Brad Pitt’s new space epic took him to some emotional new places.

The actor attended the Venice Film Festival for the premiere of director James Gray’s “Ad Astra”. In the film, Pitt plays an astronaut who ventures into space to find his father, who has gone rogue.

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“In retrospect, what James and I were digging at was that definition of masculinity,” Pitt said at the film’s press conference. “We’ve both grown up in an era where we were asked to be strong… and there is a value in that, but [also a] barrier because you’re hiding some of those things you feel ashamed of. We all hide and carry individual pain and wounds.

“We were asking the questions – ‘Is there a better definition [of masculinity] for us…a better relationship with loved ones, with your kids and with ourselves?’”

Pitt also admitted that opening himself up emotionally on set made the film “one of the most challenging films I’ve ever worked on.”

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The actor also talked about how he and Gray tried to maintain the emotional core of the adventure film.

“The story is so delicate and we knew that any clips, voiceover could tip the film over, make it too obvious, so it was a constant effort to try to maintain a balance and keep this story unfolding in a very subtle and delicate way.”

As for what he hopes audiences take away from the film, Pitt said that “it has something to say about who we are… our purpose.”

He was also questioned about the Oscar buzz around both “Ad Astra” and “Once Upon A Time In Hollywood”.

“Every year, I see amazing talent getting acknowledged and amazing talent not getting acknowledged,” he noted. “And my feeling is when your number comes up, it’s great fun, and when someone else’s number comes up it’s usually a friend, so it’s great fun still.”

“Ad Astra” hits theatres September 20.