03/09/2011 at 10:00 AM EST
While the city of New Orleans was celebrating Fat Tuesday with parades and plenty of partying, one Big Easy resident
wasn't in the French Quarter clamoring for beads.
Just three miles away in a warehouse in the Bywater section of town, Brad Pitt
reported to the set of his new movie, Cogan's Trade
, which he's also producing. In it, the leading man, who sported an all-black ensemble
with slicked-back hair and long sideburns, plays a mob enforcer.
According to one eyewitness, when Pitt arrived back in New Orleans on Monday, "He genuinely seemed excited to be back in town. Brad waived to fans and had a huge smile."
After spending the night at the family's home in the French Quarter, Pitt had an early call time on Tuesday. "Brad arrived on the set bright and early," a source says. "He was in a great mood and sipped a coffee while chatting with the cast and the crew."
, who has been working on both Kung Fu Panda 2
and her directorial debut
, which she's filmed in Europe, is expected to join Pitt in New Orleans soon, along with their children.
Pitt's Cogan's Trade
costars include Javier Bardem, Casey Affleck and James Gandolfini.
"Everyone on the movie is very excited that they get the opportunity to work with Brad," a source tells PEOPLE. "He seems like a very nice guy."
Reporting by PERNILLA CEDENHEIM and MARY GREEN Please note: Comments have been suspended temporarily as we explore better ways to serve you. Your opinion is important to us; you can find current discussions at facebook.com/peoplemag.