WATCH: Angelina Jolie, Brad Pitt open up about health, marriage in joint interview
MANILA, Philippines – Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt are back on the big screen as a couple struggling to mend their relationship in By the Sea. (WATCH: Angelina Jolie, Brad Pitt in first 'By the Sea' trailer)
By the Sea is about a couple whose marriage is on the rocks. As they spend time at a seaside resort in France, they begin to come to terms with their unresolved issues. Angelina also directed the film.
In a joint interview on NBC's Today, Angelina explained that the film had nothing to do with her and Brad's relationship, but was actually inspired by her mother's battle with cancer and death.
"We can't say what the whole film is about, but a lot of the film was when I went to visit my mom in the hospital, when she found out she had cancer the first time, she was gonna have her ovaries removed, she was very upset, feeling like they're taking out her parts that were female, and there was a woman down the hall who was wailing. And I later found out it was a young woman who had not had children yet. And that put everything into perspective," said Angelina.
Angelina's mom, actress Marcheline Bertrand, was diagnosed with ovarian cancer in 1999, and died in 2007. Her grandmother and aunt also died of cancer.
In 2013, Angelina had a preventive double mastectomy in order to lower her risk of getting breast cancer – a blood test showed that she had an estimated 87% risk of breast cancer and 50% risk of ovarian cancer prior to the surgery. In March of this year, after another blood test showed she could have signs of ovarian cancer, Angelina had surgery to remove her ovaries and fallopian tubes. (READ: Angelina Jolie surgery 'dramatically' lowers cancer risk – experts)
Brad and Angelina held hands as they spoke about their ordeal in the video above.
"Seeing my wife have to be her strongest and knowing that it's the scariest news is terribly moving, and not being there is a horrible feeling," said Brad, who was in France when he heard the news. He flew back to be with Angelina for her surgery.
"There was no vanity to my wife's approach," added Brad. He and Angelina have been together for 10 years, married for one, and raise 6 children together. "It was mature... ‘This is our life and we’re gonna make the best of it.’ There was a strength in that. It was just another one of those things in life that makes you tighter, and she was doing it for the kids, and she was doing it for her family, so we could be together."
On Angelina's end, Brad's support was important to her as she went through both her double mastectomy and the removal of her ovaries. "I think for as much as he speaks about my strength, I knew that – he made it very, very clear to me that what he loved and what was a woman to him was somebody who was smart, and capable, and cared about our family, that it wasn't about – it's not our physical bodies," Angelina said as Brad looked on. "So I knew, through the surgeries, that he was on my side and that this wasn't something where I was gonna feel less of a woman, because my husband wasn't gonna let that happen."
Today, it's important to Angelina to talk about her experiences so that she can help other women in the same situation. "Many of us will have cancer, we will all die, and so to face these issues together and to speak about them and talk about what it is to be human, I think can be a beautiful thing," she said at the end of the video. (READ: Battle Scar)
By the Sea was written, directed, and produced by Angelina. It will be released in the US on November 13, and in the UK on December 11. The movie is the first that the couple has starred in together since 2005's Mr and Mrs Smith. – Rappler.com