Angelina Jolie had ‘no vanity,’ Brad Pitt says, around surgeries to cut cancer risk

On the "Today" show, Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie revealed a bit more about how their family faced her surgeries.

On the “Today” show, Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie revealed a bit more about how their family faced her surgeries.

(Jason Merritt / Getty Images)

Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie are still together, and they're still holding hands, and gosh darn if he still thinks she doesn't belong anywhere near a kitchen.

With a movie coming out in a week and a half, the mega-stars are shedding their usual cloak of privacy and making one of their periodic excursions into the spotlight. And because they're reuniting on the big screen for the first time since "Mr. & Mrs. Smith," the joint sit-down with Tom Brokaw for the "Today" show on Monday makes sense — and shows that art doesn't always imitate life.

"I'm counting on the audience to know that if it was close to us at all, we could never make this film," Jolie said of "By the Sea," which is about a couple whose marriage is in bad shape. "It's because we're actually very very stable and these aren't our issues."

Of course, one of the biggest issues the family faced in in 2015 was Jolie's decision to have her Fallopian tubes and ovaries removed in March following troubling results from a regularly scheduled blood test. The actress, whose mother died of ovarian cancer at age 56, had a preventive double mastectomy in 2013 after finding out she carries a gene that greatly increased her breast cancer risk. She'd intended to follow up with the second surgery, but not so soon.

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"Seeing my wife have to be her strongest and knowing that it's the scariest of news is terribly moving," said Pitt, who wasn't with her when she got the test results. He said his role was to support her and their six-child family through "whatever's got to be done."

There was, he said, "no vanity to my wife's approach" to the surgery decision. "It was mature, it was an excitement to where, this is our life, we're going to make the best of it. There's a strength in that."

After the surgery — which Jolie made public in a New York Times essay — the 40-year-old went through early menopause.

"I didn't know emotionally how I would feel," she told Brokaw. "I knew the breasts would be a bigger surgery, and physically changing. The ovaries is more your hormones changing and your emotions changing. But it's different, you feel different."

What's not different now? Her relationship with Pitt.

"He made it very very clear to me that what he loved and what was a woman to him was somebody who was smart and capable and cared about her family," Jolie said. "It wasn't about ... physical bodies, so I knew through the surgeries that he was on my side and that this wasn't something where I was going to feel less of a woman, because my husband wasn't going to let that happen."

Also remaining the same is her prowess, or lack thereof, in one part of the domestic arena.

"Every three months I'll say, 'Honey, I think I should learn how to cook,'" Jolie revealed.

"I just humor it," Pitt said with a laugh. "But really, she has no business in the kitchen."

"By the Sea," which was written, produced and directed by that woman who can't cook, premieres Thursday at the TCL Chinese Theater in Hollywood as part of the 2015 AFI Fest, then hits U.S. theaters Nov. 13.

Follow Christie D'Zurilla on Twitter @theCDZ and Google+. Follow the Ministry of Gossip on Twitter @LATcelebs.


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