Angelina Jolie On Brad Pitt: “We Are Two Very Human, Flawed People”

Photo: Henry Lamb/Photowire/BEImages/REX Shutterstock.
Angelina Jolie Pitt opened up in a new interview with The New York Times, touching on everything from her wedding day to the challenge of writing, producing, directing, and starring in the upcoming drama By the Sea. The film is set in France in the 1970s, and stars Jolie and her husband Brad Pitt as a couple with, well, a lot of issues. France is also, incidentally, where the pair had their on-the-fly wedding ceremony. (They legally married in California.) It was a tad bit more...relaxed than you'd expect from a power couple like the Jolie-Pitts. "In a way, it was very casual," Jolie told the newspaper. "One day I was in the edit room, and [Brad] was doing something and an assistant said, 'You have to sign some papers.' So we came back and between meetings we were told, 'Here’s your license.' Then someone said, 'The judge is outside.'... Then suddenly we realized we were married, in the most unceremonial way possible."
Romance and decorum are not priorities for the couple, who see adopting their first children as the landmark event. "For me, the big moment was when [we] signed the [joint adoption] papers for Maddox and Zahara," Jolie explained. "That was a decision to parent together, to commit to being a part of each other’s lives for the rest of my life."
They're putting that commitment to the test with their latest project. By the Sea marks the Pitt and Jolie's first joint onscreen appearance since Mr. & Mrs. Smith in 2005. According to Jolie, the fact that they were married was a unique challenge in making By the Sea. "I think it was doubly hard," she told the Times. "We know certain things about each other. At first it was a little uncomfortable." But Jolie recalls Pitt telling her later that "he felt like he could be the most open in his acting, because he trusted I was genuinely there to help him give the best performance."
Photo: Moviestore Collection/REX Shutterstock.
Jolie & Pitt in By the Sea.
Do the husband and wife worry that people will view the tumultuous couple they portray in the movie as a reflection of the actors themselves? Jolie explained that the conflicts the couple face in the movie don't mirror her own married life. But she also made clear that her marriage to Pitt is far from problem-free. "[I]f they want to think we have terrible fights, are imperfect, have insecurities and can be depressed and emotional, of course that’s true. We have problems, arguments. We are two very human, flawed people. And I think that’s a good thing to show." For Pitt, the process of making the film was unfamiliar in more ways than one. It wasn't just his first time working with his wife as a director, it was his first time working with a female director, ever. "That doesn’t seem right when you think about it," Jolie said. It really doesn't, considering the number of films Pitt has starred in throughout his prolific career. Jolie wants Hollywood's lack of women and rampant sexism to change. And she's actually doing something about it.
"Sexism is part of every industry and must be addressed. But I try not to focus on the negative but the positive side of what we can bring. I want to support other women because of the opportunities I’ve had — and I’ve had a lot of opportunities. What I try as a female director is to do the best job I can and in the meantime bring attention to as many other female directors and writers as I can." We can get down with that.

By the Sea
hits theaters November 13.

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