“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 said of her health journey during a joint interview with NBC’s Tom Brokaw on Today on Monday.
Angelina opted to have her ovaries removed earlier this year after a doctor detected possible signs of early cancer. The surgery came just two years after she had a preventative double mastectomy upon discovering she carries the BRCA1 gene mutation that predisposes her to breast cancer.
“I was out in France, and Angie called me and I got straight on a plane to return. Seeing my wife have to be her strongest and knowing that it’s the scariest news is terribly moving,” Brad, 51, revealed of finding out about Angelina’s March scare. “And not being there is a horrible feeling.”
Angelina said part of her decision to have both operations was inspired by her mother’s own battle against cancer. Marcheline Bertrand was diagnosed with ovarian cancer in 1999, and later passed away in 2007.
“We had some of the same nurses, some of the same doctors,” the Maleficent star revealed. “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.’ ”
The actress, 40, who is now going through menopause because of the ovary removal (“you feel different”), said Brad’s undying support helped her accept the physical changes that would come with both operations.
“I think for as much as it speaks about my strength, he made it very, very clear to me that what he loved, and what was a woman to him, was someone who was smart, and capable and loved her family,” she said, a sentiment which Brad, himself, echoed.
“There was no vanity to my wife’s approach,” Brad said. “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 Jolie Has Ovaries Removed after Doctor Detects Possible Sign of Early Cancer
The couple also spoke about their upcoming onscreen collaboration, By the Sea in which they play a troubled husband and wife – their first onscreen reunion since 2005’s Mr. & Mrs. Smith.
“We were joking at one point, we were saying… ‘This is what ten years of marriage will do to you,’ ” Angelina revealed.
The film, which was also written and directed by Angelina, takes place in the ’70s and profiles the main characters’ failed relationship.
“I’m counting on the audience to know that if it was close to us at all, we could never make this film,” Angelina admitted. “It’s because we’re actually very, very stable and these aren’t our issues.”