Alia Shawkat Calls It ‘Gross and Stupid’ How Brad Pitt Rumors Got More Media Focus Than Her Acting

Shawkat said she got more media attention for "being romantically involved with an older white guy" than she has for being an actor.

Alia Shawkat and Brad Pitt

Alia Shawkat said in a recent interview with The New Yorker that it was “ironic and gross and stupid” how much the media focused on her relationship with Brad Pitt during the pandemic.

The “Arrested Development” and “Search Party” actress was photographed hanging out with Pitt in 2020, igniting countless tabloid rumors about the pair dating. Shawkat criticized the media for giving her more attention due to the Brad Pitt dating rumors than for her 20-year acting career. Shawkat’s been acting since 1999 and most recently starred in “Being the Ricardos” and the final season of the HBO Max comedy “Search Party.”

“At the time, it was not fun at all. I’m not an actor who has ever dealt with the paparazzi,” Shawkat said. “They don’t know who the fuck I am. There’s something ironic about it. It has nothing to do with Brad as a person — he’s a great fucking guy. But of course the idea of me being romantically involved with an older white guy is what gets me the most attention. Not a 20-year career. That’s what gets me. And it’s ironic and gross and stupid.”

Shawkat said she was “shaken up” by the media attention, adding, “I have a studio in Highland Park where I go every day. And I was, like, ‘There are these photos of me carrying way too much shit to get inside.’ There are all these embarrassing photos, they had followed me there. Then they just disappeared, and now they don’t give a shit.”

At one point during the media circus, Shawkat visited her grandmother and discovered a gossip magazine with her face and Brad Pitt on the cover and the headline “Brad’s New Girl!” Shawkat got the brunt of the attention, and the actress told The New Yorker that Pitt remained mostly unaware of the whole ordeal.

“He had no awareness of it at all. Which is so funny. Because he doesn’t read that shit,” Shawkat said. “I was, like, ‘You know everyone thinks we’re dating? And there’s this whole thing, and I’m being followed.’ And he was, like, ‘I’m sorry. It happens. If you hang out with me, it happens.’ He had no awareness of it at all.”