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“There was no vanity to my wife's approach.” Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt talk about cancer scares and marriage

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Anna Pollitt
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Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt have given an emotional joint interview discussing how they tackled the upheaval of Angelina's multiple surgeries.

Holding hands in the rare sit-down chat, the Oscar winners laugh and joke with Today interviewer Tom Brokaw, before discussing how the couple dealt with Angelina's double mastectomy and the removal of her ovaries and fallopian tubes after she was tested positive for developing breast cancer and showed signs of early-stage ovarian cancer. 

“There was no vanity to my wife's approach,” Brad, 51, says. “It was mature. 'This is our life and we're gonna make the best of it.' 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.”

Angelina, 40, praises her husband's supportive response to the changes her body went through.

“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,” she says.

“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 Jolie and Brad Pitt on set of their new film By The Sea

Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt on set of their new film By The Sea

Brad explains: “Seeing my wife have to be her strongest and knowing that it's the scariest of news is terribly moving ... There's many things that could go wrong, it could go many different directions, but it was really led by her dedication of, 'This is what I gotta do, and this is what I'm gonna do.'”

Angelina revealed last year that the doctor who removed her ovaries and fallopian tubes was the same one who treated her late mother, Marcheline Bertrand, who died at 56 years old in 2007. In the Today interview, she says her mother had made the doctor promise that Angelina undergo the same procedure.

“We had some of the same nurses, some of the same doctors,'” she says. “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've gotta do this.'”

Marcheline Bertrand and Angelina Jolie

Marcheline Bertrand and Angelina Jolie in 2001

Speaking about her new film By The Sea, which Angelina wrote, directed and stars in, the actress says: "A lot of the film was [inspired by] 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 and feeling like this was where they were 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."

The film also sees Angelina and Brad star alongside each other for the first time since Mr & Mrs Smith, where the couple famously met 10 years ago. They now have six children together and married last year.

In a lighthearted moment, Angelina says every so often she asks Brad if she should become a more “conventional” wife.

“Every three months I'll say 'Honey, I think I should learn how to cook.'”

Brad replies, “I just humour it but really she has no business in the kitchen.”

Watch the interview below:

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Anna Pollitt

Anna is a freelance writer and editor who’s been making her dime from online since 2007. She’s a regular at Stylist.co.uk, ITV News and Emerald Street and moonlights as a copywriter and digital content consultant. The baby is borrowed.

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