Pitt in 2016, citing irreconcilable differences. Although the divorce has yet to be finalized, there has been heavy speculation as to what will happen to their shared tribute tattoos. Pitt also has a Sanskrit tattoo on his lower back to match one of Jolie's, a bunch of scribbles on his back drawn by her, Jolie's date of birth on his lower abdomen, and her initial on his wrist.
No word yet on exactly what Pitt's new tattoo actually means or why he got it, but some are speculating it's a reference to his 2008 film, The Curious Case of Benjamin Button. According to Us Weekly, the shadow tattoo similarly matches the imagery in a promotional poster for the film.
Others think it could be a tribute to himself and the last few years spent recovering from a very public divorce and custody battle. Pitt has been forthcoming about his emotional growth since then. "I do remember a few spots along the road where I've become absolutely tired of myself. And this is a big one. These moments have always been a huge generator for change," he told GQ in 2017. "For me every misstep has been a step toward epiphany, understanding, some kind of joy... It's those very things that shape us, those very things that offer growth, that make the world a better place, oddly enough, ironically. That make us better."
Could the shadow motif signal a fresh start for the actor? Perhaps. If anything, it's certainly more flattering than a colorful back tattoo of a giant phoenix.