The Washington Post newsroom came to virtual standstill today, and stayed that way for quite some time.

In a building that has seen its share of presidential candidates and prime ministers, journalists--cynical, world-weary, hard-boiled journalists--stood and gawked, making little effort to hide it.

Brad Pitt was making the rounds, huddling with R.B. Brenner, a Metro editor, then Managing Editor Phil Bennett, and then Pentagon reporter Josh White. People stared. They gestured. They sauntered by and tried to look nonchalant. They whipped out cell phones and called their friends. Women poured in from other floors. Other staffers shook their heads at the embarrassment of this collective swoon. And the spectacle went on for more than an hour.

Post photographer Kevin Clark snapped some shots of the visitor, despite the efforts of the newspaper's public relations and security staffs to shoo him away. "They're not going to stop me from doing my job in my own newsroom," Clark said.

Pitt, wearing a gray cap, blue jeans and untucked white shirt, was researching just what a reporter does for an upcoming movie, a project on which Brenner has become an adviser. He looked serious, asked questions and seemed unconcerned by the commotion around him.

He was, in short, acting far more professionally than some of those around him.

There was no sign of Angelina, whose presence might have endangered the publication of tomorrow's paper.