In 2013 Angelina Jolie-Pitt underwent a double mastectomy to lengthen her life for the sake of her children, and to prevent the onset of breast cancer. The Hollywood actress, married to Brad Pitt, filmed her directing debut ‘By The Sea’ last summer in Malta in the weeks following their August nuptials, and Angelina is beginning the never-ending press trail to promote the film. Creative Angelina wrote, produced and directed the film, and it is the first time she and Brad have appeared on-screen together since they met on the set of Mr & Mrs Smith in 2005! Earlier in the year she described herself as currently experiencing the menopause, and decided to have her ovaries and fallopian tubes removed.
This week she has confided to The New York Times that she understandably experienced a great deal of nerves before filming, and didn’t originally want to appear in the film herself, due to the recent physical changes and alterations to her body: “There were lots of scenes I wanted to change or cut. I realised 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. 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.’ I know some people are going to hate it. Some are going to like it. But it was important to me to feel like an artist again.”
“As a director I had to be very sure, very strong in opinion, stable. My character? She shouldn’t direct anything. Not even traffic. She’s a mess. The duality — being a director, then having to become a person that vulnerable — would often be hard. There’s a whole reel of me calling “Cut!” If a doctor saw it, I’d be put on medication. I’m hysterically crying and then calling “Cut!” or during a sex scene I am calling “Cut!” on Brad. You had to laugh at how bizarre it was.”