Tuesday, December 16, 2014

No Angelina, no problem as Brad Pitt and kids attend 'Unbroken' premiere

A long awaited moment for Louis Zamperini's family

HOLLYWOOD - Friday's announcement that Angelina Jolie would not appear at the Los Angeles premiere of "Unbroken" because she's currently suffering from a rare bout of the chicken pox was met with skepticism by some, but after attending the event Monday night we believe it.  No matter what happened last week after Jolie found herself unwittingly in the crosshairs of the Sony hacking scandal, she would have wanted to be at the Dolby Theater for this.
Universal Pictures realized long ago this was going to be a special moment for the family of Louis Zamperini, a man who spent almost 50 years attempting to get his inspiring story on the big screen. Many of them live in Southern California and were well represented in the audience. Zamperini passed away in July at the age of 97 just missing the chance to see the finished film (Jolie showed him a rough cut shortly before he died). And, it was clear that while this event was taking place in the same theater the Academy Awards are held this premiere was much more about Zamperini's legacy than trying to court Oscar voters.
The most touching moment of the night, however, and one Jolie would have wanted to be there for was when producer Matthew Baer introduced 20 World War II veterans and two surviving POWs from the Japanese camps Zamperini was held in.  They all received immediate and spontaneous standing ovations from the Dolby Theater's audience.
Universal Pictures Chairman Donna Langley read a statement from Jolie that read in part:
"…I'm happily at home looking out my window at the home he lived in.  I'm giving thanks for having known such a special man and I'm giving all of you in the theater tonight my thoughts.  Everyone who worked tirelessly on the film to bring his story to life, everyone who has come to support, veterans of World War II, Louis' brothers-in-arms, we salute you, athletes who understand and share in his fighting spirit and endurance, special people who have overcome obstacles and represent the spirit of what it is to be unbroken.  I smile most of all thinking that among you tonight are Louis' children and his grandson, Phil's daughter, Clarence Douglas' grandson and many family members for which this story is very personal.  Louis always said, 'Don't make a film to show how extraordinary I was, make a film to remind everyone how extraordinary they are.'  Everyone has greatness in them. This film is his message to each of you. So, long after the rights to the film first sold in 1956, we are happy to finally say, 'Here is 'Unbroken.'"
Also on hand, although strangely not brought on stage before the film, were stars Jack O'Connell, Miyavi and Garrett Hedlund (who brought Kirsten Dunst). They were all quite popular with the military personnel at the after party in the Ray Dolby Ballroom following the screening.
And, as promised, Jolie's husband Brad Pitt gave the paparazzi their moment on the red carpet as he brought their kids Pax Thien Jolie-Pitt, Shiloh Nouvel Jolie-Pitt and Maddox Jolie-Pitt to see the movie.  Pitt and his boys were the center of attention while at the after party and even stopped to take some photos with a number of attendees.  Yep, nice kids.

Brad Pitt Jokes Over Angelina Jolie's Chickenpox; Blasts Sony Hack Coverage

With Angelina Jolie ailing at home with chickenpox, husband Brad Pitt filled in admirably on the "Unbroken" red carpet.
Brad hit the film's premiere with kids Pax, Maddox and Shiloh, along with his parents Jane and William Pitt on Monday night in Hollywood, where he spoke about how Angelina was feeling.
"It's just cruel. It's cruel irony," Brad told Access Hollywood's Shaun Robinson on the red carpet. "She's a bit peppered and spotted."
Despite the illness, it appeared Angelina – and clearly Brad – had taken the ailment in stride.
"I thought about connecting the dots when she's asleep or something," he joked.
As for the film, Brad said it was a project Angelina poured her heart and soul into and was proud of the final result.
"She's so proud of this film and, of course, what Louis Zamperini represents," Brad explained. "She's just grateful for everyone who came out. Spirits are high. It's a nice thing."
While Brad was in a celebratory mood when it came to Angelina's latest film, he wasn't as pleased over the highly publicized Sony e-mail hack, which he addressed with Shaun.
"I was just saying that I don’t see a difference in News Corp hacking phone calls and hacking e-mails. I don't think we should be able to participate," Brad explained. "I think someone's conversation, whether in e-mail or in person, should be private. We shouldn't be participating and these sites that are disseminating them should stop. They won't.
"And we should stop reading them. We won't," Brad continued. "It's more of an indictment on us, I think."
-- Eric Anderson

LOS ANGELES — When there is a person down in the Pitt-Jolie household, the others stand up.
So when Angelina Jolie was not able to make it to the Hollywood premiere of her movie Unbroken on Monday night due to chicken pox, husband Brad Pitt stepped in.
Pitt was not alone. He attended the Hollywood black carpet with their sons Maddox, 13, and Pax, 10, and daughter Shiloh, 8. Pitt's parents Jane and William also attended.
It was a Pitt-Jolie show of force.
Pitt did not speak to USA TODAY on the carpet. But he did greet the family members of Louis Zamperini, the World War II war prisoner on whom the inspirational movie is based (who died in July at age 97).
Pitt spoke to Zamperini's son Luke and daughter Cynthia Garris, explaining that Jolie was "scratchy," "itchy" and "scabby" but generally in "good spirits" despite missing the event.
Jolie announced on Friday that she was going to miss the premiere and other Unbroken events due to chicken pox.

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