Director and protagonist of the film ‘By the Sea’, which is in theaters, tells of the experience of working with her husband ten years after ‘Mr. and Mrs. Smith’
Angelina Jolie spent her honeymoon filming with her husband À Beira-Mar , which is in theaters. The third feature film directed by the 40-year-old actress is a direct result of a painful experience of Brad Pitt ‘s wife, 51, with whom she has six children: Maddox , 14, Pax , 11, Zahara , 10, Shiloh , 9, and the twins Knox and Vivienne , 7.
Jolie wrote the script of the film as a way to overcome the mourning for the death of her mother, Marcheline Bertrand , in 2007, due to ovarian cancer. The film is mostly spent in a seaside hotel room in a French seaside resort – although the main location is Malta Island – and reveals, little by little, the reasons why the marriage of Roland (Pitt) and Vanessa (Angelina) went into deep crisis. The actress talked to WHO.
WHO: You and your husband met ten years ago on Mr. and Mrs. Smith’s set, where they also made a couple. This time the experience was different?
Angelina Jolie: It’s two different films. At Beira-Mar ended up being an extremely deep experience, since we filmed on our honeymoon and we fought in good part of the scenes. The problems that Roland and Vanessa have are not ours, of course, but some friends got scared, begged us not to embark on the project. It turned out to be good for our wedding. As the script deals with losses, mourning, I think that the two of us leave the film even more aware of who we are and more united than ever. It was a huge exercise in self-knowledge.
WHO: You are the protagonist and director of the film. Was it delicate to be the commander, with your husband on the other side of the camera?
AJ: It was. At times, I suffered because I did not think I was giving it the right direction. And Brad, for his part, was distressed that I was not satisfied with the tone he put on Roland.
WHO: You wrote the film as a way to overcome the death of your mother …
AJ: Yes, but I never imagined that this script would be filmed. Or I would not have exposed myself so much. When the studio gave the green light, I decided I did not want to cut a scene, that would be exactly the way I wrote it eight years ago. It was, chronologically, the first movie I wrote. The protagonists are similar to me and to Brad, because I wanted to write about something close to me.
WHO: What exactly do you mean by “I would not have exposed myself so much”?
AJ: I wrote the film before doing the double mastectomy, which definitely modified my body. And the key issues of the character are those my mother had during her life: abandoning her artistic career, a failed marriage (Jolie is the daughter of actor Jon Voight , 76, who separated from her mother when the actress was 5 years old incomplete ), the feeling of not being fully in existence. The filming process made me understand more about my mother, her pains, her issues – and mine as well. When I was editing the film, I got the call from my doctor saying there was an unconfirmed risk of developing cancer. There I was living the tension and pain again, on and off the screen. It was all very emotional.
WHO: You’ve told WHO before that you have a deal with Brad: when one film, the other stays at home with the kids. This time, obviously, it was impossible …
AJ: It was, of course. And we take the kids to Malta for the honeymoon (laughs). The 14-year-old Maddox stayed all the time on the set, and worked as a sort of assistant to me. It was great. The others went to school normally and our house was on the side street.
WHO: Children show interest in the arts?
AJ: They are very clear: they do not want to be actors. Which is a relief to us. Of course they can change their minds. Everyone loves to help me with the voices of the Kung-Fu Panda franchise (she dubs Tigress). But their interests are to paint, music. Maddox likes the other side of the cinema. He is helping me produce the next film I will be directing, based on a true story in Cambodia, a war movie told by a girl between 5 and 9 years old. It is the country where Maddox was born, so he also reflects on experiences similar to those his biological parents probably went through. We have embarked on this together and it has been exciting to learn more about the mother and child relationship in this process.
WHO: This is the first movie in which credits appear as Angelina Jolie Pitt. Something changed after the formal wedding?
AJ: It’s hard to self-analyze, and you’d have to talk for both of us, but I think the decision to legally marry and use his name is a result of the two of us wanting to stay together even more. The film is very symbolic in that sense, because we wanted to feel that we had, in fact, the same projects, that we are walking together, deepening our love and our fellowship. And understanding each other better. Now, in my opinion, no bond is deeper than raising a child with your partner. So the past role did not change our reality very much, but the celebration made us happy. It was something like a confirmation of our love.