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Angelina Jolie Gets Real About Her Marriage, Directing And Conquering Fear

The Huffington Post The Huffington Post 4/11/2015 Cole Delbyck

Angelina Jolie's latest directorial effort, "By the Sea," finds the actress reuniting on screen with husband Brad Pitt once more after their 2005 collaboration, "Mr. and Mrs. Smith." Instead of playing warring spies with some serious sexual tension, Jolie and Pitt's characters in "By the Sea" show the collapse of an American couple's marriage in a small French town.

Jolie sat down with The New York Times in a wide-ranging interview covering her experience directing, her relationship with Pitt and how she faces fears on set. 

Pitt and Jolie have been Brangelina for nine years, but only tied the knot a year ago. The director revealed that she got married "in the most unceremonial way possible" and placed a greater importance on Pitt's adoption of her children. 

It was just a nice thing. For me, the big moment was when [we] signed the [joint adoption] papers for Maddox and Zahara. That was a decision to parent together, to commit to being a part of each other’s lives for the rest of my life. So [marriage] wasn’t close in comparison. In a way, it was very casual.

Even though filming "By the Sea" served as the couple's quasi-honeymoon, directing and starring in a movie with one's famous husband was not without its difficulties. Jolie had to establish a different relationship with Pitt, who had never worked with a female director before. 

A few days into filming I thought: This is such a bad idea. What was I thinking? This is going to destroy us before we’ve even gotten started. But by the time we got to the end of the film, we’d argued, challenged each other, disappointed each other, had good days, bad days, all of it. We’d pushed through, learned something about each other, found a new working relationship and came to like the idea of “Yeah, it gets really bad, but you work it out."

"By the Sea" is Jolie's second acting project since her double mastectomy in 2013. She was originally set to just direct the drama, but was forced to face some on-screen fears once it became clear that only she could play the part. 

There were lots of scenes I wanted to change or cut. I realized it was going to be me [naked] in that bathtub. But I told myself, put all of that aside. Like, you can’t change or cut this scene because you’ve had a mastectomy, or because we’re married and people are going to analyze this or that. That would be cheating.

Jolie and Pitt recently sat down with the "Today" show to discuss the new film and Jolie's health battle. Pitt spoke to his wife's strength during the difficult time and how the experience was "just another one of those things in life that makes you tighter."


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