Brad Pitt Opens Up About Angelina Jolie's ''Scary Decision'' to Have a Double Mastectomy in Rare Joint Interview

By the Sea co-stars sit down with NBC's Tom Brokaw to discuss new project and medical decisions

By Samantha Schnurr Oct 30, 2015 7:36 PMTags
Angelina Jolie, Brad Pitt, Tom Brokaw, TodayTODAY

Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt have faced some particularly intense challenges over the past few years, and with their first movie together since 2005's Mr. & Mrs. Smith coming up, they recently sat down together to open up about what they've been through.

In a sneak peek at their rare joint interview, conducted by NBC News' Tom Brokaw, Jolie said that, while she has made certain medical decisions in an effort to prevent a future breast or ovarian cancer diagnosis, her husband has been completely supportive. 

"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," said the Oscar winner, who had a preventative double mastectomy in 2013 and then had her ovaries and fallopian tubes removed this past March.

The 40-year-old mother of six lost her mother and maternal grandmother to ovarian cancer and a maternal aunt to breast cancer. As a result of extensive testing, the Oscar winner learned she carries the gene that predisposes her to the same illnesses.

Jolie opened up about both procedures in op-eds published in the New York Times, voluntarily putting her health in the spotlight in order to spread awareness and educate others about women's health options.

"You never know what a reaction is—you have to just make the choices you make in life," Jolie said of the mixed responses she received from the public. "I made the choices I made because I believed they were right for me."

Universal Pictures

While not everyone was a fan of her severe decisions, her longtime partner followed her lead. 

"Whatever's got to be done to keep the family together and keep the family together as long as possible is gonna be done," Pitt said of his wife's choices. "This was her charge, no question. It's a scary decision. There's many things that can go wrong and go many different directions."

Their support for each other may be unwavering in real life, but onscreen, the Hollywood stars are playing spouses who are having major issues in the upcoming By The Sea, directed and written by Jolie.

"I'm counting on the audience to know that if it was close to us at all, we could never make this film," she assures in the NBC interview. "It's because we're actually very, very stable and these aren't our issues."

The exclusive Jolie-Pitt sit-down airs Nov. 2 on Today and By the Sea is in theaters Nov. 13.

(E! and NBC are both part of the NBCUniversal family.)