The 54-year-old actor made a splash when he dropped by a pre-Oscar party thrown by talent management firm the Gersh Agency on Thursday. Armed with a smile and a salt-and-pepper beard, Pitt mingled with favourites like Sam Rockwell and Allison Janney, who both went on to win at the show on Sunday.
The party was a rare outing for Pitt, who has been keeping a low profile since his September 2016 split from Angelina Jolie.
Pitt and Jolie are still negotiating over the terms of their divorce and custody of their six kids—Maddox, 16, Pax, 14, Zahara, 13, Shiloh, 11, and twins Vivienne and Knox, 9.
Lately, the actor “seems to be in a better place,” says a source. “The separation was very dark for him, but lately he looks healthier and happier. He seems excited about life.”
Pitt is also revving up his acting career: He signed on alongside Leonardo DiCaprio for Quentin Tarantino’s upcoming (and controversial) film Once Upon a Time in Hollywood, about the 1969 Manson Family murders.
The production will feature DiCaprio as Rick Dalton, the former star of a western TV series, and Pitt as his longtime stunt double Cliff Booth. Rick lives next door to Sharon Tate, the actress and model who was brutally slain by followers of the cult leader.
This article originally appeared on PEOPLE