Angelina Jolie Meets the Pope While Hosting Unbroken Screening at the Vatican—Get the Details!

She brought along two of her children and her brother

By Francesca Bacardi Jan 08, 2015 2:41 PMTags
Pope Francis, Angelina JolieAP Photo/L'Osservatore Romano, Pool

Angelina Jolie just received an honor of a lifetime (no, it wasn't an Oscar...yet).

The A-list actress traveled to the Vatican this week not only to host a screening of her buzzworthy film Unbroken, but also to meet Pope Francis while she was there. By her side throughout the trip was Luke Zamperini, the son of her film's subject, Louis Zamperini.

"To be invited to screen Unbroken at The Vatican is an honor and a tribute to Louie's legacy as a man of faith and someone who exemplified the power of forgiveness and the strength of the human spirit," Jolie said in a statement obtained by E! News. "These are universal themes at the heart of the human experience everywhere."

Jolie also brought along her oldest two daughters, Shiloh Jolie-Pitt and Zahara Jolie-Pitt, to the tiny state. According to Business Insider, Jolie met the 78-year-old pontiff in the throne room at the papal palace. She brought along her children, her brother and an interpreter.

AP Photo/L'Osservatore Romano, Pool

The meeting apparently was short, and ended with the humanitarian kissing the Pope's ring and receiving a rosary from him.

An attendee tells E! News that Jolie was struck by the reaction of those attending the screening and the applause after they viewed the film.

"There were some twenty-five people at the event," the attendee tells us. "It's a very, very strong film about the suffering of a prisoner of war, and details the persecution he went through and his reaction of pardon and conversion, all rooted in faith.

"It was very well done, and you could tell she was very strongly committed to the film."

Directed and produced by Jolie, Unbroken follows the life of Olympian and war hero Louis "Louie" Zamperini who survived in a raft for 47 days after a near-fatal plane crash during WWII, only to be captured by the Japanese Navy. He then survives his time spent in a prisoner-of-war camp.

Jolie stopped by the Today show to promote Unbroken and gushed about the real Zamperini, who passed before the movie's release.    

"He's a great man, a true hero and an inspiration," Jolie said. "He's also our friend, and we are fortunate to be in a position to bring his message to the world and his story to the world, but it is his legacy. It's our responsibility to get it right because he deserves it, so we're a little nervous but we're excited for more people to know of his story."

The Pope, however, already knew his story, which is why he invited the Maleficent star to screen her film at the Casina Pio IV, headquarters of the Pontifical Academy of Sciences and Pontifical Academy of Social Sciences.