In a telling and raw interview for the Today Show in America, Angelina Jolie and husband Brad Pitt speak about Jolie’s decision to undergo a preventative double mastectomy in 2013. There was further surgery this year also, where Jolie had her ovaries removed. Brad Pitt praises his wife’s brave decision during the interview.
‘There was no vanity to my wife’s approach,’ the 51-year-old said. ‘It was mature. 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.’
Jolie had the double mastectomy at the age of 37, after learning that she had an 87 per cent risk of developing breast cancer due to a defective BRCA1 gene. Due to the same anomaly, she had a 50 per cent risk of developing ovarian cancer and decided to get the oophorectomy two years later, which brought upon early menopause.
This is when Jolie discusses how her mother had a secret pact with her surgeon.
‘We had some of the same nurses, some of the same doctors,’ the star told host Tom Brokaw.
‘So, the doctor that did my ovary surgery was my mother’s doctor. And apparently my mother had said to her, “Promise me you will take Angie’s ovaries out.” So when we kind of got together, we both had a big cry, and she said, “I promised your mother, and I gotta do this.”‘
Marcheline Bertrand, Jolie’s mother- an actress herself, died at the age of 56 in 2007 after being diagnosed with ovarian cancer in 1999.
Jolie’s new film By The Sea, which co-stars Pitt, was inspired by her grief over losing her mother.
‘We can’t say what the whole film is about, but a lot of the film was when I went to visit my mom in the hospital, when she found out she had cancer the first time, she was gonna have her ovaries removed, (and) she was very upset, feeling like… they’re taking out her parts that were female, and there was a woman down the hall who was wailing. I later found out it was a young woman who had not had children yet, and that put everything into perspective.’
‘Every woman is different when they go through menopause, and…I didn’t know emotionally how I would feel,’ the star admitted. ‘I knew the breast would be a bigger surgery and physically changing. The ovaries is more, your hormones changing and your emotions changing, but it’s different. You feel different.’
Jolie speaks about the undying support and commitment that her husband Pitt has shown her through her ordeal. It has only strengthened their marriage and brought them closer together.
‘I knew through the surgeries that he was on my side and that this wasn’t something where I was gonna feel less of a woman because my husband wasn’t gonna let that happen,’ Jolie explained.
‘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.’
By The Sea will be released in the US on November 13 and is the first time the couple will star together in a movie since gracing our screens in Mr and Mrs. Smith in 2005- where the romance between the two was rumoured to have started.
Photos courtesy of Rex Shutterstock and NBC.