Man on a Mission
updated 05/02/2005 AT 01:00 AM EDT
•originally published 05/02/2005 AT 01:00 AM EDT
Pitt has said he had no choice but to go back to Africa, especially now that he has a social-consciousness mentor in U2's Bono. Pitt is making his sojourn as a celebrity ambassador for DATA, the rock star's campaign to promote AIDS awareness and economic reform in Africa. After witnessing African poverty on his first trip last November, Pitt said at an April 7 press conference that "to walk away from it and turn my back makes me culpable." Not that he'll forget Hollywood—he'll play Jesse James in a movie filming later this year—but, at 41, he's looking beyond the camera. "People who get to be a certain age," says DATA cofounder Bobby Shriver. "start thinking about bigger things. I think he's probably at that time in his life."
As Pitt vowed April 7, "This is just a beginning for me."