Pitt said: “There was no vanity to my wife’s approach [to making a decision about surgery].”
In a rare joint interview, the Hollywood super-couple revealed how the obstacles they’ve faced have made their relationship stronger.
The two have worked together on new film By The Sea — the first time they’ve been on screen together since 2005’s Mr and Mrs Smith — which revolves around a troubled marriage.
Asked whether it was a risk to depict a troubled marriage when theirs is so secure, Jolie explained: “I think, one, I’m counting on the audience to know that if it was close to us at all, we could never make this film. It’s because we’re actually very, very stable and these aren’t our issues.”
The couple spoke about Jolie’s previous admissions that she feels she should be a more ‘conventional’ wife and mother.
The actress told NBC’s Tom Brokaw: “Every three months, I’ll say: ‘Honey, I think I should learn how to cook,’” to which Brad responded: “I just humour it, but really, she has no business in the kitchen.”
Jolie underwent a double mastectomy in 2013 after testing positive for a gene giving her an 87% risk of developing breast cancer. She had her ovaries and fallopian tubes removed last March after a blood test showed she may have signs of early-stage ovarian cancer. The procedure was one of her mother’s dying wishes.
“I was out in France, and Angie called me and I got straight on a plane to return,” Pitt said of learning about Jolie’s blood test. “Seeing my wife have to be her strongest and knowing that it’s the scariest news is terribly moving and not being there is a horrible feeling.
“I just remember there was no vanity to my wife’s approach. It was mature. There was an excitement to where [we said] ‘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, which trumped everything and anything.”
Jolie added: “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. 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.”
Jolie’s mother was also a big part of her surgery.
“We had some of the same nurses, some of the same doctors,” Jolie said. “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.’