Angelina Jolie just received an honor of a lifetime (no, it wasn’t an Oscar…yet).
The A-list actress traveled to the Vatican this week not only to host a screening of her buzzworthy film Unbroken, but also to meet Pope Francis while she was there. By her side throughout the trip was Luke Zamperini, the son of her film’s subject, 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 obtained by E! News. “These are universal themes at the heart of the human experience everywhere.”
Jolie also brought along her oldest two daughters, Shiloh Jolie-Pitt and Zahara Jolie-Pitt, to the tiny state. According to Business Insider, Jolie met the 78-year-old pontiff in the throne room at the papal palace. She brought along her children, her brother and an interpreter.
Angelina Jolie met Pope Francis at the Vatican Thursday, after screening her film “Unbroken“ there for officials and ambassadors.
– Events Unbroken Vatican Screening
Angelina Jolie had the privilege of meeting Pope Francis after screening her latest directorial effort Unbroken for the Vatican. Unbroken is the true story of Louis Zamperini, a World War II Bombardier who survived both a horrific plane crash and Japanese internment camp.
Pope Francis was unable to attend the screening as he was in talks with the Cardinal of Paris, but he did meet with Jolie after the screening.
According to a Vatican spokesman, Jolie kissed the pope’s ring upon greeting, and he presented her with a rosary. She was accompanied by her daughters Shiloh and Zahara.
Jolie discussed with the Holy Father the history of Zamperini, how an Olympic veteran could overcome extreme trauma through faith. While not going in-depth into Zamperini’s religion, Unbroken ends with a slide explaining how Zamperini credited God for saving his life after years of severe post-traumatic stress.
Zamperini converted midlife to Christianity after struggling with alcoholism, PTSD and a failing marriage, which is detailed extensively in Laura Hillenbrand’s book Unbroken, upon which the film is based. He died in July at age 97 during the making of the film.
“Being invited to screen Unbroken at the Vatican,” said Jolie in La Repubblica, “is an honor and a tribute to the legacy of Louis, a man of faith that represents the strength of the human spirit.”
Unbroken opens in Italy on Jan. 29.
Source: Hollywood Reporter
May the force be with the Jolie-Pitts!
Angelina Jolie was spotted in Bonanza Gifts shop, a Las Vegas souvenir store, on Saturday with her 6-year-old twins, Knox and Vivienne. The Oscar-winning actress purchased a bevy of toys and gag gifts, including light sabers, a plush dinosaur pillow, t-shirts, mugs, a bunch of telescope-style “freeloader forks,” and more mischievous presents.
According to an onlooker, Jolie was dressed down in neutral colors – a flowing beige sweater, jeans and big sunglasses. She was accompanied by a few other people and children; a member of Jolie’s entourage checked out at the register while the kids were allowed to pick out anything in the store. The shop manager said the star was “as normal as can be.”
Visiting this particular Sin City gift shop is also seemingly normal for Jolie. The manager said the actress-turned-director frequents the establishment to buy gag gifts for husband Brad Pitt, a known Hollywood prankster.
On paper, “Unbroken,” the story of a bombardier who survives a crash in the Pacific Ocean only to be tortured by his Japanese captors, doesn’t sound much like a Christmas movie.
However, by emphasizing the inspirational elements of the incredible true story and director Angelina Jolie’s work behind the camera, the account of Louis Zamperini’s travails and ultimate triumph became one of the holiday’s biggest openers.
“At this time of year stories about faith and how strong the human spirit is do huge numbers,” said Jeff Bock, an analyst with Exhibitor Relations.
Bock compares “Unbroken” to “The Blind Side,” which also drew crowds in the big cities and Middle America by emphasizing uplift. “Unbroken” debuted to $31.7 million over the weekend and has made $47.3 million since opening on Christmas, stunning box office prognosticators who had expected it to make $10 million less than it collected. The oft-repeated mantra in trailers and other promotional materials, “If you can take it, you can make it,” gave the film a quasi-religious, redemptive aura that made it seem seasonally appropriate.
Opening on Christmas Day is director Angelina Jolie’s Unbroken. The film tells the incredible true story of Louis Zamperini (Jack O’Connell), a former Olympian and WWII bombardier whose plane crashed at sea in 1943. Zamperini and two crewmates floated adrift for 47 days and 2000 miles, eventually finding themselves caught by the Japanese Navy and sent to a POW camp where Zamperini was targeted by a sadistic overseer. While Unbroken could have ended up a movie of the week on Lifetime, Jolie has crafted a film worthy of your time and money. For more on Unbroken, check out six clips, the trailer, and all our previous coverage.
At the New York City press day I participated in a press conference with Angelina Jolie, Jack O’Connell, Garret Hedlund, Miyavi, and Finn Wittrock. They talked about what it was like making the film, if it was tough getting a PG-13 rating, what it was like playing real people, how Jolie decided what pieces of the book to include, how the first cut was three and a half hours, the editing process, what the Coen Brothers contributed to the film, and a lot more. Hit the jump for what they had to say.
Angelina Jolie knew she was going to have to make some trims. The first cut of Unbroken, her sweeping World War II epic about the true-life adventures of Louis Zamperini — the U.S. airman who survived getting shot down over the Pacific and spending 47 days floating on a raft and two years being tortured in a Japanese prison camp — clocked in at four hours and 30 minutes. So, in late spring 2013, Jolie locked herself in an editing bay at Universal Studios, rolled up her sleeves and began whacking away at the footage.
A few days later, she emerged with a new version. She’d cut 10 minutes.
Of all the challenges Jolie faced directing and producing Unbroken — landing Joel and Ethan Coen to revise the screenplay (adapted from Laura Hillenbrand’s 2010 best-seller); persuading Universal to greenlight the film with a $65 million budget; finding just the right star to portray the feisty, rebellious Zamperini (she went with unknown British actor Jack O’Connell); and shooting airplane battles in the skies over the Pacific (mostly CGI) and shark-attack scenes in a vast, endless ocean (a water tank on a soundstage in Australia) — by far the biggest headache was slimming the final cut to a still-meaty two hours and 17 minutes.
“Mom? I saw this thing over there — can I skateboard on it?” The “thing” is a freshly painted cyclorama inside the Los Angeles photo studio where, on a sunny day in November, Jolie is being photographed for her THR cover. And the blond girl in the hoodie who wants to skateboard on its rad curved surfaces is none other than Shiloh Jolie-Pitt, arguably the most genetically advantaged 8-year-old on Earth. Also possibly the most self-assured (“Wassup!” she greets a stranger, flashing a cocky grin). But the answer is no, Shiloh may not skateboard on the cyc wall. Some rules cannot be broken, even if your mother happens to be one of the biggest rule breakers of the year.
“I never had a plan for my life,” Jolie says after breaking the bad news to her daughter, then settling into a sofa with Zen-like calm. “I do what I want to do. And if suddenly tomorrow I couldn’t do anything, I could deal with that. I’d be happy at home being a mom.”