Angelina Jolie knows that By the Sea may not be for everyone.

The Oscar winner wrote, directed and co-stars in the film with hubby Brad Pitt. Set in the 1970s, they play a married couple (she's a former dancer and he's a writer suffering from writer's block) who travel to a remote hotel in the South of France with hopes of saving their crumbling relationship.

"It's an unusual film," Jolie told me last night at the world premiere of the movie at the AFI Fest presented by Audi film festival in Hollywood. "We tried to be very open and we hope we're allowed to do this kind of a film and people receive it and understand it."

It's been 10 years since Jolie and Pitt appeared in a movie together in Mr. & Mrs. Smith.

"It's very very different than Mr. & Mrs. Smith," Jolie said with a laugh. "It isn't a comedy. It's 10 years after. Anyone who's been married a really long time will understand this movie."

holiday movie preview,  by the sea

Universal Pictures

It certainly wasn't always easy playing a couple who at times appear to have more hate between them then love. They kick, hit and push each other throughout the movie.

"It's a very emotional film," Jolie said. "It's very personal and we tear into each other a bit. Even though none of their problems are our problems, we still have our fights. When his voices raises it affects me.

"When I'm crying and we're doing these heavy scenes, you can't be husband and wife," she continued. "You can't go across the room and nurture the other person. You have to stay in your corner and you have to perform and you have to push through."

Brad Pitt, Angelina Jolie, Valetine's Day

REX Shutterstock

Pitt agrees. "Our job is to personalize each moment even if it's not our story," he said. "There's no way you can't get a little riled up. That's why it works."

"I think because we're married and we know each other in that way, it just made it more sensitive on set and it made it a little harder to be tough on each other," Jolie added. "But when we went, we went pretty far."

While Pitt admitted there were times that Jolie was "disappointed" with a take or two, he said, "We have this great shorthand, being a couple [and] having time together. Getting to make together was a real thrill."

Pitt gushed, "We know each other so well. To be making something together with the one you love, I can't describe how rewarding it is."

By the Sea is in theaters Nov. 13.

(E! Online and Universal Pictures are both part of the NBCUniversal family.)

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