Before U.S. Olympian-turned-WWII hero Louis Zamperini died on July 2 at age 97, director Angelina Jolie showed him the film she’s made about him (in theaters Dec. 25), adapted from Laura Hillenbrand’s 2010 best-seller. “I brought it on my laptop to the hospital,” Jolie says. “It was a deeply moving, very profound few hours of my life. Telling his story is a giant responsibility.”
It was certainly an extraordinary life: Zamperini competed in the 1936 Olympics in track, enlisted with the U.S. Air Force in WWII, survived a crash into the Pacific, spent 47 days marooned on a raft, and then endured over two years of torture in a Japanese POW camp. Playing Zamperini was no easy task. Jack O’Connell, a veteran of British TV’s teen drama Skins, had to lose nearly 30 pounds to appear emaciated in key scenes. “You learn not to think of your own problems,” he says. “That’s something you can attribute to Louie and Angie—they both strive to be selfless every day.”
Luckily, not every day was so grueling: One night, O’Connell formed an impromptu band with producer Matthew Baer and costars Garrett Hedlund (who plays a fellow prisoner) and Miyavi (a real-life Japanese rocker who portrays a sadistic guard in the film). Their tunes included “Angie” by the Rolling Stones and, of course, the Kingsmen classic “Louie Louie.”
Mgarr-ix Xini beach in Gozo was closed to the public Sunday for filming of Brangelina’s first movie together since ‘Mr. & Mrs. Smith’
Angelina Jolie’s By the Sea will start shooting today on a picturesque beach in Malta, reports The Malta Independent.
The film written and directed by Jolie and starring partner Brad Pitt is set to shoot at Mgarr ix-Xini beach on Gozo, Malta’s second largest island. The beach was closed to the public Sunday for filming, running through Nov. 10 this year. The Malta Independent says that set construction is well underway with one structure on the beach nearing completion.
By the Sea will be the first time Pitt and Jolie have appeared onscreen together since 2005′s Mr. & Mrs. Smith. Universal picked up the worldwide rights to the drama, and sources close to the production told The Hollywood Reporter that a key plot detail in the film would see Pitt’s and Jolie’s characters getting married.
The film won’t be the first time Pitt has shot a movie in the Maltese Islands, as both the Greek epic Troy from 2004 and the zombie apocalypse thriller World War Z from 2013 were filmed in Malta.
Angelina attended a press conference for Unbroken on Tuesday, 18 HQ photos have been added to the gallery!
Angelina Jolie will direct Brad Pitt in the upcoming character drama By the Sea.
Jolie is expected to star with Pitt in the Universal film, which she has also written.
The filmmaker-actress said in a statement: “I am very happy to continue my relationship with Donna [Langley] and the entire Universal team as I finish [my current film] Unbroken and begin work on By the Sea.
“They have created a very special place for storytellers, and I look forward to the continued passion and support they have provided to me as a filmmaker.”
By the Sea will reunite Jolie and Pitt on the big screen for the first time since 2005′s Mr and Mrs Smith.
The first official trailer for Unbroken has been released, it just looks simply amazing, Jack is outstanding, so proud of Angie!
Louis Zamperini is a hero, no question about it. From Olympian to POW, his story is one for the ages, one laid out on the page beautifully by author Laura Hillenbrand in the book “Unbroken” and adapted by filmmaker Angelina Jolie in a film that will be released later this year. But just six months shy of seeing that life story writ large on the big screen for movie fans the world over to learn about his struggle, Zamperini has passed away, having lived a long and full 97 years.
“It is a loss impossible to describe. We are all so grateful for how enriched our lives are for having known him. We will miss him terribly.” – Angelina Jolie
Angelina has been out promoting Maleficent in Japan the last two days, thanks to Claudia I’ve added 78 HQ photos of the premiere and press conference photocall to the gallery, she looks so pretty!! Enjoy!