Just months ago, Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie took to the screen together in an intense film about a troubled marriage. At the time, the parents-of-six insisted that By The Sea, which Angie directed, had nothing to do with their relationship.
However, they made some very interesting comments at the time. Here's a look back on the story published in YOU in the wake of the By The Sea hype -- just 10 months before they called time on their two-year marriage.
RELATIONSHIPS are about extremes, she says, a wry smile on her luscious lips directed at her husband sitting on the bed next to her. “You can absolutely madly love the person you want to kill.”
Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt share a knowing chuckle as they sit side by side on a bed on the set of their first movie together in 10 years.
“It’s the puzzle of figuring out those things that get in the way of really loving someone,” Brad adds. “A lot of it is the past. A lot of it is your own insecurities. A lot of it is wanting something so much that you focus too much on losing it.”
And looking at the trailer for By The Sea, you can tell they’ve fully explored the extremes.
Scenes from By The Sea.
Vicious physical abuse, anguished screams and a husband stalking out of a hotel room leaving his wife motionless on the floor – it’s Hollywood’s golden couple like you’ve never seen them before.
It’s no surprise Brad and Angie’s latest collaborative effort – their first since they met on the set of Mr & Mrs Smith in 2005 – has set tongues wagging.
By The Sea is a deeply personal project for them both. The movie not only features the real-life husband and wife as struggling spouses on screen – it was also written and directed by Angelina (40) .
The emotionally charged film tells the tale of a couple who go on holiday in France in a desperate bid to save their crumbling marriage. The trailer for the romantic drama, which opens in cinemas in the US in November, shows more than one violent physical fight.
“It’s not autobiographical,” Angelina has said adamantly of the highly anticipated film – but she concedes her marriage to Brad (51) certainly isn’t perfect.
“Brad and I have our issues,” she says. “But if the characters were even remotely close to our problems we couldn’t have made the film. “I’m counting on the audience to know that if it was close to us at all we could never make this film,” she insists. “‘It’s because we’re actually very, very stable.”
For years she and Brad called the movie “the crazy one”, Angie says. “We even called it ‘the worst idea’. As artists we wanted something that took us out of our comfort zones. Just being raw actors. It’s not the safest idea. But life is short.”
BRAD and Angelina shot the movie – set in the 1970s – as newlyweds, jetting off to the Mediterranean isle of Gozo, near Malta, immediately after their wedding on 23 August last year.
Both have previously joked that filming the story of the couple who seem to be in the dying throes of their relationship was basically their honeymoon.
At the outset, Angie instantly regretted it – she even began to think it might spell the end of their days-old marriage.
“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 got 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, learnt something about each other, found a new working relationship and come to like the idea of ‘Yeah, it gets really bad, but you work it out’.”
Brad too has joked about the strain the ambitious project put on them.
“It was probably not the wisest way to spend a honeymoon,” he said in an interview with V Magazine. “But then again, fighting to make something together . . . what better metaphor for marriage?”
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Brad called the film “a mature look at the challenges of love and adult loss”.
“Mr & Mrs Smith this isn’t,” he added, alluding to the inevitable comparison to his and Angie’s first action-packed, sexually charged film.
“By The Sea deals with that period when the honeymoon is well over and the couple is faced with the banality of every day and the pains of the unplanned.”
When Angelina wrote the screenplay she didn’t think they’d actually do it, she reveals as she sits next to Brad in an interview.
She looks transformed in the golden blonde wig she donned for her character, Vanessa, a former dancer who has fantasies
“I was so happy that he was willing to try this,” she says warmly of Brad, who took on the role of Roland, a writer with a drinking problem.
In the behind-the-scenes clip the mother of six explains what she hoped to portray in her ambitious project, which she wrote after her mother, Marcheline Bertrand, died of cancer eight years ago.
The A-listers say it was incredibly difficult to create By The Sea. “The director was very focused. The actress was unstable. And the writer was deeply confused,” Angelina joked of herself in a recent interview with Vogue.
Brad has gone as far as saying the movie was “absolutely challenging, one of the most challenging things I’ve taken on”.Th
e couple have no problem working as a team as parents or on charity projects but Angie says giving Brad instructions wasn’t an easy task. “It was hardest [when] I was directing our fight scenes.” She clearly did a good job – Brad says he was surprised at how much he enjoyed his wife’s role as a director. “She’s decisive, incredibly intuitive, knife-sharp, and, I might say, sexy at her post. I trust her with my life.” But he still felt pressure to stay true to Angie’s vision. “Naturally I didn’t want to fail Angie’s ideas, her words. But really I had absolute faith we’d figure it out. I play a good drunk because I’ve been a good drunk. “The plan was to make something together, with complete autonomy, in the footsteps of Gena Rowlands and John Cassavetes [one of the film industry’s legendary husband-wife partnerships] and keep it a family affair.”
SHOOTING the film really was a family affair – the whole family was on set and cheeky Shiloh (9) even appears in the movie’s featurette.
When she noticed her dad taking a snooze on set at a café table the little prankster decided to use her slingshot to wake him up. Brad jumps when her projectile hits him, confused and bleary-eyed, as he murmurs, “Damn it!” Shi and her siblings, Maddox (14), Pax (11), Zahara (10) and twins Knox and Vivienne (7), tag along with their folks as often as they can.
“They travel like gypsies,” Angelina’s friend, screen writer Eric Roth, has said of the Jolie-Pitt brood’s nomadic lifestyle. The parents have even employed a team of teachers who speak a variety of languages to home-school the kids on their travels.
Now though the family have set up shop in London because it’s a good base for their current projects – Brad is shooting War Machine in Abu Dhabi in the United Arab Emirates, while Angelina and Maddox work on a film in Cambodia about the Khmer Rouge called First They Killed My Father: A Daughter Of Cambodia Remembers.
“As Maddox and I prepare the film we’ll be side by side learning about his country,” Angie said of her eldest, whom she adopted from Cambodia in 2002.
Teaching their adopted children about the countries of their birth is important to the Oscar winner. “We travel often to Asia, Africa, Europe, where they were born,” she says.
“The boys know they’re from Southeast Asia and they have their food and their music and their friends and they have a pride particular to them. But I want them to be just as interested in the history of their sisters’ countries and Mommy’s country so we don’t start dividing.
“Instead of taking Z [Zahara was adopted from Ethiopia in 2005] on a special trip we all go to Africa and we have a great time.”
She also took Vietnamese-born Pax, whom she adopted in 2007, along on her recent Southeast Asia trip because he was keen to meet liberated Burmese opposition leader and Nobel laureate Aung San Suu Kyi.
ANGELINA clearly dotes on her children who, thanks to her recent preventive double mastectomy and ovary removal, she’ll be able to guide into adulthood without fear of succumbing to breast or ovarian cancer.
It was a scary decision for Brad to come to terms with, he says, because there were “so many things that can go wrong, and go
many different directions”.
But it was his support that gave her the courage to go ahead. “I knew through the surgeries that he was on my side and that
this wasn’t something where I was going to feel less of a woman, because my husband wasn’t going to let that happen,” she said in a recent TV interview.
Brad was Angie’s pillar of strength throughout, focusing on doing “whatever’s got to be done to keep the family together as long as possible”.
Despite the risk involved, Angie knew it was the only choice for her. “Both of the women in my family, my mother and my grandmother [who also died of ovarian cancer] started dying in their forties. I’m 40. “I can’t wait to hit 50 and know I made
Sources: vogue.com, people.com, etonline.com, dailymail.co.uk, mirror.co.uk, today.com, nytimes.com