Jolie Pitt, 40, who wrote and directed the ’70s marital drama, said she never intended to play the leading role, so once she decided to act opposite her husband Brad Pitt, she began rethinking some of the nude scenes.
“There were lots of scenes I wanted to change or cut,” she told The New York Times. “I realized it was going to be me [naked] in that bathtub.”
But the actress realized that she couldn’t let her own physical and mental insecurities hold her back.
“I told myself, put all of that aside. Like, you can’t change or cut this scene because you’ve had a mastectomy, or because we’re married and people are going to analyze this or that,” she said. “That would be cheating.”
After learning she carried the BRCA1 gene that increases the risk of cancer, Jolie Pitt decided to undergo two preventive surgeries, a double mastectomy in 2013 and the removal of her ovaries and fallopian tubes two years later.
And while Jolie Pitt eventually came to terms with having to bare it all on set, she made sure to keep her oldest son, Maddox – who worked as a gofer on the film – away from the more sexual or darker scenes.
“He’d be there for the lighter scenes or funnier ones, but obviously we had a rule that for certain scenes he was on lockdown, not on set,” she explained.
But of course, they couldn’t avoid at least one accidental run-in.
“I remember one day I was in my robe, my mascara was running down my face, my hair was still in curlers, and we ran into each other in the hallway,” she said. “He just shook his head, like, ‘Wow, Mom. Nice.’ This business, I grew up in it myself, so I’d almost be happier if the kids weren’t interested. But he loved it.”
And while filming By the Sea in Malta served as their “unconventional” honeymoon, as Jolie Pitt describes it, she also admitted that her marriage ceremony to Pitt was a bit unconventional as well.
“It was just a nice thing,” she recalled what it was like to tie the knot with Pitt in 2014. “For me, the big moment was when [we] signed the [joint adoption] papers for Maddox and Zahara. That was a decision to parent together, to commit to being a part of each other’s lives for the rest of my life. So [marriage] wasn’t close in comparison. In a way, it was very casual.”
In fact, she said that when the two signed their marriage license in California before the official ceremony in France, it was in the most “unceremonial way possible.”
“The ceremony was in France, but we had to do things legally in California,” Jolie, 40, explained. “One day I was in the edit room, and [Brad] was doing something and an assistant said, ‘You have to sign some papers.’ So we came back and between meetings we were told, ‘Here’s your license,'” she said.
She continued: “Then someone said, ‘The judge is outside.’ We both said, ‘What do you mean, the judge is outside?’ Then the judge came in, this lovely guy, and at some point, Brad said, ‘Shouldn’t we be standing up?’ The judge said, ‘No.’ Then suddenly we realized we were married, in the most unceremonial way possible.”