Angelina Jolie Shares First Look at New Film 'Without Blood,' Talks Working with Sons Pax & Maddox

·2 min read
Angelina Jolie Salma Hayek Without Blood FIrst look
Angelina Jolie Salma Hayek Without Blood FIrst look

Stefano C. Montesi

Angelina Jolie's new movie is a family affair!

In the new issue of PEOPLE, the Oscar winner, 47, shares the first images of Without Blood and talks about working with her sons Maddox, 21, and Pax, 18, who both had jobs on the Italian set of the upcoming drama she directed.

"We work well together. When a film crew is at its best, it feels like a big family, so it felt natural," Jolie says of her boys. The two worked in the assistant director department, which serves as a liaison between the film's director and the other departments of a movie.

Pax, who had previously collaborated with his mom on her 2017 drama First They Killed My Father, shooting stills for that movie, also focused on behind-the-scenes footage for Without Blood. "[He] worked hard," she adds.

Angelina Jolie Salma Hayek Without Blood FIrst look
Angelina Jolie Salma Hayek Without Blood FIrst look

Stefano C. Montesi

Salma Hayek and Demián Bichir star in the drama, which production company Fremantle describes as "an unforgettable fable set in the aftermath of an unidentified conflict [which] explores universal truths about war, trauma, memory, and healing."

It is based on the 2002 novel by Alessandro Barrico. "The book had an impact on me as it has so many other people," continues Jolie. "It carries themes and questions important to discuss."

Angelina Jolie Salma Hayek Without Blood FIrst look
Angelina Jolie Salma Hayek Without Blood FIrst look

Stefano C. Montesi

Without Blood is the fifth feature film directed by Jolie, and her first with Fremantle, which signed her to a three-year deal in March.

Jolie is coy about the characters Hayek and Bichir play, but promises their performances are incredible: "Salma and Demián are very authentic and brave in this film. I had been a fan of their work. I knew they would bring solid commitment and craft to the film but honestly, they both blew me away."

Angelina Jolie Salma Hayek Without Blood FIrst look
Angelina Jolie Salma Hayek Without Blood FIrst look

Stefano C. Montesi

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Angelina Jolie Salma Hayek Without Blood FIrst look
Angelina Jolie Salma Hayek Without Blood FIrst look

Stefano C. Montesi

Jolie says Hayek, her former costar in the 2021 Marvel movie The Eternals, was "so raw and so authentic. She's mesmerizing."

Hayek had similarly high praise for Jolie when speaking to PEOPLE earlier this summer. She called the filmmaker "probably the best director I've ever worked with."

Continued Hayek: "It was a tough film to do. And then somehow, it was a joy to suffer so much [because]...she was shockingly good."

RELATED: Angelina Jolie Holds Hands with Zahara and Shiloh at Eternals Premiere in Rome

Angelina Jolie Salma Hayek Without Blood FIrst look
Angelina Jolie Salma Hayek Without Blood FIrst look

Stefano C. Montesi

Jolie's four other children—Spelman College freshman Zahara, 17; Shiloh, 16; and 14-year-old twins Knox and Vivienne, all of whom she shares with ex-husband Brad Pitt, 58, did not work on Without Blood.

What makes her the most proud of her increasingly grown-up kids? "I'm proud that they are all very much their own people," she says. "Very different and still a very close family that learn from each other."