At the end of this year, we’ll get to see Angelina Jolie’s second attempt at directing, when her movie Unbroken hits theaters on Christmas Day. In a pre-taped interview with Today, which aired Tuesday, the actress opened up about the difficulty of bringing now 97-year-old Louis Zamperini’s story to life.
“It’s such a huge responsibility to get it right because I love him so much, and because he’s helped me so much in my life,” she admitted. The movie’s subject is a former Olympic track star, whose plane went down in World War II. After surviving 47 days on a raft, his struggle was far from over, and he was captured by the Japanese to become a prisoner of war. Once Brad Pitt’s fiance heard the inspiring story, she was worked tirelessly to bring it to the big screen.
“This has been the hardest thing I’ve ever done,” she revealed. “I had hours of all these phone calls and things, and I made all these boards with glue and tape and pictures off the Internet. I put all my boards in a garbage bag and carried them to Universal and I took them out and I pitched my butt off!”
Throughout the process, Angelina and Louis have grown very close, and their affection for one another was apparent in the joint interview. Coincidentally, they’re also neighbors. “I imagine that for the last 10-something years, he’s been sitting there, having a coffee in the morning, and wondering, ‘Who’s going to make this movie?'” she said. “And I’ve been sitting in my room, laying there, thinking, ‘What am I supposed to be doing with my life? I want to do something important…I want to connect. I need some help. I need some guidance. Where is it?'”
“And it was right outside my window,” she concluded, with a smile.