The director and her “Unbroken” star Jack O'Connell share a cover story full of insight about her filmmaking and future behind the camera
As Angelina Jolie prepares to deliver “Unbroken,” her largest directorial effort yet, the star says she’s “absolutely” quitting acting for good.
“I didn’t ever think I could direct, but I hope I’m able to have a career at it because I’m much happier,” she said. When asked if her plan was to give up acting all together, Jolie responded, “Absolutely.”
The spread was shot on Gozo Island off of Malta, the location of her next directorial effort “By The Sea,” an onscreen reunion for she and husband Brad Pitt. Jolie and O’Connell cover the glossy under the dramatic sell line: “The world’s most famous woman and the dashing newcomer she made a star.”
In addition to removing thespian from her resume, here are five other revelations we found in Du Jour:
Brad Pitt had his doubts about ‘Unbroken’
After Universal sent Jolie a four-sentence synopsis of the project to gauge her interest, “I went home and I said to Brad, ‘I’m really curious about this film … this man’s life seems so interesting.’ And Brad said, ‘Oh, honey, that project has been around forever.'” Jolie never lost interest, though.
The studio showed her Clint Eastwood-level respect
“We weren’t looking at her as a new director any more than people were when Clint Eastwood or Robert Redford first stepped behind the camera,” Universal exec Peter Kramer said of Jolie, adding “she’s obviously had a tremendous amount of experience in the movie business.”
A clash of maternal and artistic instincts
Bringing to life the harrowing wartime conditions survived by “Unbroken’s” subject Louis Zamperini, Jolie put her employees through some extreme conditions.
“All the boys had to starve — even the extras –and we’d have days when there were 200 young men just standing in the heat,” she said.
“The mother in me wanted to stop and put everyone under a tent and give them water and just call it a day. The other side of me had to do my job and push it forward.”
Setting an example for her sons
“In the back of my mind, I wanted to make a film that would help my boys become better men,” she said of Maddox, Pax and Knox Jolie-Pitt. “They know Louie’s story, so I’m able to say to them that it’s not bad to be full of fire — it’s what you choose to do with that fire.”
Nurturing Her Newcomer
O’Connell arrived to the shoot under duress, having just learned of a close pal’s liver cancer diagnosis. The piece points out he lost his own father to pancreatic cancer as a teen.
“I was feeling my worst … and the only way I could possibly see him was if someone were to expedite the journey,” O’Connell said. “Angie arranged for a helicopter. The same weekend, she organized some of my closest people around a table to have a meal with me. That exceeded the requirements of a director.”
Jolie is no stranger to grappling with the disease, having lost her mother Marcheline in 2007 to ovarian cancer, and herself undergoing a double mastectomy in 2013 in efforts to remain cancer free.
“All I wanted to do was be on set and repay the favor. That isn’t a conventional actor-director relationship, so for her to make me feel like this was a two-way investment was so important,” O’Connell said.
“Unbroken” opens in theaters nationwide on Christmas Day, Dec. 25.