Angelina Jolie and Jack O’Connell are on the cover of the December 5th issue of Entertainment Weekly, here’s the cover:
Another interview with Angelina about her upcoming movie Unbroken, and a beautiful new photoshoot
Angelina Jolie’s penetrating eyes are filling with tears. “I don’t want to cry, and I’m not going to cry in front of you,” she vows, quickly regaining her composure.
The actress-filmmaker is choked up over the recent death of Louis Zamperini — a man who meant a great deal to her, and is the subject of her most significant directorial effort yet, “Unbroken.”
Zamperini, a former Olympic runner, was on a World War II search-and-rescue mission when his plane went down in the Pacific. He was lost at sea for 47 days before being sent to a Japanese prison camp. Over his two years there, he was starved, beaten and faced an adversary known as the Bird — a Japanese officer named Mutsuhiro Watanabe, who singled him out for torture. Zamperini returned home a haunted man, but overcame alcoholism to become an inspirational speaker. His life was chronicled in Laura Hillenbrand’s 2010 best-seller “Unbroken,” which Jolie adapted to the bigscreen for a Christmas Day debut.
On this August afternoon, it has been only five weeks since Zamperini died at the age of 97 due to complications from pneumonia. Jolie is seated in a room at a Beverly Hills hotel, flanked by two of the stars of her film, Jack O’Connell and singer-songwriter Miyavi, who play Zamperini and Watanabe, respectively. Along with the pressure of being involved in one of the most anticipated films of the year, everyone clearly feels a huge responsibility to Zamperini’s legacy.
“They say you should never meet your heroes, because they often disappoint you,” Jolie notes. “But Louis really was one of the greatest people ever.”
How one long-forgotten tale of heroism changed the lives of the world’s luckiest young actor and the superstar who believed in him
Come Christmas Day, however, the wait will be over. When Unbroken hits theaters, Zamperini’s story—originally optioned for a then up-and-coming Tony Curtis—will unfold on-screen for moviegoers around the globe. But beyond just exposing the world to the incredible life of Zamperini, it will give audiences a peek at the inner workings of another exceedingly impressive creature: director Angelina Jolie.
“I was looking for something to do and studying what was out there as a director,” says Jolie, perched poolside at a villa on the tiny Maltese island of Gozo. “Directing is very different from acting because it takes more than two years of your life, so it has to matter—really matter—in a different way.”
“I fought for it for months,” Jolie says, “and it became less about wanting to do a film and more that I wanted to be close to be somebody like Louie. I felt I needed to go on that journey, that it would make me a better person if I could. I was begging not only to be the director—I was begging to have the opportunity to spend two years of my life focused on Louie Zamperini.”
So, in 2013 Jolie got her wish and set out for Australia for almost four months of filming. She also found her Louie.
“It was an enormous opportunity, beyond anything I had the audacity of expecting,” says Jack O’Connell, the 24-year-old English actor who landed the role. “I’ve been knocking on the door, waiting for someone to give me a chance to branch out, and Louie’s just perfect for that.”
Angelina Jolie is the cover of the December issue of Vanity Fair. Here’s a preview and the cover from the Vanity Fair website:
“It does feel different,” Angelina Jolie tells Vanity Fair contributing editor Janine di Giovanni, of her relationship with Brad Pitt since their surprise wedding, this past August. “It feels nice to be husband and wife.”
Jolie also spoke to di Giovanni about the vows the couple’s children wrote for them, saying, “They did not expect us never to fight, but they made us promise to always say, ‘Sorry,’ if we do. So they said, ‘Do you?,’ and we said, ‘We do!’ ”
Jolie’s prolific political activities suggest to di Giovanni that she may at some point try her hand at elected or appointed office. “When you work as a humanitarian, you are conscious that politics have to be considered,” she tells di Giovanni. “Because if you really want to make an extreme change, then you have a responsibility.” Jolie then catches herself. “But I honestly don’t know in what role I would be more useful—I am conscious of what I do for a living, and that [could] make it less possible.”
In di Giovanni’s last meeting with Jolie, however, Jolie’s opinion seems to have shifted. When directly asked if she sees herself pursuing a life in politics, diplomacy, or public service, Jolie says, “I am open.”
Jolie talks extensively about her experience befriending the subject of her upcoming feature, Unbroken, Louis Zamperini, a scrappy Italian American kid turned Olympic runner turned World War II airman turned hero. Jolie was at Zamperini’s bedside for some of the last days of his life, and managed to show him an early cut of the film. “It was an extremely moving experience,” she tells di Giovanni, in tears, “to watch someone watching their own life . . . someone so physically strong . . . and they are at the stage where their body is giving up.”
She continues, “And yet we laughed together, and talked about his mom. And being a man of such faith, he talked about all the people he believed he would be seeing on the other side. And that it would bring him peace. After a life of fighting, he could rest.”
At one point, Jolie recalls, Zamperini seemed to be failing. Then, as if from some deep reservoir of resolve, he rebounded. “[The doctors] said he was training to breathe on his own. And that’s what he always told me—you train, you fight harder than those other guys, and you win. You can take it. You make it.” At this point, Jolie grows more emotional, then collects herself. “Poetically, he stayed 40 days and 40 nights.” And then he passed on.
As for what’s next, Jolie is preparing to direct and star with Brad Pitt in By the Sea. She tells di Giovanni, “A few friends asked if we were crazy . . . [A film about] a married couple going through some difficulties . . . and I’m directing him.”
The full story is available November 6 in the digital editions, and the magazine will be on national newsstands on November 11.
Angelina Jolie has been made an honorary dame by the Queen for her campaigning work fighting sexual violence and brought her family to meet the monarch.
The actor was presented with the award’s insignia during a private Buckingham Palace audience with the Queen and then was joined by her husband, actor Brad Pitt, and their six children.
Jolie was recognised in the honours list and received the honorary damehood for services to UK foreign policy and the campaign to end warzone sexual violence.
The celebrity is known for her Oscar-winning role in Girl Interrupted and blockbuster movies such as Tomb Raider and Mr & Mrs Smith – but running parallel to a successful movie career is her campaigning work as a humanitarian.
The 39-year-old actor has been described by US Secretary of State John Kerry as a “fierce and fearless advocate” and he said her dedication to campaigning could overtake her film roles as her lasting legacy.
The award was first announced in June when Jolie was co-chairing the End Sexual Violence in Conflict (ESVC) global summit in London with then foreign secretary William Hague.
Jolie said at the time: “To receive an honour related to foreign policy means a great deal to me, as it is what I wish to dedicate my working life to.
“Working on the Preventing Sexual Violence Initiative and with survivors of rape is an honour in itself. I know that succeeding in our goals will take a lifetime, and I am dedicated to it for all of mine.”
After the presentation took place in the palace’s 1844 room, Pitt and the couple’s six children met the Queen.
As an American citizen the actress cannot become a Dame, but can use the initials of the award after her name.
Honorary damehoods and knighthoods are conferred by the Queen, on the advice of the foreign secretary, on those who have made an important contribution to relations between their country and Britain.
Angelina Jolie honored her late mom, Marcheline Bertrand, at her wedding in August, and now the Oscar winner is opening up about how motherhood has connected her to her mom’s memory.
In a new interview with French Marie Claire, Jolie speaks about her mother’s legacy and its impact on her own humanitarian work.
Bertrand, who passed away in 2007 after a long battle with ovarian cancer, “was very soft but could move mountains for her kids,” Jolie, 39, told the magazine. “That’s something I always admire in women: that mix of softness and strength. She was half Indian, and I remember that as a small girl, she took me to a dinner for Amnesty International.”
“She always tried to understand the complexity of the world. She had a great heart which was sensitive to the world’s violence.”
Asked whether she believes in life after death, Jolie replied, “I’m not certain … I feel in contact with my mother when I look at my children. I can feel her influence over me then. I see that my way of raising them resembles the way she raised my brother and I. It’s more apparent with my daughters Shiloh and Vivienne. Therefore, yes, my mother is there, present in this influence, all the time.”
The actress, who has been in Malta with new husband Brad Pitt and their six kids as part of a working honeymoon, also spoke about their upcoming romantic drama By the Sea.
“We’ll play an American couple in the south [of France] that should remind you no doubt of someone.”
As for the couple’s real-life home base in the south of France, Château Miraval, Jolie says it is “perfectly situated” for their busy family.
“I’m not very good at relaxing,” she says. “I can’t stay put. I read, write, negotiate films, I carry my office around with me.” Miraval, she notes, “is close to European cities, but also to Africa and the Middle East. To all the theaters of operations where my United Nations work obliges me to go. L.A. is clearly too far from all that.”
Speaking about her role as a special envoy to the United Nations Refugee Agency, Jolie addressed her work at The Global Summit to End Sexual Violence in Conflict, where she delivered the opening remarks in London in June.
Given her ongoing activism, would she ever be tempted to run for office?
“I don’t think my family would agree,” she says. “And then I don’t know how I could be more useful than now, because my position as a public figure helps so much in generating media attention for my fight.”
One thing she does know for certain: Her famous tattoo collection is sure to grow – possibly influenced by her upcoming WWII film, Unbroken.
“You can be certain I’ll have a new one soon,” she says. “Without a doubt, something with Japanese inspiration.”