Angelina Jolie during her meeting with the Pope on Thursday
Angelina Jolie received the rare honor of a private visit with Pope Francis on Thursday morning. The actress–turned–director was invited to the Vatican to screen her new film Unbroken, about former Olympian and war hero Louis Zamperini. Though the 78-year-old pope wasn’t able to attend the screening, he did have a brief meeting with Jolie, who brought her daughters Shiloh and Zahara, her brother James Haven, and an interpreter. (Brad Pitt was reportedly unable to accompany his wife due to a last-minute schedule change.) According to Business Insider, Jolie kissed the pontiff’s ring and received a rosary from him. “To be invited to screen Unbroken at The Vatican is an honor and a tribute to Louie’s legacy as a man of faith and someone who exemplified the power of forgiveness and the strength of the human spirit,” Jolie said in a statement released by Universal Pictures. The screening itself took place on Thursday at the Casina Pio IV and was attended by about 25 Vatican City residents, according to E Online.
Although Pope Francis is a popular guy in Hollywood right now, Jolie’s invitation to screen her film at the Vatican is quite unusual. Last year, Russell Crowe made repeated attempts to get an audience with the Pope in conjunction with the release of his film Noah. In the end, Pope Francis neither watched Noah nor granted Crowe a private meeting, but did give the star his blessing at a public address. A decade earlier, Pope John Paul II screened Mel Gibson’s Biblical drama The Passion of the Christ but did not comment publicly on the film. However, the Vatican did release its own list of 45 “important films” in 1995, including 2001: A Space Odyssey; The Wizard of Oz; Gandhi; Ben-Hur; and two movies that the current Pope has cited as personal favorites, La Strada and Babette’s Feast.
Watch a trailer for the movie:
Image credit: @AP Photo