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. “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.
Angelina Jolie tells Entertainment Weekly that she had to really lobby for the directorial gig on Unbroken, which tells the unbelievable true story of World War II POW Louie Zamperini (played in the film by Jack O’Connell). “I had to pitch really hard,” Jolie tells the magazine in this week’s cover story. “Poor Brad — you just couldn’t talk to me,” she says.
Stock up on your Angelina Jolie DVDs now, because she may not be making many more on-screen appearances. The Oscar-winning actress has been concentrating more on her humanitarian efforts and film directing these days, with her second effort behind the camera, Unbroken, set for release on Christmas Day.
Since tying the knot two months ago, Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie have been engaged in their other steamy saga, filming the romantic drama By the Sea in Malta. The film, written and being directed by Jolie, is set in France in the mid-1970s, and both actors are dressed in era-appropriate garb. Jolie, who plays a former dancer, is sporting a crème-colored frock with an avocado-hued scarf, while the mustachioed Pitt has a crisp, white dress shirt on, topped off with a stylish fedora.
“It’s hard to laugh,” Jolie tells Yahoo Movies. Jolie, who said she didn’t need to look beyond the villainess in Disney’s animated classic Sleeping Beauty for inspiration (the onscreen laugh we see in Maleficent is actually a blend of Jolie and Eleanor Audley’s original), explained an exercise she partook in during production that helped her find the perfect bellow. It involved creating a circle of people, each laying on their backs with their heads on someone else’s stomach.
While the critical reception for Maleficent has been slightly less than a fairy tale, most reviewers agree that Angelina Jolie is wicked good as the titular witch. Says Time’s Richard Corliss, “She is the visual, aural and behavioral embodiment of an otherworldly goddess capable of anything, from poisonous curses to surrogate-mother love.” From the moment the superstar was announced for the role it was decreed perfect casting: Jolie has always exuded a cool, dangerous vibe.
Before Angelina Jolie could embody the mistress of mayhem in the fairy-tale retelling Maleficent, she had to look the part — a task that required several elaborate get-ups, from feathery capelets to an array of exotic leathers. Jolie, who’s also an executive producer on the film, spoke to us and other members of the media in the fall of 2012 on set at England’s Pinewood Studios.
At last night’s enormous Maleficent Hollywood premiere, the usual showbiz pageantry was upset when Ukrainian journalist Vitalii Sediuk leaped over a barrier and made contact with Brad Pitt’s face. Pitt stands behind his bodyguards, and you can see Sediuk’s red pant leg and shoe sticking up on the left as the other security guards wrestle him away.
Angelina Jolie vividly remembers seeing Sleeping Beauty for the first time as a child, and being awed by the horn-hatted villain Maleficent. “It was almost like seeing Marlene Dietrich for the first time,” Jolie said.