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Angelina Jolie

Brendon Thorne/Getty Images

For Angelina Jolie, Unbroken is so much more than her next major directorial project.

The film, which follows former Olympian Louis Zamperini and his captivity during World War II, became a passion project for the Oscar winner.

During the Australian red carpet premiere, Mrs. Brad Pitt became emotional when asked to discuss working so closely with the American hero.

"It's just hard," she told AAP as she wiped away tears.

The mother of six opened up about the moment when she rushed to the hospital to visit the 97-year-old in the final days of his life.

Jolie shared that just in the nick of time, she was able to show Zamperini a rough cut of the highly anticipated movie.

"I was able to bring the film to the hospital. I felt it on my laptop over his bed and we talked about it," she told the outlet.

"It was great. It was beautiful. He was like a father and grandfather to me."

And when asked what he thought after seeing the film, Jolie explained that she was grateful to see his reaction firsthand.

"He watched very intently as a man who knew he was passing away. He watched his life before his eyes," Jolie said.

"It's his life, so I don't know what I was expecting, [maybe] some review. But I hope it gave him peace to know that he could pass away knowing that his message was strong, knowing that his life was long and full.

"I'm so happy he's at peace. It's hard to argue anyone else had a fuller life with more purpose."