While spruiking interest in their upcoming movie – By The Sea, their first film together since Mr and Mrs Smith in 2005 – Angelina and Brad open up to interviewer Tom Brokaw like never before.
Both were lavish in their praise for each other during Angelina’s difficult decision to undergo a double mastectomy, and more recently have her ovaries and fallopian tubes removed.
She says she couldn’t have got through the difficult procedures without Brad’s unflinching support.
“I think for as much as he speaks about my strength, he made it very, very clear to me that what he loved and what was a woman to him was somebody who was smart and capable and cared about her family,” says a candid Angelina, 40.
“It’s not about your physical body. So I knew through my surgeries that he was on my side and that this wasn’t going to be something where I was going to feel less of a woman because my husband wasn’t going to let that happen.”
Brad, who described his role in the ordeal as “support”, said that it only brought the couple and their six children closer together.
“There was no vanity to my wife’s approach. It was mature, ‘This is our life and we’re going to make the best of it’,” he says.
“There was a strength in that. It was just another one of those things in life that makes you tighter, and she was doing it for the kids, and she was doing it for her family so we could be together and that trumps anything and everything.”
Without giving too much away, Angelina adds that By The Sea is partially inspired by her grief over the death of her mother, actress Marcheline Bertrand.
She died in 2007 at 56 after an eight-year battle with ovarian cancer.
Angelina says she’d never forget the wail of the woman she heard down the hospital hall while visiting her mum.
“I later found out it was a young woman who had not had children yet, and that put everything into perspective.”
Angelina hopes that by sharing her personal health battles she will be able to help others deal with their own struggles too.
“To face these issues together and speak about them and talk about what it is to be human, I think can be a beautiful thing.”
Angelina and Brad’s heartfelt confession also coincides with the release of an intimate set of black and white family photos taken by Brad in 2008.
The cherished moments were during the family’s quiet and lengthy vacations at their home in the South of France.
Despite By The Sea being about a couple trying their best to save their damaged marriage, the Hollywood couple is quick to quash recent reports about art imitating life.
“I’m counting on the audience to know that if it was close to us at all, we could never make this film,” says Angela.
“It’s because we’re very, very stable and these aren’t our issues.”